CBC Toronto - Photo By Timothy Neesam

Christine Diep

 

Christine Diep is a Grade 9 student at William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate. She lives in the Jane-Finch neighbourhood, but goes to a school that's 40 minutes away because of its special math and science program.

Christine is not easily intimidated. She says starting high school in a neighbourhood so far from home was no big deal.

Jane-Finch

Jane-Finch is shorthand for a neighbourhood that's bounded by Steeles Avenue to the north, Keele Street to the east, Sheppard Avenue to the south and Jane Street to the west.

It's also shorthand for a community that has problems. Headline-grabbing gang violence and youth crime have contributed to the image of a community that is desperate and dangerous.

In recent years, the mayor's office and community groups have targeted Jane-Finch as a priority neighbourhood that needs extra support, especially for the young people who live there.

But that's not all Jane-Finch is about. It's one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in the city. Six out of ten people living there were born outside Canada... and that's no accident.

In the 1960s, city officials deliberately designed the neighbourhood to be a place to house Toronto's swelling immigrant population. But the services available have not kept up with the demand by thousands of immigrants who continue to pour into the city.

Despite these challenges, people who call Jane-Finch home are committed to building a strong community.

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