Sidewalk Labs, owned by Alphabet the parent company of Google, focuses on technologies for smart cities, and will build a complete, mixed-use community in Toronto’s eastern waterfront, with the goal of building an area that is livable from the ground up through using innovations in techniques for construction, energy systems that are climate friendly, self-driving, and more to create a community that is accessible and affordable with complete connectivity.
The project has been called ambitious, but some groundwork already has been laid out. Google will be the biggest, high-profile tenant for the smart neighborhood, which will be called Quayside.
Sidewalk Labs has said it would commit to $50 million as a kick off for the community in partnership with city officials in Toronto.
Sidewalk Labs was given the contract through the response it made to the Request for Proposals that was issued by the organization Waterfront Toronto, created by the government of Canada, the provincial government of Ontario, and the City of Toronto to foster the development of lakefront areas in Toronto in ways that will address today’s urban sprawl while also respecting climate change and take into account the ability of residents in the city to move efficiently.
The area that will be worked with by Sidewalk Labs and the government coalition spans over 800 acres, but 12 of those acres are specified for the startup, and is one of the biggest underdeveloped urban areas in any city in North America, making it great for the ambitious vision of Sidewalk, which involves the building of smart cities from the ground up.
The goal for the partners is to turn that area into a place where thousands of people can live, work, play and learn and create as well as advance new ideas that improve urban life, showed a release made by Sidewalk.
Google will kick off things by relocating its headquarters in Canada and over 300 employees to its new office. Infrastructure to prevent flooding, as well as other needed structural elements including roadwork are to be funded by committed funds of $1.25 billion from federal, provincial and city sources.
A town hall community event starts things off related to involving residents of the city as well as stakeholders in the new process, with that planned to be held on November 1.
Alphabet Chair Eric Schmidt as well as CEO at Sidewalk Labs Dan Doctoroff, Justin Trudeau the Prime Minister of Canada, Kathleen Wynne the Ontario Premier and Toronto’s Mayor John Tory all were present at a live press conference promoting the new project.