Sidewalk Labs' Quayside Plans Get First Public Hearing in Toronto

The public got its first chance to weigh in on a controversial proposal to makeover a sliver of Toronto waterfront as an ambitious experiment in "smart city" technology.

July 18, 2019, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Toronto Waterfront

The future site of Sidewalk Labs' "smart city" dreams come true. | JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock

More than 100 people showed up the first public hearing since Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, released a 1,500-page proposal for the development of Quayside on the waterfront in Toronto.

"Much of the purpose of these opening sessions, Waterfront Toronto officials said, was to tackle confusion over the immensity of the proposal itself," according to an article by the Toronto Star that provides a recap of the meeting. 

"Worries about the sheer scope of the project, the absence of an overall summary of the digital giant’s ambitions and a lack of detail about the Google subsidiaries’ partnerships were among the concerns raised in the breakout sessions…"

"Other objections raised Monday night included questions over regulatory changes the proposed project would require, above and beyond the authority of Waterfront Toronto."

The article also discusses reactions to many specific components of the proposal. Three more public hearings are set for the coming weeks, with a second wave of hearings scheduled for the fall.

Monday, July 15, 2019 in The Star

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