On Thursday, 28 September, 2017, a public consultation was held to discuss proposed changes to the Keele Street and Finch Avenue W intersection. The City of Toronto Planning staff presented three propositions for changes to the area, each presented separately in different stations.
The event had an impressive turnout with approximately 70 to 80 local residents and DUKE Heights BIA members.
We spoke to resident Talisha Ramsaroop-Godinho and asked about her impression of the changes; she said, “I think the city plans are interesting and can benefit the community in many ways. My community will be more lively and walkable, and it also brings about more opportunity for residents and development. For me, it’s important that the community is there throughout the process and that their input continues to be taken into account and the community needs and benefits are being acknowledged as well.”
Former Deputy Mayor, Joe Pantalone, however, took issue with the plans’ general direction and their concentration on commercial development which he thought was facilitated at the expense of more residential development. He stated that, “the Keele Finch Plus Study could have understood and reflected how the corridor has the potential to transform into the heart of the area. It is a unique location, because this is where two major Toronto roads intersect, and there will be extensive access to transit with the completion of the Finch LRT and the Toronto York-Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE).” Pantalone went on to say that, “Given these changes, it is disheartening to see these plans focus on employment use of the land rather mixed use which includes residential development.”
The plans proposed by the Keele Finch Plus Study will surely engender many improvements in the neighbourhood, but they leave some wondering if they fully capture the exponential growth that is expected to occur in the community with the changes in transit.
For more information about Keele Finch Plus and the related public consultation, you can visit the Planning Study’s website and the Consultation Summary. If residents and business owners have any questions or concerns about the proposed changes to the Keele Street and Finch Avenue W intersection, they are encouraged to contact the local business improvement area, DUKE Heights BIA, and Matt Armstrong of the City of Toronto’s Planning Division; he can be reached at 416-392-3521, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.