Finch West LRT

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Finch West
Type Light rail
System Toronto subway
Status Planned
Locale Toronto, Ontario
Termini Finch West
Humber College
Stations 19
Planned opening 2021[2]
Owner Metrolinx
Operator(s) Toronto Transit Commission
Depot(s) TBD - preferred site at York Gate Blvd and Norfinch Dr site[1]
Rolling stock Alstom Citadis Spirit [3]
Line length 11 km (6.8 mi)[4]
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 750 V DC overhead
Operating speed 80 km/h (50 mph)
Route map
Humber College
Martin Grove
Humber River
Canadian Pacific Railway
Highway 400
Maintenance Facility
Finch West BSicon SUBWAY.svg TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg

The Finch West LRT[5] (formerly known as the Etobicoke-Finch West LRT) is a planned light rail line in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, to be operated by the Toronto Transit Commission. It was part of the Transit City proposal announced on March 16, 2007.[6] The 11 km, 19-stop line is to extend from the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE) to Humber College. The line is forecast to carry about 14.6 million rides a year or 40,000 a day by 2031. It is scheduled for completion in 2021 at a cost of $1.2 billion.[4][7]


In March 2007, Toronto Mayor David Miller announced the Etobicoke-Finch West LRT as part of the Transit City plan, for the construction of several light-rail lines within the city.[8] In the Transit City plan, the Etobicoke-Finch West LRT line was to run for 17 km.[9] The western terminus of the line would be built in the Highway 27/Humber College area in Etobicoke. The line would run along Finch Avenue West eastward, terminating at Finch Station in North York.[8]

On April 1, 2009, the Ontario government announced that it would provide funding for construction of this line from Humber College to Don Mills station via Finch West and Finch stations, opening in 2013.[10][11]

In March 2010, the Ontario government budgeted less for building transit. Thus, it eliminated the proposed section of line between Finch West Station and Finch Station.[8]

In December 2010, Mayor Rob Ford cancelled the line after taking office.[12] However, in February 2012, city council voted to restore the Finch West LRT as part of a new transit plan restoring some of the elements of the Transit City proposal over Mayor Ford's objections.[13]

In April 2012, Metrolinx proposed to start construction on Finch West LRT in 2015, with the line opening in 2018.[8]

By November 2012, when the city and province signed an LRT master agreement, construction for the line was to begin in 2015 for completion in 2020.[4]

In April 2015, the province announced that construction of the line will start in 2016 for completion in 2021.[4]

In September 2015, the Government of Ontario announced that its agency Infrastructure Ontario would search for a contractor to design, build, finance and maintain the Finch West LRT. The successful contractor would be chosen by 2017. Nonetheless, construction would start in 2016 with the relocation of utilities in the corridor.[14]

In 2017, Enbridge Gas Distribution began relocating natural gas mains along the Finch West LRT route as part of preparatory work for LRT construction. Enbridge is relocating natural gas pipelines lower within the roadway to allow for an appropriate depth beneath the proposed track-bed.[15]

Route layout[edit]

The eastern terminus of the line is to be built at Finch West Station on the Line 1 Yonge–University in North York. After a short tunnel at Finch West station, the line will run on the surface along Finch Avenue West until it reaches its western terminus at Humber College. The line will be 11 km long.[4]

Potential extensions[edit]

The following extensions were under consideration prior to Rob Ford's cancellation of Transit City in December 2010.

Humber College to Pearson Airport[edit]

In 2009, the TTC was studying the feasibility of potential routings for a future westward extension of the Etobicoke-Finch West LRT to the vicinity of Woodbine Live! development and Pearson International Airport.[9][16] This extension is now a "Future Transit Project", as conducted in the 2013 "Feeling Congested?" report by the City of Toronto.[17]

Finch Station to Don Mills Station[edit]

In May 2009, Metrolinx proposed that the line be extended from Finch Station, along Finch Avenue East and Don Mills Road into Don Mills Station to connect with the Sheppard East LRT and create a seamless crosstown LRT in northern Toronto. The TTC said a planning study would have commenced in 2010.[9][18][19]

Proposed stops[edit]

The TTC has indicated that stops will be spaced on average 646 m apart. This list does not include potential extensions of the Etobicoke-Finch West LRT. The distances between these stops varies, but they are likely candidates, from west to east:

Phase I[edit]


Phase II[edit]

In March 2010, the Ontario government eliminated the proposed section of line between Finch West Station and Finch Station because of budget constraints. This section of the line was part of the original Transit City proposal.[8]

In 2013, this plan was revived as an "Unfunded Future Rapid Transit Project" in the City of Toronto's "Feeling Congested?" report, meaning this extension will be constructed sometime in the future.[20]


  • The route of the Finch West LRT is now served by the 36 Finch West bus, one of the three busiest bus routes in Toronto with about 42,600 passengers per weekday. If buses continue to serve the route, then by 2031 forecasted demand would require 32-39 articulated buses or 45-55 standard buses.[21]
  • The Finch West LRT would replace 35 morning and 29 afternoon peak period buses from existing traffic lanes.[21]
  • The full capacity of a full standard bus is 48 passengers and of a single LRT car is 163 passengers. The Finch West LRT will be able to support 2-car trains.[21]
  • The Finch West LRT would carry about 42,600 passengers per weekday. By 2031, projected ridership would be 2,800 passengers per hour in the peak direction.[21]
  • The LRT will provide service 20% faster than buses in mixed traffic today.[21]
  • Each LRT vehicle will use the Presto proof-of-payment system.[21]
  • Metrolinx requires 17 Alstom Citadis Spirit LRVs to operate the line.[22]
  • Annual operating and maintenance costs are estimated to be $51.5 million in 2022, before deducting fare revenue and costs saved by eliminating parallel bus service.[23]

Carhouse and maintenance facility[edit]

Metrolinx plans for a maintenance and storage facility (MSF) for the route's cars on the northside of Finch Avenue West between York Gate Boulevard and Norfinch Drive. The site is an empty lot[24] next to the former Regina Pacis Catholic Secondary School (now Monsignor Fraser College Norfinch Campus).

The MSF will service up to 75 vehicles for the Finch West LRT line as well as allow for servicing a future Jane LRT line.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d e Tess Kalinowski, Transportation reporter (2015-04-27). "Finch LRT to be complete in 2021, before Sheppard breaks ground". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2015-04-27. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Giorgio Mammoliti (2013-10-12). "Finch LRT will be a disaster: Preliminary study points to economic chaos if transit plan goes ahead". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  7. ^ Metrolinx Board Report April 25, 2012
  8. ^ a b c d e Robert Mackenzie (2015-04-28). "Ontario Proceeding with Finch West LRT". Transit Toronto. Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  9. ^ a b c "Request for Approval of the Etobicke-Finch West LRT Environmental Assessment Study" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. 2009-12-16. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  10. ^ GTA transit gets $9B jump-start
  11. ^ "Province Moving Transit Projects Forward" (Press release). Ontario Ministry of Transportation. 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
  12. ^ "Mayor Rob Ford: “Transit City is over”". Toronto Life. December 1, 2010. Archived from the original on December 6, 2010. Retrieved April 24, 2017. 
  13. ^ Council opts for light-rail lines over Ford's lone subway track, The Globe and Mail February 8, 2012
  14. ^ "Finch LRT contractor sought". Toronto Star. September 8, 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-08. 
  15. ^, "Finch West LRT Construction Updates", accessed 2917-06-21
  16. ^ Steve Munro (2009-02-14). "Transit City Status Update". Steve Munro. Retrieved 2009-02-14. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ Steve Munro (2009-04-01). "Ontario Funds Three Transit City Routes". Steve Munro. Retrieved 2009-04-01. 
  19. ^ Steve Munro (2009-05-25). "Sheppard LRT Don Mills Connection Unveiled, Sort Of". Steve Munro. Retrieved 2009-05-25. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b c d e f "Finch West LRT Project". Metrolinx. 2009-07-09. Retrieved 2015-06-01. 
  22. ^ Ben Spurr (20 July 2016). "Metrolinx threatens legal action over late delivery of light rail vehicles". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  23. ^ Ben Spurr & Jennifer Pagliaro (31 October 2016). "Report outlines steep costs of running new Toronto transit lines". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2016-10-31. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Finch West Light Rail Vehicle Maintenance and Storage Facility Environmental assessment". Metrolinx. 2009-07-09. Retrieved 2015-05-31. 

External links[edit]