|Peel Regional Road 2
Durham Regional Road 37
|Maintained by City of Toronto
Region of Peel
Region of Durham
|Length:||52 km (32 mi)|
|West end:||Steeles Avenue (Continues north as Gorewood Drive)|
| Highway 427
Don Mills Road
Victoria Park Avenue
|East end:||Dead ends east of Brock Road|
Finch Avenue is an arterial thoroughfare and concession road that travels east–west through the city of Toronto, continuing east and west into Peel and Durham Regions as Regional Road 2 and 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.
In the west, Finch originally ended at the Humber River at Islington Avenue. A separate western section was later constructed as development occurred in the-then Borough of Etobicoke. Traffic proceeding west had to travel on Islington, south across the Humber to Albion Road, and west beyond Kipling Avenue to reach it. In the early 1990s, this gap was closed. Earlier, in the 1980s a short extension was built northwestward into Mississauga and Brampton with the construction of Highway 427, turning onto the Gorewood Drive concession (formerly Toronto Gore Township Concession 3). Finch ends at Steeles Avenue, and Gorewood Drive continues it for a short distance north of Highway 407, where the concession is cut off by the Claireville Conservation Area. The concession is then called MacVean Drive in northeastern Brampton, north of Queen Street, the former Highway 7. It then continues into Caledon as Centreville Creek Road.
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. Many condominium and office high-rises are located at the intersection with Yonge Street in the North York City Centre area.
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 also known as Durham Regional 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 Highway 2 and formerly provincial Highway 2), and Kingston Rd. continues the concession line to the eastern boundary of Oshawa.
In Mississauga and Brampton, Finch Avenue is designated as Peel Regional Road 2, and is the shortest road corridor under the jurisdiction of the Region of Peel.
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 rapid transit 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) serving Finch Avenue West, and 39 Finch East (308 Blue Night) serving Finch Avenue East. There are also two express routes serving Finch Avenue East. 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 Line 3 Scarborough.
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, in 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
- 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 Hospital Birchmount Campus (Formerly Scarborough Grace Hospital) at Birchmount Road
- Woodside Square Mall at McCowan Road
- Rouge Park at the Rouge River
- Toronto Zoo
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.
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