Finch is a station on the Yonge-University-Spadina line of the subway system of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is the northern terminus of the line's Yonge Street section, and the northernmost station in the system. On June 15, 2007, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced a plan to extend the Yonge Subway from Finch Station to Highway 7 in Richmond Hill by 2020 as part of the government's MoveOntario 2020 plan. After this point, Finch Station will no longer be the terminus of the subway line. It is also the busiest bus terminal in the TTC system, and the fifth busiest subway station in the system, serving around 91,050 people a day. It is located at 5714 Yonge Street between Finch Avenue East and West. The station was opened on March 29, 1974, in what was then the Borough of North York, by provincial premier Bill Davis and borough mayor Mel Lastman. It replaced York Mills as the northern terminus of the line. The station also serves as a link to other transit agencies by proximity to the Finch Bus Terminal.
Geography and layout
On street level is a bus terminal. It is bordered on the south by Finch Avenue, and on the north by Bishop Avenue (which is named Hendon when it crosses west of Yonge). To the west of the terminal, separated by a chain link fence, is a parking area behind a strip of small 2-storey commercial buildings which stand between the terminal and Yonge Street. To the east, separated by wavy-shaped brick/masonry wall, are several taller buildings. The station interrupts the path of an east-west street, Pemberton Avenue, which runs between Bishop and Finch. It ends east of the station, and a very short length resumes west of the station, intersecting Yonge. The street passes between two of the commercial buildings and is mainly used for its metered parking and access to the parking lot behind the commercial (see New bus exit below)
The terminal consists of central narrow rectangular building oriented north-south. Doors on the east and west sides allow passengers to exit to two bus platforms. Each bus route has its own assigned boarding location on the platforms which is marked with signs (inside and outside the building) and a route schedule. Buses travel clockwise on a looped roadway that circles the terminal structure. The roadway exits to the public streets at the north and south ends (see Pemberton Exit below). Most buses exit north and board on the west platform. Only Finch Avenue routes exit south, and board on the east platform. Buses typically (but not exclusively) let passengers off on the opposite platform as they board. Pedestrians are not allowed to enter the terminal on street level, and must gain access via the subway station below.
Stairs, escalators, and elevators lead from the bus terminal down three levels to the subway platform. The upper concourse, one floor below the bus terminal, is a corridor running the length of the bus terminal. It collects the landings of all of the terminal's stairs and escalators and leads to another bank of stairs and escalators down to the lower concourse.
The lower concourse level is the main concourse of the subway station. It is divided into the fare-paid and unpaid areas. The unpaid area is a long corridor, part of which runs alongside the fare-paid area lined with several automated token/pass and manned entrances. The unpaid area contains connections to office towers (North American Life, Place Nouveau, and condominiums on Pemberton Avenue), the regional bus terminal, and the "Kiss-n-Ride" passenger drop-off facility; it also contains token machines. The fare-paid area houses a few shops, including Gateway Newsstand and Tim Hortons, florist, lotto booth, clothing shop, and stairs and escalators down to the subway platform.
The platform level consists of a central platform between two tracks with an operations tower at the south end. Since Finch is the last station on the line, trains alternate which track they arrive on, and trains on both tracks travel southbound. When both tracks are occupied, overhead signs indicate which train will depart first.
Krystyna Sadowska's sculpture Rhythm of Exotic Plants (1965) is displayed on the lower concourse level, outside the fare-paid area; A stainless-steel plaque celebrating the station's opening is also located on the lower concourse. A smaller plaque is located at the south subway platform.
Pedestrians can enter Finch Station from:
North American Life Building - lower floor (to lower concourse)
Yonge Street east side (to upper concourse)
GO Finch Bus Terminal building by escalator, an adjacent stairwell exiting on the sidewalk at the north-east street corner of Yonge Street and Bishop Avenue (to lower concourse), and an outdoor elevator
Kiss-n-Ride entrance, elevators and stairs - north-west corner of Yonge Street and Hendon Avenue (to lower concourse)
stairs - north-east and north-west corners of Finch Avenue and Yonge Street (to lower concourse)
Pemberton Avenue cul-de-sac (privately maintained entrance) (to upper concourse)
Additionally, passengers on TTC buses that stop at Finch station can enter the subway station through the bus terminal. It is illegal for pedestrians to enter or exit the bus terminal at street level. This can be frustrating for those coming off a bus at the terminal that would rather not go through the entire subway station to get across the street from the bus terminal, and sometimes people do exit the station at street level.
There is an emergency exit between Finch and North York Centre stations at Church Avenue and Yonge Street. The site was once the Willowdale United Church, demolished to make way for subway construction. Stairs from the tunnel surface in a brick building in the northeast corner, beside a cemetery and a Dominion supermarket.
As is often the case with TTC's larger bus terminals, the bus terminal at Finch station is within the fare-paid area, so pedestrians wishing to board buses will need to enter through the subway station. Once one has entered the fare-paid area of the station (by paying or by arrival on a TTC vehicle), they can access the subway or any bus in the terminal without a transfer.
Bus routes serving Finch include:
36 Finch West - 36A, B, C, D
39 Finch East - 39, A, B, C, D, E, F
42 Cummer - 42, A, B
53 Steeles East - 53, A, B, E, F
60 Steeles West - 60, B, C, E, F
97 Yonge - 97
125 Drewry - 125
WheelTrans also makes connections to the station as the station is assessible.
With the exceptions of route 97 southbound and "Blue Night" night buses, all TTC buses stop inside the bus terminal to pick up and drop off passengers. Transfers (or fare) would be required on the two aforementioned exceptions.
North of the Finch TTC station, directly across Bishop Ave. from the TTC bus terminal, is the Finch Bus Terminal, which connects the subway to GO Transit, Brampton Transit, and York Region Transit buses (including two lines of York Region's Viva rapid transit system).
Prior to the construction of the Pemberton Exit, all buses except the Finch Avenue routes traveled north on Yonge Street, and thus had to exit at the north end of the station. The number of such buses amounted to approximately 65 buses per hour during the morning rush period and 51 buses per hour during the afternoon rush period] The combination of the bus and car traffic volume resulted in significant delays and queues along Bishop Avenue as buses leaving the station had to make a left turn into heavy traffic and almost immediately reach the right hand curb to make the turn onto Yonge Street. The queue of exiting buses often backed up into the station loop, further congesting buses circulating within the station, as well as buses trying to enter the station at the same point. In the morning rush hour, buses took an average of 1 minute and 58 seconds to travel the 40 meters from the station to Yonge Street, with some waiting up to 4 minutes.
To reduce the delays involving bus congestion, construction began in April 2006 on the Pemberton Avenue Exit. On the western stub of Pemberton Avenue (see geography above) the metered parking was permanently removed (a new Toronto Parking Authority lot was relocated to the former private parking lot at the south-east corner of Yonge and Bishop), and the street was connected to the main loop of Finch station. When it was finally completed in January 2007, the street resumed two-way public traffic for access to the parking behind the commercial buildings; the connection to Finch Station became an alternate exit for buses headed northbound on Yonge Street (all buses except Finch Avenue buses). Tenants of buildings next to Finch station can also use the exit; a temporary ramp to the lot next to Scotiabank was added during construction, but has since been removed.
During construction, the work blocked part of the west side of the road loop, and as a result three of the routes' designated bus bays on the west platform were temporarily shifted south so that buses did not stop beside the construction and block the loop. When the construction was finished and the exit opened, the bus routes were reverted to their original bays.
Parking lots and passenger drop-off facility
There are two major TTC parking lots (referred to as the car park in directional signage) at Finch station for use by commuters. They are called simply the East Lot and the West Lot, and are located north of Bishop/Hendon, east and west of Yonge Street respectively. The lots have a combined capacity of over 3000 parking spaces; though even with such capacity, the lots are usually full during weekdays. Access to these lots can be either by cash or by Metropass.
In addition to the parking lots, Finch Station also features a relatively elaborate "Kiss-n-Ride" passenger drop-off/pick-up facility, which is connected to the lower concourse level of the station (outside the fare-paid area) by pedestrian tunnels. The area has a round, indoor waiting area for passengers, with about 20 temporary parking spaces circularly surrounding the structure. It is adjacent to the west parking lot.
On the north side of Bishop Avenue, slightly east of the TTC bus terminal (along the southern edge of the GO bus terminal) is a parking lane for taxicabs. This is best accessed by exiting the subway station at the stairs/escalator to the north-east corner of Yonge and Bishop (the GO bus terminal).
Transit City proposal
The Transit City proposal calls for a new LRT line known as the Etobicoke-Finch West LRT line, running along Finch Avenue West from Humber College to Finch Station.
A number of retail tenants have been added to the station, namely at the concourse level:
Gateway Newsstand - 2 locations
Finch Gift Shop - formerly a photo shop
Wicket Ticket - lottery booth
Chantelle - accessories store; formerly Moneysworth & Best Quality Shoe Repair
Bank of Montreal ATM only
Plaque on the North American Life building commemorating the birth place of former Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson
Finch's Hotel (historic landmark that no longer exists)