Stantec’s People-First Design Featured in Sidewalk Labs’ Master Innovation Development Plan

Following Sidewalk Labs’ recent release of its Master Innovation Development Plan (MIDP) for Toronto’s Quayside District, Stantec has announced a “people-first approach to infrastructure” initiative featured in the MIDP.

The design and consulting firm states that the plan was submitted to Waterfront Toronto — the government agency overseeing the development — and is now under review.

Quayside comprises approximately 12 acres and is part of the East Bayfront, pictured here. This area also includes developments by Great Gulf, Hines/Tridel and Menkes, as well as Sherbourne Common, Canada’s Sugar Beach and a kilometre-long continuous Water’s Edge Promenade. (CNW Group/Waterfront Toronto)

“We’re thrilled to be involved with this transformative project, and we’re hoping this serves as an inspiration to design communities that put people first,” said Nancy MacDonald, Stantec’s Smart Cities lead and vice president of Community Development.

The Stantec team assembled planners, engineers, designers, transportation, freight, power grid, and water infrastructure experts from across North America to develop Quayside’s proposed 12-acre community in Toronto’s Port Lands.

“Smart Cities are about improving peoples’ lives through thoughtful planning and responsible use of technology. We’ve taken a holistic community approach to Quayside, by identifying needs and then applying solutions to make this neighbourhood vibrant, healthy, and resilient,” said MacDonald.

Rendering of a vision of the waterfront in 2050 – a global model for inclusive growth. Credit: Picture Plane for Heatherwick Studio for Sidewalk Labs.

Stantec states that their people-focused plan provides a framework that allows the public realm to flourish.

According to the team, Quayside’s utility system is designed to be adaptable, resilient, and adjustable to technological change.

The project’s underground tunnels include freight, utilities, gas lines, and a pneumatic waste system to liberate public space for people, while allowing maintenance and upgrades without significant street disruption.

The Quayside Neighbourhood (Credit: Sidewalk Labs)

“Stantec is helping us develop Quayside as a world-leading sustainable community based on a network of urban innovations,” said Nerissa Moray, Sidewalk Labs’ Associate Director of Planning & Development. “We’re looking forward to building a mixed-use district that spurs economic growth and makes Torontonians proud.”

Stantec’s design also grants sustainable mobility options. The plan proposes every building at Quayside will have access to a bike share, an e-bike dock, and an e-scooter dock within a five-minute walk or fewer.

The Quayside plan further includes distributed energy systems such as advanced rooftop solar and storage technologies to complement existing city utility feeders, increase resiliency, and lower the load on the central system.

Stantec reports that the MIDP will go through a public review process and evaluation by Waterfront Toronto before the Board decides to proceed. The process will also be subject to a vote by Toronto City Council.

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