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Google sister company to help build high tech community on Toronto waterfront

Google sister company to help build high tech community on Toronto waterfront

Google could be heading toward its most ambitious - and risky - venture yet with its new commitment to build an 800-acre smart city district in Toronto. "Sidewalk Labs scoured the globe for the flawless place to create a district focused on solutions to these pressing challenges, and we found it on Toronto's Eastern Waterfront-along with the ideal public-sector partner, Waterfront Toronto". The innovation firm aims to explore how new technologies can solve urban challenges and improve quality of life in cities.

"We looked all over the world for the flawless place to bring this vision to life, and we found it here in Toronto".

Sidewalk Labs, the urban innovation unit of Alphabet, and Waterfront Toronto plan to foster the development of a high-tech community from scratch along Lake Ontario in Canada's biggest city.

The announcement was made at Corus Entertainment by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Toronto Mayor John Tory, and featured remarks from Eric Schmidt, the executive chair of Google's parent company Alphabet, as well as the head of Sidewalk Labs and representatives from Waterfront Toronto.

Sidewalk Labs says that the Quayside neighborhood will be located at Parliament Slip.

The next step for Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs is making a 2,000 acre smart neighborhood in Toronto.

"Working together with the local community, Sidewalk Toronto aspires to create a place that encourages innovation around energy, waste, and other environmental challenges to protect the planet", it continues. A cosmopolitan city with a strong tech workforce, it remains to be seen whether Alphabet's play here will positively or negatively impact any potential Amazon decision, especially considering how the company enjoys its position in Seattle as top tech dog.

The project is expected to be used as a test case to help motivate other cities in other countries to develop similar assets that are technologically advanced, yet sustainable and affordable enough to be of practical value.

The company said it would convene a town hall on November 1st to kick off a year-long community outreach process, in an effort to head off any NIMBY blowback that could result from a project like this. Japanese companies like Toshiba and Hitachi, as well as U.S. companies like General Electric, having been stepping up their game in the smart city market.

A subsidiary of Alphabet (Google's parent company), Sidewalk Labs was chosen following an worldwide Request for Proposals (RFP) issued in March of this year. Image Courtesy of Sidewalk Labs Vision.


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