The Four Design Teams Shortlisted for Quayside Redevelopment

After Alphabet-owned Sidewalk Labs dropped the project, Toronto is evaluating other proposals for redeveloping their waterfront.

2 minute read

November 1, 2021, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Toronto Waterfront

JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock

Four design teams have been shortlisted to redevelop Toronto's Quayside, reports Donovan Vincent, each with their own unique vision for "the future of the empty 12-acre parcel of land that Google sister company Sidewalk Labs abandoned last year." After unveiling an ambitious plan for a 190-acre "tech-driven neighborhood," Sidewalk Labs drastically scaled back the 'smart city' project after encountering public opposition, then ended their involvement altogether in May 2020, citing financial concerns.

The winning team will be selected next year by Waterfront Toronto, and local advocates hope the winning design will "include public connections to the waterfront as well as vibrant spaces for recreation and cultural events," reports Vincent, in addition to condos and commercial spaces.

Vincent details the four teams and their past projects and accomplishments, which include the Smithsonian’s Museum of African American History and Culture, Montreal's New Vic, and Amsterdam’s Silodam housing. An evaluation committee consisting of senior managers with Waterfront Toronto and representatives from the city and CreateTO "will make recommendations to a steering committee, which in turn will make a recommendation to Waterfront Toronto’s board of directors," Vincent writes.

The collapse of the Sidewalk Labs proposal could be a bellwether for 'smart city' projects, which promise to improve the efficiency, transparency, and functionality of cities through data and technology. Some critics see this algorithmic, data-drive approach as incompatible with the glacial pace of civic bureaucracy and the unpredictable nature of human behavior.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 in The Toronto Star

View of Mount Hood at golden hour with Happy Valley, Oregon homes in foreground.

Clackamas County Votes to Allow ADUs, Residential RVs

County officials hope the zoning changes will help boost the housing supply in the region.

June 18, 2024 - Mountain Times

Single-family homes in a suburban neighborhood in Florida.

New Florida Law Curbs HOA Power

The legislation seeks to cut down on ‘absurd’ citations for low-level violations.

June 16, 2024 - The Guardian

Aerial view of intersection in New York City with yellow cabs and zebra crosswalks.

Planners’ Complicity in Excessive Traffic Deaths

Professor Wes Marshall’s provocatively-titled new book, "Killed by a Traffic Engineer," has stimulated fierce debates. Are his criticisms justified? Let’s examine the degree that traffic engineers contribute to avoidable traffic deaths.

June 13, 2024 - Todd Litman

View of Palos Verdes Drive along Pacific Ocean in Palos Verdes, California at sunset.

Erosion Threatens SoCal Road, Lloyd Wright Icon

The city of Palos Verdes is closing parts of a roadway to cyclists, citing safety concerns as the land underneath moves between 7 and 12 inches per week.

June 23 - Daily Breeze

Faded image of vacant storefront in rural area with American flag stars painteind on windows.

COVID Isn’t to Blame for the Retail Vacancy Crisis

A drop in demand for retail space began well before the seismic shifts of the pandemic.

June 23 - Slate

Heavy New York City traffic headed toward Holland Tunnel in Manhattan.

Judge Rules in Favor of MTA in Congestion Pricing Suit

Advocates of the program are calling on Gov. Hochul to reinstate the program in light of the decision.

June 23 - StreetsBlog NYC

City Planner I

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner II

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner Supervisor

Department of Housing and Community Development

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.