Announcement comes a year after Sidewalk Labs has shelved its controversial smart city plans, for the location, citing the impact of coronavirus and “unprecedented economic uncertainty”.
Waterfront Toronto corporation has announced an international competition to secure a development partner for the Quayside lands following the abandonment of the Sidewalk Labs’ smart city project last year.
The first step in this effort is to issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) to identify potential development proponents with the proven experience, design portfolio, financial resources, and shared vision necessary to bring Quayside to reality.
According to the corporation, Quayside will usher in a new chapter in Toronto development, and will remind people of everything they want from living in the city and demonstrate what is possible when “vision, passion, and design excellence” are brought together.
“The people of Toronto have told us that they want to see a bold vision realised on the waterfront that reflects the confident, welcoming, and imaginative civic spirit of our city,” said Stephen Diamond, chair of the board for Waterfront Toronto.
“We are looking for leaders in the development field that will share our ambition to create a place that fuses Quayside to the water, and provides more beauty, utility, and originality than previously imagined. We want Quayside to be timeless, adaptive, and to propel us into our rightful place among the great waterfronts of the world.”
“We’ll know we have been successful when anyone who’s ever thought about moving away from the city looks at Quayside and remembers every reason they wanted to live in Toronto in the first place.”
The aim for Quayside is to be a sustainable community for people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, and incomes. A place providing market and affordable housing options for individuals and families. It will offer opportunities for ageing in place, including the supports and amenities that will allow seniors to live independently.
Inclusive economic development opportunities will create jobs and spaces for business owners that reflect Toronto’s diversity, Waterfront Toronto reports.
Waterfront Toronto’s vision for Parliament Slip is a signature piece of the project and delivers on the Corporation’s promise to reorient the city to the water.
“Quayside is an opportunity to reimagine a stronger economic future and create a post-pandemic landmark community that addresses many of the vulnerabilities that the Covid-19 crisis has exposed,” added George Zegarac, CEO for Waterfront Toronto.
“Quayside is an opportunity to reimagine a stronger economic future and create a post-pandemic landmark community that addresses many of the vulnerabilities that the Covid-19 crisis has exposed”
“The past year has driven people apart when they’d rather be together. We’ll know we have been successful when anyone who’s ever thought about moving away from the city looks at Quayside and remembers every reason they wanted to live in Toronto in the first place.”
The Quayside site totals 4.9 hectares (12 acres), including 3.2 hectares (eight acres) of developable land across five development blocks. It is one of the last undeveloped expanses of land steps from Toronto’s downtown. Through the RFQ stage of this competition, a short list of proponents will be selected to participate in the request for proposals (RFP) to select a winning development team.
Waterfront Toronto was established by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of the city’s waterfront. It is mandated to deliver a revitalised waterfront that brings together the most innovative approaches to sustainable urban development, excellence in urban design, real estate development, and leading technology infrastructure.
Google affiliate Sidewalk Labs has shelved its controversial Toronto smart city plans for the waterfront last March, citing the impact of coronavirus and "unprecedented economic uncertainty".
The abrupt announcement marks the end of a project that had been delayed several times and received strong criticism in some quarters from citizens and privacy campaigners to its own advisors.
The project, dubbed Quayside, had aimed to transform Toronto’s Waterfront area into a smart city delivering the likes of autonomous cars, intelligent rubbish collection, smart air quality measurement and heated streets.
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