Jane and Finch Hub

We were hired by Jane/Finch Centre to develop the building program and concept design for the new Jane and Finch Community Hub and Centre for the Arts.

The Jane-Finch neighbourhood in northwest Toronto is a diverse community with a large population of newcomers and young people. The area has many local organizations, grassroots groups and active community leaders, but there is a lack of space for community-led initiatives.


3D drawing of lobby with community cafe and art galleryView of community cafe and art gallery

When residents learned that the planned Finch West LRT would include a maintenance and storage facility in their neighbourhood, they petitioned for Metrolinx to provide land on the site for a community hub.  Local organizations and resident groups began a community engagement process to define a vision and programming for the new space.

Aerial view sketch drawing of the building on Finch Ave with the Maintenance Yard in the background
We worked closely with the Jane/Finch Centre’s staff and local facilitators to build on this collective vision.

Over a six-month period, we participated in 11 workshops and four meetings with a 25-member Stakeholder Advisory Group of local people and organizations
Photo of community workshop at Jane Finch Mall

Close-up of participant at one of the community workshops

3D drawing showing the theatre space and gymnasiumView of the theatre space
Residents told us their desires and priorities, and we responded with a flexible, accessible, multi-use design. A welcoming entrance lobby doubles as an art gallery and cafe, with an adjacent community kitchen. The full-sized theatre at the heart of the building can be divided into smaller event spaces, or be used as a basketball court. The roof has a garden and sports facilities; small-business incubator spaces activate the streetscape along Finch Avenue.

We spent a lot of time meeting with people in the community to develop the initial form and programming spaces for the Jane Finch Hub. Their insights challenged conventional design approaches and reminded us of the importance of truly listening to people who know and care about their community.

— Helena Grdadolnik  

Client: Jane/Finch Centre
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Date: 2019
Team: Helena Grdadolnik ,  Kellie Chin, Elaine Chau, Nina Hitzler, and Thomas Petch
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