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Waterfront community plan takes shape

It envisions a new kind of mixed-use community by combining forward thinking urban design, new digital technology and other innovative solutions

The Waterfront Innovation Centre
The Waterfront Innovation Centre

Waterfront Toronto has signed and released the plan development agreement (PDA) with Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, which paves the way for its waterfront community plan.


It is the next step in planning the revitalisation of Quayside, located at Lake Shore Boulevard East and Parliament Street in Toronto. It envisions a new kind of mixed-use, complete community by combining forward-thinking urban design, new digital technology and other innovative solutions to create a neighbourhood that sets new standards for urban living while supporting Canada’s growing cleantech, construction and technology sectors.


Waterfront Toronto was established by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto in 2001 to oversee and lead the renewal of the city’s waterfront.


“We are excited to take this next step with Sidewalk Labs to set the stage for delivering a truly transformational project on the waterfront that addresses many critical urban issues faced by our City and other cities,” said Helen Burstyn, the chair of Waterfront Toronto’s board of directors.


Key elements of the agreement include:

  • Clear roles and responsibilities, with Waterfront Toronto as revitalisation lead and Sidewalk Labs providing urban innovation and digital technology expertise;
  • Shared objectives, including creating a destination for people, companies, start-ups, and local organisations to advance solutions to challenges, such as sustainable energy use, housing affordability, and access to transportation;
  • Fostering economic development, job creation, and prosperity by catalysing a world leading cluster focused on urban innovation on the waterfront;
  • Establishing Digital Governance Framework Principles to ensure important issues, such as personal privacy, data sovereignty, and data security and usage, are addressed and informed by experts with a view to both protecting the public interest and encouraging innovation;
  • The master innovation and development plan (MIDP) will include a comprehensive plan for Quayside and will also bring forward proposals for consideration at scale. For this purpose, the context area for scale explorations during the planning process is defined by the Designated Waterfront Area, as set out in the Toronto Waterfront Revitalisation Corporation Act;
  • A September 30 2019 timeline within which the completed MIDP must be approved by the Board of Directors of both Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs;
  • A commitment to ongoing public consultation and engagement led by Waterfront Toronto; and
  • Multiple points of accountability and approval by Waterfront Toronto’s board of directors.

“The Plan Development Agreement is based on months of successful collaboration with Waterfront Toronto. This agreement defines goals, roles and responsibilities and will guide all of our work together as we develop a ground-breaking plan that aims to achieve new levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity,” added Josh Sirefman, head of development at Sidewalk Labs.


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