Controversy Erupts Over Sidewalk Labs Development Plans in Toronto

Sidewalk Labs, the subsidiary company of Google parent company Alphabet, has designs for development potential far beyond the Quayside neighborhood where it's partnering with Waterfront Toronto to test new smart city technology.

February 22, 2019, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Ontario, Canada

Domenic Garer / Shutterstock

Marco Chown Oved reports: "Google’s futuristic development on the eastern waterfront, Quayside, is only the first step in an expansive and ambitious plan to build new neighbourhoods — and new transit — throughout the entire Port Lands, the Star has learned."

"In return for its investment in this vision, Sidewalk Labs wants a share of the property taxes, development fees and increased value of city land that would normally go to city coffers," adds Oved.

The article, which might be behind a paywall for some readers, includes new maps of the expanded development area.

The bombshell news caused a stir on social media, and a few days after the news broke, Dan Doctoroff, CEO and co-founder of Sidewalk Labs, took to the pages of the Toronto Star to explain the company's take on the news and make the case that the company is not interested the Eastern Waterfront area beyond Quayside.

"In general, the role that we think we are suited to play on the Eastern Waterfront is that of a catalyst, with our participation based on what Sidewalk can uniquely offer, helping governments bridge gaps — not stepping into their shoes — and proving out innovative concepts for wider adoption by the public and private sectors," according to Doctoroff.

Thursday, February 14, 2019 in Toronto Star

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