September 15, 2021

Round 1: jfm+ Community Engagement & Outreach (Listening)

Round 1: jfm+ Community Engagement & Outreach (Listening)

We are working with tenants, neighbours, and the larger community to develop a shared vision for how the Jane Finch Mall site can grow and change while continuing to play an important role in our neighbourhood.

The first step toward developing this understanding was Round 1 of our Community Engagement and Outreach, facilitated by our team of nearly a dozen members, all of whom have deep roots in our community, and are passionate about this neighbourhood's future. This phase, which was conducted over approximately four weeks during summer 2021, revolved around listening. It was designed to gather insight into our community's priorities and values, and subsequently reflect them back to the community for confirmation of key themes that can serve as the basis for redevelopment principles.

The community engagement team connected with individual residents, community groups, agencies and key community leaders.

In total, the engagement team gathered feedback from 329 residents as well as 30-35 community leaders and activists connected with 18 community-based organizations and networks.

Here's how it happened:

  • Thanks to the diverse background of the Community Engagement Team, we were able to gather a broad group of community members, including residents in public and private market rentals, homeowners, and a diversity of racial and cultural backgrounds, and a range of languages, including Italian, Vietnamese, Spanish, Somali and English.
  • The outreach included direct one-on-one conversations with residents through surveys. The responses were gathered in-person, over-the-phone and through Zoom.

Here's what we heard:

What people like about the Mall:

  • It has “everything I need”
  • It's close and convenient
  • It's affordable
  • It's a gathering place
  • It's community friendly

What people see as the Mall's role in the community now:

  • It's a “town square”; a connection point for Jane Finch residents
  • It's convenient and walkable
  • It supports the community, through hosting local services, giving to community agencies and hosting local events
  • It meets needs affordably

Jane and Finch residents have a strong attachment to their community. Including:

  • Connection to their neighbours
  • Diversity
  • Walkability
  • Programs and events
  • Affordability
  • Green space

What people hope for in the future:

  • Safety
  • Programs and services
  • Facilities
  • A space that is aesthetically pleasing
  • Community engagement
  • Economic opportunity

What people worry about for the future:

  • Gentrification, affordability and community sustainability
  • Safety
  • Construction, traffic and disruption

What people see as the future role for the Mall in the community:

  • Physical improvement
  • Community connection
  • Gathering
  • Economic opportunity

What matters most about the jfm+ planning process:

  • Trust, accountability and inclusion

In Summary

Jane and Finch community members are interested in ongoing participation in the jfm+ process, and are interested in playing active roles in connecting the process to the community, though often with the caveat that they needed to see clear, concrete commitments to community goals as part of that arrangement. Many are eager to see concrete plans and are looking forward to moving into the next phases of engagement.

Our engagement continued throughout 2021, and you can read more about it in future posts.

Stay tuned for future engagement and outreach updates on our News & Events page. You can also sign up for our newsletter to receive notifications as news, events and other content are added to our site.