Waterfront Toronto seeks extension for Sidewalk Labs decision day

TORONTO – Waterfront Toronto’s board will have more time to make a decision on whether to move forward with Sidewalk Lab’s proposal to build a smart city.

Aerial photograph of Quayside looking north. Credit: Picture Plane for Heatherwick Studio for Sidewalk Labs

The agency and Sidewalk have agreed to extend the deadline by which Waterfront Toronto must make a decision about the controversial Quayside project pitched for a swath of Toronto’s lakefront to May 20 from March 31.

Waterfront and Sidewalk Labs, owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, previously extended the deadline to make a decision on the proposal from Sept. 30, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

Waterfront says the extension would give locals more time to offer input on its evaluation of Sidewalk’s proposal.

Sidewalk’s proposal involves building a tech-savvy neighbourhood featuring ”raincoats for buildings”, heated and illuminated sidewalks, affordable housing, tall timber structures and innovations to support sustainability and environmentalism.

Quayside consists of 2.65 million square feet of developable space, 10 mixed-use buildings, and four hectares of public realm. Credit: Sidewalk Labs

It has been met with criticism from tech, privacy and business experts across the country over its potential use of data and the demands it could place on the city and government.

If Waterfront decides to pursue Sidewalk’s proposal, the project will still require the approval of the municipal, provincial and federal governments.

Rendering of an interior pedestrian walkway at Quayside. Credit: Picture Plane for Heatherwick Studio for Sidewalk Labs
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