Google’s parent company is creating an entire high-tech neighborhood in Toronto — here’s what it could look like

An aerial view of Toronto's Eastern Waterfront.

caption
An aerial view of Toronto’s Eastern Waterfront.
source
Sidewalk Toronto

On Tuesday, Sidewalk Labs – the urban innovation unit of Google parent company Alphabet – announced that it will design a high-tech neighborhood on Toronto’s waterfront.

Exact design plans are still unclear, but the company has released preliminary renderings of what it imagines the 12-acre district, called Quayside, could look like.

The city of Toronto and Sidewalk Labs call the larger project “Sidewalk Toronto.”

Technology will be a big part of the masterplan, Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“This will not be a place where we deploy technology for its own sake, but rather one where we use emerging digital tools and the latest in urban design to solve big urban challenges in ways that we hope will inspire cities around the world,” he said.

Check out the Sidewalk Labs vision for Toronto’s Eastern Waterfront below.


Called Quayside, the neighborhood’s plan will prioritize “environmental sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity,” according to Sidewalk Labs. Here’s an aerial view of the waterfront’s construction.

source
Sidewalk Toronto

It will be located on Toronto’s Eastern Waterfront.

source
Sidewalk Toronto

From the renderings, it looks like Sidewalk Labs wants Quayside to be a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood.

source
Sidewalk Toronto

The illustrations include bikeshares, apartment housing …

source
Sidewalk Toronto

… bus lines (with some sort of underground shipping component) …

source
Sidewalk Toronto

… a health clinic, self-driving cars …

source
Sidewalk Toronto

… cafes, and parks.

source
Sidewalk Toronto

At the conference, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the development will house “tens of thousands.”

source
Sidewalk Toronto

Sidewalk Labs has committed $50 million to the project’s first phase, though the development could cost at least $1 billion. With a recent $996 million investment from Canada’s local and national government, Waterfront Toronto will build infrastructure that helps protect against flooding.

source
Sidewalk Toronto

Source: The Wall Street Journal


In March 2017, Sidewalk Labs submitted its proposal to redevelop the waterfront parcel. Toronto hired several independent urban design and financial experts to evaluate the bids over the past several months.

source
Sidewalk Toronto

The planning process will kick off with a community town hall on November 1, 2017.


Like Doctoroff, Trudeau said at the conference that Quayside could serve as a model for other cities in Canada and around the world.

source
Sidewalk Toronto