|Maintained by City of Toronto|
|Length:||43.2 km (26.8 mi)|
|Maintained by Region of Peel|
|Length:||2.3 km (1.4 mi)|
|Roads in Ontario|
|Maintained by Region of Durham|
|Length:||7.5 km (4.7 mi)|
|Roads in Ontario|
Finch Avenue is an arterial thoroughfare and concession road which travels east–west through the city of Toronto. The road also has short extensions into Peel and Durham Regions as Peel Regional Road 2 and Durham Regional Road 37.
The street is named after hotel owner John Finch, who operated John Finch's Hotel at the northeast corner of Finch Avenue and Yonge Street in Toronto. The road allowance was a concession road, and at one time, there were a number of older churches, schoolhouses, and cemeteries on each side of the road. In the 1950s, Ontario Hydro constructed a series of transmission lines around Toronto, and paralleled Finch from Highway 400 eastward into Pickering. A compressed natural gas pipeline also follows this routing.
As suburban development in North York progressed northward in the 1960s, Finch was rapidly reconstructed from a gravel road into a four-laned traffic artery. This began with the realignment of several sections, such as at Bayview where Newtonbrook Creek flows diagonally beneath the crossroads. A rail overpass west of Leslie was built by 1968.
West of Islington Avenue, Finch ended at the Humber River. Traffic proceeding west had to travel on Islington, northwards towards Steeles Avenue, or south across the Humber to Albion Road. As urban development came to the Toronto area, a Finch Avenue alignment was developed in this area, and was completed in the 1980s within Toronto (at Islington), and then briefly into Mississauga with the construction of Highway 427, and Brampton, turning northwestward onto the Gorewood Road concession (formerly Toronto Gore Township Concession 3). The road now ends at Steeles Avenue, where Gorewood Road is cut off by Highway 407. The concession is then called MacVean Drive in northeastern Brampton, north of Queen Street, the former Highway 7. It then continues into Caledon as Centerville Creek Road.
On August 19, 2005 a freak rainstorm in Toronto caused the Black Creek water level to rise, which caused a section of Finch Avenue West near Sentinel Road (due south of York University between Keele and Jane Streets) to collapse, leaving a deep pit that prevented any pedestrian or vehicular traffic from passing through. The crater left where a 4 lane roadway once was is approximately 20–25 feet (7 metres) deep. Two lanes reopened in late 2005, and the remaining lanes opened in April 2006.
Finch Station, located at the intersection of Finch Avenue and Yonge Street, is the northernmost station of the Toronto subway network and is a major regional transit hub. The station features a large TTC bus terminal, and the adjoining Finch Bus Terminal is a hub for GO Transit, Viva and York Region Transit buses. Finch Avenue is served by TTC buses 24 hours a day, with the 36 Finch West (309 Blue Night), and 39 Finch East (308 Blue Night). There are also two express routes serving Finch Avenue. Route 139 Finch-Don Mills Express is a peak-hour bus that serves the Don Mills Station on the Sheppard Subway line and the 199 Finch Rocket is an all day route serving Scarborough Centre Station on the Scarborough RT.
As a part of the canceled Transit City light rail plan, Finch Avenue would have been served by the Etobicoke-Finch West LRT, which would have run in the median of Finch Avenue West. In 2012, the LRT plan was revived by city councils, now renamed to Finch W. LRT and shortened from the original Transit City proposal, serving between Humber College and the future Finch West Station of the Yonge-University Spadina line. The line is proposed to be in service by 2019.
Other sites and neighbourhoods along Finch:
- Wild Water Kingdom — at Steeles Avenue East (Brampton), located within Brampton, Ontario.
- Humber College Main Campus, near Highway 27
- Etobicoke General Hospital
- Albion Mall — at Albion and Kipling Avenue
- Thistletown Regional Centre for Children and Adolescents
- Emery — at Weston Road
- York-Finch Hospital — Humber River Regional
- Jane and Finch
- Yorkgate Mall — near Jane Street
- Norfinch Mall — near Jane Street
- Jane Finch Mall — near Jane Street
- York University, north on Keele Street and Sentinel Road
- G. Ross Lord Dam and Reservoir, on the Don River (Western Branch), near Dufferin Street/Allen Road
- North York Branson Hospital, near Bathurst Street
- Herb Carnegie North York Centennial Recreation Complex (opposite Branson)
- Esther Shiner Stadium, behind Northview Heights SS at Bathurst
- Finch Transit Terminal at Yonge Street.
- Finch Parkette — site of John Finch's Hotel and tavern in 1848; demolished in 1873
- Historic Zion Schoolhouse near Leslie Street
- Old Cummer GO Station at Leslie Street
- Seneca College Newnham Campus at Highway 404
- Bridlewood Mall at Warden Avenue
- Scarborough Grace Hospital at Birchmount Road
- Woodside Mall at McCowan Road
- Rouge Park at the Rouge River
- Toronto Zoo
Despite its length (one of the longest streets in the Greater Toronto Area), few major landmarks are located on Finch; it runs primarily through business and residential areas. When it intersects Yonge in Uptown, there are located office high-rises and condominiums.
Most of Finch Avenue west of Morningside Avenue is a four to six-lane principal arterial, with a speed limit of 60 km/h (35–40 mph) in most sections. East of Morningside, Finch Av. E becomes Staines Rd. a collector road that runs through residential communities, northeast to Steeles Av. E. However Finch Av. E continues briefly at the south end of Beare Road heading east as it enters into the City of Pickering in Durham Region after Scarborough-Pickering Townline where it is simply known as Finch Av.Durham Road # 37.
In Pickering, Finch Avenue is also known as Durham Road # 37 and continues east to Brock Road (Durham Regional Road 1). It ends at a cul-de-sac at Kingston Road (Durham Regional Road # 2 and formerly Highway 2), and the highway follows this concession line to the eastern boundary of Oshawa.
In Mississauga and Brampton, Finch Avenue is also known as Peel Regional Road 2, and is the shortest road corridor under the jurisdiction of the Region of Peel.
Pawnee Avenue and Old Finch Avenue are both former alignments of Finch Avenue. Pawnee Avenue runs along the former North York Township road alignment between Highway 404 and Victoria Park Avenue. Old Finch Avenue runs in northeastern Scarborough, and includes a section of the original road alignment east of Morningside Avenue to Meadowvale Avenue, including the routing through the Rouge Park, and the northern edge of the Toronto Zoo.
- A Glimpse of Toronto's History City Planning Division, Urban Development Services, City of Toronto 2001, MPLS 087
- Jeffrey Kay. "36 Finch / 36 Finch West." Transit Toronto.
- Jeffrey Kay. "39 Finch East." Transit Toronto.
- Etobicoke-Finch West LRT details at City of Toronto website
- Finch Avenue portal: North York, Scarborough and Etobicoke local information and services