Briefing

Waterfront Toronto supports 90 per cent of Sidewalk Labs’ plan for Quayside development

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In its evaluation of the Google sister company’s June 2019 smart city proposal, Waterfront indicated it would not support any of the comfort systems mentioned in Sidewalk Labs’ June 2019 proposal, including its building “raincoats,” intended to provide shelter during bad weather, because of concerns about accessibility. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The evaluation, released ahead of a public consultation on February 29, backed 144 of the 160 ideas Sidewalk pitched for the 12-acre development on Toronto’s lakeshore. Waterfront also said Sidewalk would have the opportunity to modify or replace the 16 ideas it did not endorse. Because much of the proposal has changed over the course of negotiations—including a significant reduction in scale—the agency will prepare a Draft Innovation Plan ahead of its May 20 board meeting, at which point it must again decide whether the project should proceed. A report from Waterfront’s Digital Strategy Advisory Panel, to be released within the next week, will also provide further input from a privacy and digital governance perspective. The human rights assessment of the proposed plan, being conducted by Element AI, will be submitted to the agency by mid-March.