Ontario is donating 2.174 acres of land to the City of Toronto to build a much-needed community hub and centre for the arts in the Jane and Finch community. The land is adjacent to the future Finch West LRT Maintenance and Storage Facility and is being transferred at no cost.
The land contribution will allow the city to continue design-related work and establish partnerships to construct a new 65,000-square-foot centre to help serve the larger goals of community collaboration.
“We need to acknowledge the tremendous effort and work of the Jane Finch community, a diverse and vibrant neighbourhood, towards securing this land, stated the Jane-Finch Community Hub Organizing Committee. “We look forward to continuing our stewardship of this process with the province, City of Toronto and Metrolinx, and securing the necessary sustainable funding to build and operate the hub that our community has envisioned over many years.”
The province and its partners are also exploring how a future community centre could align with the Black Youth Action Plan as part of the land transfer agreement. The Black Youth Action Plan was released in 2017 as a four-year $47 million investment to help address persistent outcomes disparities for Black Ontarians. If supported, this community space could also offer economic empowerment programming, among other services, to support local youth in achieving social and economic success.
“We are dedicated to ensuring that our vital transit projects provide strong links so that there is a seamless connection to the communities in which they are being built,” said Kinga Surma, associate minister of transportation (GTA). “We are so proud to take this first step to enable this transformative community space that will help improve opportunities for today’s youth and future generations in the Jane and Finch community.”
Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster echoed the sentiment, adding they’ll “make good” on the next commitment, which is to bring “great transit” to the community with the Finch LRT.