Bathurst-Finch (also known by its civic name Westminster-Branson) is one of Toronto’s northernmost neighbourhoods. It is bounded by Steeles Avenue West to the north, Bathurst Street to the east, and follows the boundaries of the Don River from the west to the south-east.
The neighbourhood struggles with poor access to services, isolation, and lower socio-economic indicators when compared to the larger City of Toronto. In 2005, Bathurst-Finch residents had an average after-tax household income of $49,440, compared to the City of Toronto at $63,870. The incidence of low income after- tax in Bathurst-Finch is 24.9%, again compared to Toronto at 19.4%.
According to the 2006 Canada Census, Bathurst-Finch has a very large immigrant population with over 70% residents being foreign-born. More than 33% of those immigrants arrived in Canada between 2001 and 2006. 31% of residents identify themselves as being of Jewish ethnic origin, and 23%, of Russian origin.
Other ethnic groups include Filipino (9%), Ukrainian (8%), and Polish (6%). The top native languages besides English are Russian (32%), Tagalog (6%), Korean (4%), Hebrew (3%), and Persian (2%). The largest visible minority group is Bathurst-Finch is Filipino.
In 2004, the United Way, in a joint initiative with the City of Toronto, formed the Strong Neighbourhood Task Force, with the goal of building an action plan for revitalizing Toronto neighbourhoods. In 2005, the task force released a report, Strong Neighbourhoods: A Call to Action, analyzing Toronto’s 140 neighbourhoods. The objective was to identify those neighbourhoods where public investment in local services has not kept pace with demographic shifts, population increases, and growing social needs. The analysis measured services, facilities, challenges, and the vitality of each neighbourhood.
Through the task force analysis, Bathurst-Heights was identified as a priority neighbourhood with poor access to services, facing significant challenges, and in need of social and physical infrastructure investment. The Local Immigration Partnership seeks to participate in that investment process.
Please see the Bathurst-Finch Settlement and Employment Strategy & Action Plan for information on LIP operation in the neighbourhood.