Briefing

Toronto residents sign open letter urging Waterfront Toronto for transparency in the final days of negotiations with Sidewalk Labs

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Labour organizers, urban planning professors, tech workers and transit, housing and data rights advocates are among the 100-plus signees calling on the board to stay firm on the issues chairman Stephen Diamond outlined in his June 24 letter to Sidewalk Labs regarding the Google sister company’s development plans for the city’s eastern waterfront. The letter cites concerns that Waterfront is under “immense pressure” to hatch a deal behind closed doors to satisfy Sidewalk’s proposal to build beyond the allotted piece of Waterfront land, which Diamond said in his letter to the company was “premature.” (The Logic)

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Talking point: Waterfront Toronto has until October 31 to decide whether it will keep working with Sidewalk as an “innovation and funding partner” for the waterfront development. The open letter, spearheaded by resident-led group #BlockSidewalk, notes that the extra public land Sidewalk requested—and at a discount—isn’t Waterfront’s to give. And while negotiations are wrapping up, the group criticized Waterfront for closing the public out of the process that will determine the fate of the publicly funded lands.