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Toronto Tomorrow, a new Acknowledgement

approach for inclusive growth.
Volume 0: Overview. Sidewalk Labs recognizes that this land we
now call Toronto has been the site of human
activity for over 15,000 years; we are within
the Treaty Lands and claimed Territory of
the Mississaugas of the Credit. Toronto is
now home to many diverse First Nations,
Inuit, and Métis peoples. It is the responsibility
of all people to share in wise stewardship and
peaceful care of the land and its resources.
We are mindful of a history of broken treaties,
and of the urgent need to work continuously
towards reconciliation, and we are grateful for
the opportunity to live and work on this land.
When we ask Torontonians A place with safer streets.
what they dream about for More breathable air.
their future neighbourhoods, More walkable sidewalks.
we don’t hear about dreams A place where people
of jetpacks and flying cars. are more engaged with their world
We don’t hear about than with their phones.
21st-century modern A place that’s both inspiring
high-rises and flashy finishes. and affordable.
What we hear are dreams A place that’s welcoming
that are far more basic, for artists and entrepreneurs,
more human, for the creative class and
more fundamental. the working class.
A place where, quite simply,
everyone who wishes
to call it home, can.
What do
What do you see in your dream city?

you see
in your
dream city?
Dreams of aof
citya city / A
that that wants
wants me to stay me to stay forever / Aback
forever Acity where
city where
neighbours have my
heroes / AAneighborhood
neighbourhood that
that is happy just isitself,
being happy withoutjust being itself, without apology /

neighbours have my back / A city

A city that
that wants
wants me
me to be withto be with
people more people more than
than with technology Afuture
A futurecitycity that doesn’t
that doesn’t get lost inget lost in technology / AAplaceplace
technology where
where I randomly I randomly
run into friends on the street

with technology / AAcitycity that

that never breaks my stridebreaks my stride / A place that makes it
never A place that makes it possible to have a home for my family
run into friends on the street / AAcitycity thattheattracts
that attracts the world’s
world's most talented artists most talented
possible to have a home for my family / AAplaceplace where my son can ride his
where my son can ride his bike in the middle of the street and be totally safe
artists /AAplace
place that
that helps rooted me feel rooted / AA
me feel citycity that
that doesn't doesn’t
try to be perfect try to be too
bike in the middle of the street and be totally safe / AAcitycity that
that brings brings
out the best in meout perfect /AAcity
with with
the bestthe best
sprinkled sprinkled donuts / AAplace
donuts place that
that feels feels
like Alice's like Alice’s

the best in me / AAcitycity that

that helps helps
my mommy my
not be mommy not be so tired / A city that
so tired A city that is just as obsessed with
the old as it is with the new
Wonderland / AAcitycity that
that makes makes
me laugh me
and dance with laugh and dance with euphoria / A place
euphoria A place that never makes
people wait outside in a
long line

is just as obsessed with the old as it is with the new / AAcitycity that
that invests invests
in creative artists in that never makes people wait outside in a long line / AAcitycity that
that leaves leaves
room for room
beautiful imperfections

creative artists / AAcity

that that me to breath me to breath / A city that cares about
remindsreminds for beautiful imperfections / Lets
Lets me sing friendslong with my friends / A
A city that cares about inclusion more than it does about growth
me sing all day long with
A place that doesn’t force me to have an annoying roommate
inclusion more than it does about growth / AAplace
place where
where I don't need toIown
a car need to place
A place that feels
that feels likelike a wild
a wild forestforest for
for me to in to run in / A place that doesn’t force
own a car / AAcity
citythat that
can feelcan
urbanfeel urban
and tranquil and
at the sametranquil
time at the same time / A place A place with plenty of
me to have an annoying roommate / AAplace
place thatmake
that doesn't doesn’t
me worrymake me worry
for my children

with plenty of jobs / AAcity

that doesn't look too shinylook too shiny / AAplace
that doesn’t place that
that doesn't doesn’t
forget about me for my children / AAcitycity that
that doesn't doesn’t
get spoiled by its ownget spoiled by its own success / A

forget about me / AAcitycity

rush hours rush hours / AAcitycity that
that reinvents reinvents
on-top on-top
of itself without losing its soul place
A thatdesigns
place that designs knowing
knowing we abilities
we all have all have thatabilities
may comethat may come and go / A
and go
of itself without losing its soul / AAcitycity that
that knows knows
the difference thegood
between difference between
friction and bad friction city
A city that will
that will always
always feel
feel like likeeven
home, home, even
if I move if I move away / A place that cares
good friction and bad friction / AAcity
homes homes that
that can move can even
anywhere, move anywhere,
on water about
A the
place that depth
cares about of
depthhuman to human
of the human relationship / A city that births new
to human relationship

even on water / AAcitycity that

that looks looksduring
like a playground like a playground during recess / A city that
recess A city that feels like a reflection of
Amovements of creativity
city that births new movements and
of creativity philosophy
and philosophy / A place that fills my lungs with
feels like a reflection of me / AAcitycity with
with robots whorobots who
clean up my room clean up my room for
for me the freshest air / AAcitycity that
A place that fills my lungs with the
freshest air
that can can
grow and still grow and still feel contentment / A city that
feel contentment A city that doesn’t force its ideals
on me

me / AAplace
place that
that always always
feels if it's 15 warm, even if it’s -15 / AAcitycity
warm, evenfeels that
that gives second,gives second,
third, and fourth chances doesn’t force its ideals on me / Where
Where my
my sister sister
doesn't have todoesn’t
struggle to get have to struggle to
into buildings

third, and fourth chances / AAplace

place that
that opens myopens my
mind to new mind to new things / AA
things get into buildings / AAcitycity
that's that’s filled
filled with the soundswith the
of laughing sounds of laughing children / A

place that feels old even though it’s a retro future city / A city that A city that place that feels old
even though it’s a retro
A place that people
that people write
write songssongs
about about / AAcity
lets melets megracefully
age more age more gracefully
future city
believes in the value of a weekday siesta / AAcitycity that
that has enough has
room enough
for my grandma to live withroom
us /A
A citycity
that that
brings brings me true love / AAcitycity
me true love that
that doesn't doesn’t
make everyone work so make
much everyone work
for my grandma to live with us / AAplace
place thatmake
that doesn't doesn’t make
me feel guilty megrumpy
for being feel guilty so much / AAcitycity that
that gives gives
my kids a worldly my
view ofkids
life a worldly view of life / A city that no
for being grumpy / Everything
Everything my grasp within my grasp / A place that sells
feels within feels A place that sells the best street food from all over the world
A city that how badhow
no matter the day
bad the is,
is, makesme feellucky
me feel lucky toliving
to be living there / A city
be there
the best street food from all over the world / AAcitycity that
that makes makes
my daddy smile my daddy that
A is as
city that stimulating
is as stimulating forfor my daughters
my daughters as it is foras it grandparents
their is for their grandparents / A
smile / AAcitycity thatleaves
that always always leaves
room for room
the community fornew
to create the community to create new
things A place that
place thathas more
has bikes bikes
more than cars
than cars / AAcity
citythatthat makes
makes winters winters less of a
less of a bummer
things / That
That doesn’t
doesn't need a state need a state
of emergency of together
to bring people emergency to bring people together bummer / Where
Where I see
I see mymore
my kids kids more
than than my colleagues / Where
my colleagues Where I can
I can make whatevermake
I want

/ People
People I loveI love arewalking
are within withindistance
walking distance / AAcitycity never
that never trying stops trying whatever I want / Where
Where allfriends
all my my friends want
want to come to come and visit / Where my
and visit

A citycity that for
that works works for of
all stages alllifestages of life / AAfuture
future city
city that hasthat has
charms charms
of old villages of grandma
Where has has
my grandma as many
as many friends
friends as Ias
do I do / Where I can always get a taste of my

old villages / AAcity

city that doesn’t
that doesn't try to fix everything / AAcity city
try to fix everything that lets methat lets
be anonymous when Ime be
want to be favourite pastries from the old country / Where
Where myarefeet arewarm
always warm /
Where I can always get a taste of my favourite pastries from the old country
my feet always

anonymous when I want to be / AAcity

city that
that gets gets
people off theirpeople
phones and off their
into the streets phones and Where
Where people
people look look intoother’s
into each eacheyes
more eyes screen than a screen / Where doors
than amore
into the streets / AAcitycity that
that cares cares
more more
about building aboutthan
the community building
condos the community than always
Where open
doors for
always me
open for like I’m
me like queen / Where
I’maa queen Where new new
and old and
can liveold can
together live together /
condos / AAcitycity that
that gives moregives more than it takes / AAcitycity
than it takes that
that grows grows
hometown hometown
heroes ItItworks
perfectlywellwell without
without a smartphone / A
a smartphone A city
that builds
builds character
A new approach for
inclusive growth
in in Toronto
Toronto onon March
March 2, 2, We are
We aregrateful
thethe opportunity
opportunity to to We heard lots of concerns about privacy. levels of environmental sustainability,
2019, the
2019, theweather
weather worsening
worsening all all
In 307, continuethat
continue that conversation
conversation through
through this this The approach we’ve developed is in direct pioneering a 21st-century mobility
In 307,
our our workshop
workshop space
space along along the we
the waterfront, MasterInnovation
Master Innovation and
and Development
Development Plan, a response to those conversations, vesting network, producing record numbers
watched we watched
the weather the
reports weather
with a mixture of Plan, a proposal for how the city can
proposal for how the city can transform a the control of urban data in a democratic, of affordable housing, and establishing
reports with
excitement andaworry.
mixture ofday
That excitement
we had transform
small a small
piece of piecewaterfront
the eastern of the eastern
into a independent process that would apply in a new model for urban innovation.
and worry. That day we had planned to waterfront into a global model for urban addition to existing privacy laws in Ontario
planned to unveil a series of prototypes by a global model for urban innovation. It reflects
unveil a series of prototypes by a group innovation. It reflects 18 months of input and Canada. The approach outlined in the That’s not easy.
group of Toronto-based designers on, 18 months of input from more than 21,000
of Toronto-based designers on, ironi- from more than 21,000 Torontonians; MIDP will set a standard for the world.
ironically, how to mitigate the impact of bad Torontonians; all levels of government;
cally, how to mitigate the impact of bad all levels of government; dozens of meet- Aftera ayear
After year and
and a half
a half of intensive
of intensive research,
weather and create outdoor spaces that could dozens of meetings with local experts,
weather and create outdoor spaces ings with local experts, non-profits, AAthird
thing that
that quickly
quickly became
became clearclear
was prototyping, design, and planning aboutplan-
research, prototyping, design, and
remain comfortable for more of the year. Now non-profits, and community stakeholders; and
that could remain comfortable for more and community stakeholders; and the was the importance of connecting
the importance of connecting the eastern the ning about
these diversethese
and howpieces
they fitand
the weather was striking back. We were the research, engineering, and design work of
of the year. Now the weather was striking research, engineering, and design eastern waterfront
waterfront with mass
with mass transit. That transit.
pushed us how theywe
together, fitare
proud towe are
say proud to
ready for the showdown. But we wondered if more than 100 local firms.
back. We were ready for the showdown. work of more than 100 local firms. That pushed us to think about creative
to think about creative ways to accelerate the say with confidence
confidence that theseare
that these aspirations aspira-
But wewould be able
wondered to see it.would be
if anyone ways toconstruction
accelerate and
the secure
light rail construc- tions are not merely dreams. They can
light rail financing, merely dreams. They can be achieved.
able to see it. The MIDP includes three volumes. tion and secure financing, given the be achieved.
given the scarcity of public resources.
Volume 1 takes a detailed look at the scarcity of public resources.
At p.m.the
event began
began —— outside.
outside. And planning concepts and proposed The MIDP represents our best thinking
And hundreds of Torontonians were
hundreds of Torontonians were waiting. Then operational systems. Volume 2 offers We also
We alsoheard
strongly that
that Torontonians
Torontonians felt to date on the path to creating the
waiting. Then
hundreds more hundreds more
arrived. They keptarrived.
coming. By an in-depth exploration of the urban felt that the vast majority of the
that the vast majority of the eastern east- most innovative place in the world that
the end of the day, nearly 800 peoplethe
They kept coming. By the end of from innovations, organized around key ern waterfront
waterfront shouldshould be developed
be developed by local can set a new standard for urban life
day, nearly
across 800
the city hadpeople
bravedfrom across to
the weather the
test areas like mobility and public realm. by local developers. We listened
developers. We listened and proposedand in the 21st century.
city had braved the weather to test our Volume 3 provides an explanation of proposedour
restricting restricting our role
development development
to a small
our heated pavers as they melted the ice,
heated pavers as they melted the ice, the novel partnership that we hope role to a small geographic area to prove But it is just a step in the process.
stand inside the “building Raincoats” as the geographic area to prove the feasibility of the
stand inside the “building Raincoats” as could provide a model for future the feasibility of the riskiest innovations, The plans will continue to evolve and
snow swirled outside, and experience an art riskiest innovations, then stepping back so
the snow swirled outside, and experience ambitious public-private collaborations then stepping back so others can take improve through extensive discussions
installation featuring projections of paintings others can take the lead.
an art installation featuring projections in the service of improving urban life. the lead. with the public, community stake-
by community members.
of paintings by community members. holders, and government agencies,
It hasn’t always been an easy journey Every idea and modification has been in and through the formal consultation
They had questions, ideas, experiences to to this point. And to their credit, service of the bold ambition outlined by process led by the City of Toronto.
share, and concerns to raise. They came Torontonians challenged us at every Waterfront Toronto: a groundbreaking
from all over the city, with different ages, step — and made the plan better. project that generates extraordinary We are excited and honoured by
backgrounds, and careers, but they were numbers of jobs and economic benefits the opportunity.
bound by a commitment to Toronto’s While we understood that affordable for Torontonians, while achieving new
future and a belief that it is possible housing was an important issue, as we
to make urban life better for everyone. listened it became clear that it is among
They were ready to be part of the solution the most critical. We redoubled our Sincerely,
and willing to give us a chance to prove efforts and now offer what we feel is
we were worthy of being their partner. a viable path forward for 40 percent
below-market housing, supported by
new private funding sources.
Dan Doctoroff
CEO, Sidewalk Labs
May 2019

Section A Section B
Project The Plans
Background p88


Section C Section D
Priority Outcomes The Partnership
p162 p194

Copyright @ 2019 Sidewalk Labs LLC p244

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be

reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted
in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior
MIDP Acknowledgements
consent of the publishers. p250

Section A Section C
Project Background Priority Outcomes

Part Toronto’s Waterfront:
Waterfront: A Historic
A Historic Opportunity
Opportunity for Inclusive
for Inclusive Growth Growth
p42 p42 Part 1: Striving to Meet Waterfront Toronto’s Five Priority Outcomes p164
Part 2: Seeking a “Unique Partner” to Help Set New Standards for City Building p54 Part 2: Impact Summary: Achieving the Ambitious Priority Outcomes p166
Part 3: Launching the Sidewalk Toronto Project and p66
a Robust Public Engagement Process
Section D
The Partnership
Section B
The Plans Part 1: A New Type of Partnership to Catalyze Inclusive Growth in the Digital Age p196
Part 2: Summary of the Proposed Innovation and Funding Partnership p202
Part 1: Introduction to the Plans: Geography, Role, and Innovation Approach p90 Part 3: Summary of the Financial Terms p212
Part 2: Quayside: A Complete Community and a Proving Ground for Innovation p96 Part 4: How the Proposal Reflects the Transaction Principles p222
Part 3: The River District: Creating an Innovation Ecosystem p130 A Vision of the Waterfront in 2050: A Global Model for Inclusive Growth p240
to Build on Quayside’s Impact
Part 4: Committing to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion p150
Part 5: A New Economic Engine That Drives Outsized Job Growth p156 Endnotes p244

on an Accelerated Timeline

MIDP Acknowledgements p250

Toronto’s eastern waterfront presents
Waterfront Toronto, the City of Toronto, the
governments of Ontario and Canada, and
the people of Toronto with an extraordinary
opportunity to shape the city’s future
and provide a global model for inclusive
urban growth.

three-volume Master
Master Innovation
Innovation andand
DevelopmentPlan Plan(MIDP)
proposal for how
sive proposal fortohow
realize that potential.
to realize that poten-
tial. Sidewalk
Sidewalk Labs Labs
submitssubmits thisfor
this plan plan for
consideration asas
aa work-in-progress
work-in-progress meant
meant to
to refined
be be refined by further
by further consultation.

This Overview provides a high-level summary

of these volumes and the project as a whole.

Section 34 35
Five things to know about the
Sidewalk Toronto project 4
The plan would generate an economic windfall
for Toronto, Ontario, and Canada.
Sidewalk Labs’ proposed role is designed
to support the public sector and create the
conditions for others to thrive.

its 2040 completion, the
2040 completion, the project
project would
93,000 total
93,000 total jobs
jobs (including
(including 44,000
jobs)and This
proposesa limited rolerole
a limited for for
Sidewalk LabsLabs
Sidewalk with
become a tremendous revenue source for govern- government in the lead,
with government and
in the milestones
lead, that mustthat
and milestones be met
and become a tremendous revenue source for
ment, generating $4.3 billion in annual tax revenue for each
must beproject phase.
met for eachWorking
projectwith localWorking
phase. partners,with
This Master Innovation and Development Plan All together, more than five dozen innovations would government, generating $4.3 billion in annual tax
and $14.2 billion in annual GDP. local partners,
Sidewalk Sidewalk
Labs would Labs
develop would
less than 7develop
of the
reflects the engagement of tens of thousands of be combined in a single place for the first time, revenue and $14.2 billion in annual GDP. than 7 percent
eastern waterfrontof—thetheeastern
necessary—tothe min-
Torontonians and their public officials. creating a global model for combining cutting-edge That
is nearly seven
impactpro- imum
the necessary
market toits
viability of prove the market
innovations viability
and spark of its
technology and great urban design to dramatically jected to occur
projected by by
to occur that time
that under
time more
under traditional
more innovations
growth throughand
an spark economic
innovation growth
campus, through
featuring a new an
selectedInnovation andand
Innovation Funding Partner in
Funding improve quality of life. development in the area. But the benefits go beyond innovation campus, featuring a new Google Cana-
traditional development in the area. But the benefits Google Canadian headquarters and Urban Innovation
Partner2017, Sidewalk
in October Labs
2017, has solicited
Sidewalk Labsanhas solic- dollars. Accelerating the development schedule can dian headquarters and Urban Innovation Institute.
go beyond dollars. Accelerating the development Institute.

unprecedented range of feedback
ited an unprecedented from
range of residents,
feedback from also deliver critical public transit infrastructure and
residents, researchers,
researchers, community
community leaders, leaders, and
and government schedule can
thousands also deliverhousing
of affordable critical units
years For
therest of of
rest thethe
project, Sidewalk
project, LabsLabs
Sidewalk would advise on
agencies, agencies,
including including
in-person in-person
conversations withconver-
more infrastructure and thousands of affordable housing
earlier than anticipated. innovation
advise onplanning, design,
innovation and implementation;
planning, deploy
design, and imple-
than with
21,000 more than 21,000 Torontonians.
Torontonians. units many years earlier than anticipated. limited technology
mentation; (sharing
deploy profits
limited with the (sharing
technology public sector
its with
certain the public
cases); sectorthe
and provide in certain
option tocases);
financeand pro-
The plan shows that inclusive,
Thatinput has
input profoundly
has shaped
profoundly this proposal,
shaped leading
this proposal, vide the option
sustainable growth is achievable. infrastructure like to
light railcritical infrastructure
expansion. like
Sidewalk Labs
to changes,
changes,a new focus on
including a new focus the light
would earnrail expansion.
profits Sidewalk
on real estate Labs would
development, feeearn
accelerating light rail
on accelerating extension,
light rethinking
rail extension, the way the
rethinking profits and
on real estate development, fee income,
The innovations are designed to work together income, interest on infrastructure finance if used. and
way buildings
buildings are constructed
are constructed to increase
to increase afford-
affordability, setting interest on infrastructure finance if used.
to create diverse, thriving, mixed-income
aability, settingfor
new standard a new
datastandard forgovernance
privacy and data privacy and
in cities,
and scaling backin cities,
the roleand scaling back
of Sidewalk Labs the role third
so local of InInaggregate, SidewalkLabs
aggregate, Sidewalk Labsand
canLabs so local third
realparties cantechnology
lead most pose to provide up to
parties lead most of the estate and AAnew
new factory-based
factory-based construction
process would propose to provide up$1.3 billion
to $1.3 in funding
billion and and
in funding
of the real estate and technology development. financing, which would catalyze $38 billion in invest-
development. leadto
lead tofaster
and more
more predictable
predictable projects
projects —
— financing, which would catalyze $38 billion in
unlocking billions in private funding that could be ment, primarily by third parties.
unlocking billions in private funding that could be investment, primarily by third parties.

applied towards a precedent-setting housing
applied towards a precedent-setting housing
program with 40 percent of units at below-mar-
ket rates.with
New40 percent
mobility of units —
initiatives atcombined
rates. New mobility
expansions to publicinitiatives — cycling
transit and combined with
The successful execution of the highly detailed expansions toeliminate
ture — would public transit and to
the need cycling
own a car,
plan would produce the most innovative district saving a two-person household $4,000 every year.
infrastructure — would eliminate the need to own
in the world. Advanced energy systems would help create the
a car, saving a two-person household $4,000
largest climate-positive community in North
Across nearly every dimension of urban life — every year. Advanced energy systems would help
America while keeping costs the same, or lower,
mobility, sustainability, public realm, buildings, create the largest
for residents climate-positive community in
and businesses.
and digital innovation — the plan breaks new North America while keeping costs the same, or
ground. That includes the first neighbourhood The resulting place would set a new standard for
lower, for residents and businesses.
built entirely of mass timber, dynamic streets urban life in the 21st century.
that can adapt to a neighbourhood’s changing
needs, weather mitigation systems, and a
thermal grid for heating and cooling.
The Sidewalk Toronto project would help the
eastern waterfront reach its full potential for
sustainable, inclusive growth.

Overview 36 37
Summary of the
MIDP’s three volumes
by more
more than
than 18 monthsofofpublic
18 months publicconsul- While
Whilefocusing onon
focusing Quayside,
Volume1 also explores
1 also a
tation, the MIDP proposes a comprehensive planning a larger
larger geography
geography to achieve
to achieve theambitious
the most most ambitious
consultation, the MIDP proposes a comprehensive
and partnership model that sets a new standard for quality-of-life
quality-of-life targets
targets in a in a financially
financially feasible
feasible manner.
manner. This
planning and partnership model that sets a new
urban development in the 21st century. It is a work-in- This geography
geography is identified
is identified as a 62-hectare
as a 62-hectare River
River District
standard for urban development in the 21st century.
progress meant to be refined by further consultation District consisting of five distinct neighbourhoods:
consisting of five distinct neighbourhoods: Villiers West,
a work-in- progress
a finished product.meant to be refined by Villiers West, Villiers East, Keating Channel, McCleary,
Villiers East, Keating Channel, McCleary, and Polson
further consultation — not a finished product. and Polson Quay. Volume 1 describes the role of Vil-
Quay. Volume 1 describes the role of Villiers West as a
Across three volumes, the MIDP outlines a new vision for how cities can integrate physical, digital, and
Across three volumes, the MIDP outlines a new vision liers West as a catalyst for economic development
policy innovations to produce dramatic improvements in quality of life and generate significant economic
catalyst for economic development focused on urban
for how cities can integrate physical, digital, and
opportunity. While the MIDP is meant first and foremost as a proposed plan for Toronto, it is also focused on urban innovation, and features concept
intended to provide a new urban toolkit for the digital age and to spark the imagination of cities tackling
policy innovations to produce dramatic improve- innovation, and features concept plans for the other River
the challenges of diverse, equitable, and inclusive growth around the world. plans for the other River District neighbourhoods
ments in quality of life and generate significant District neighbourhoods to demonstrate how the innovative
to demonstrate how the innovative development
economic opportunity. While the MIDP is meant first development approach initiated in Quayside and Villiers
approach initiated in Quayside and Villiers West
and foremost as a proposed plan for Toronto, it is also West would enable Waterfront Toronto, governments, and
would enable Waterfront Toronto, governments, and
intended to provide a new urban toolkit for the digital others to begin revitalizing the eastern waterfront.
others to begin revitalizing the eastern waterfront.
age and to spark the imagination of cities tackling the Volume 2: Volume 3:
challenges of diverse, equitable, and inclusive growth Together,
River District
River would
District formform
would an The Urban Innovations The Partnership
around the world. an Innovative Design and Economic Acceleration
Innovative Design and Economic Acceleration (IDEA)
Districttosubject toset
a special set ofand
Volume 2 provides greater detail on the technology, Volume
describeshow thethe
how public andand
public private sectors
private sec-
District a special of regulatory policy
design, and policy innovations that make it possible could work together
tors could to achieve
work together a set of shared
to achieve a set ofobjectives.
and to
tools policy tools
promote to promote
innovation andinnovation and accel-
accelerate development.
to address some of the toughest challenges facing Itobjectives. It includes
includes a proposal forathe
proposal for the
IDEA District toIDEA District
be led by a
The development.
vast majority of thisThe vast
area majority of
(representing this
less area
than a
Toronto at this unique moment in time across core to be administrator
public led by a public
to administrator to ensure public
ensure public accountability as well
(representing less than a third of the entire eastern
third of the entire eastern waterfront) would be developed
areas of urban life. accountability as well as a comprehensive innovation
as a comprehensive innovation strategy that involves a
waterfront) would be developed by third parties.
by third parties. Sidewalk Labs proposes a role as lead
Sidewalk Labs proposes a role as lead real estate strategy
wide arraythat involves
of third a wide array of third parties.
real estate developer (with local partners) restricted to two This
volumeincludes comprehensive
includes visions
comprehensive for mobility,
visions for
developer (with local partners) restricted to two
areas, Quayside and Villiers West, undertaken for the the public realm,
mobility, buildings
the public and
realm, housing,and
buildings sustainability, and
housing, sus- Volume 3 describes the primary roles Sidewalk Labs
areas, Quayside and Villiers West, undertaken for the
limited purpose of proving out the innovative development tainability,
digital and digital
innovation. innovation.
While these While
innovation these
plans inno-
focus on envisions playing as Innovation and Funding Partner,
limited purpose of proving out the innovative devel-
approach. Together, these areas represent just 16 percent vation plans
Toronto, focus
they also on Toronto,
represent theytoolkit
a general also represent
that could a
be including a role as lead developer of real estate
opment approach. Together, these areas represent
of the proposed IDEA District and less than 7 percent of general toolkit that could be applied in different ways
applied in different ways to other growing cities around the (with local partners) and of advanced systems (such
just 16 percent of the proposed IDEA District and less
the eastern waterfront. to other growing cities around the world.
world. as essential energy, mobility, or utility infrastructure)
than 7 percent of the eastern waterfront.
— both limited to Quayside and Villiers West; an
advisory role around innovation planning, design,
Volume 1 closeswith
1 closes withaaplan
inclusive economic
Volume 1: development capable of generating up to 93,000 and implementation; a limited role in technology
development capable of generating up to 93,000
deployment, including a proposal for the public
The Plans total jobs, $4.3 billion in tax revenues, and an esti-
total jobs, $4.3 billion in tax revenues, and an
mated $14.2 billion in annual economic output for sector to share in profits; and an optional role in

beginsbybyoutlining a proposed
outlining a proposeddevelopment
develop- estimated $14.2 billion in annual economic output
Canada across the IDEA District by 2040 — all of infrastructure financing.
plan, plan,
led led by Sidewalk
by Sidewalk Labs, forLabs, for the five-hectare
the five-hectare Quayside for Canada
which couldacross the IDEA
be delivered on aDistrict
far more byaccelerated
2040 — all
Quayside neighbourhood. This plan aims to integrate of which compared
timeline could be delivered onplace
to plans in a fartoday
moreto activate Volume
outlinesfinancial terms
financial of the
terms of proposed
the pro-
neighbourhood. This plan aims to integrate a wide range of
a wide range of urban innovations to create a truefor the waterfront. Thesecompared
efforts would help in
eastern transaction, as well asas
posed transaction, steps
as stepsimplementation,
towards imple-
urban innovations to create a true live-work community accelerated timeline to plans
live-work community for Torontonians of all incomes, waterfront become a global hub for the emerging mentation,
including including
a series a series(or
of milestones of milestones (or
“stage gates”)
Torontonians of all incomes, ages, backgrounds, and today to activate the waterfront. These efforts
ages, backgrounds, and abilities. field of urban innovation. “stage gates”)
required required
for the project for the project to advance.
to advance.
would help the eastern waterfront become a global
hub for the emerging field of urban innovation.
Overview 38 39
Project Background

Part 1 Part 2
Toronto’s Waterfront: Seeking a “Unique Partner”
A Historic Opportunity to Help Set New Standards
for Inclusive Growth for City Building
p42 p54

Part 3
Launching the
Sidewalk Toronto Project
and a Robust Public
Engagement Process

Overview 40 41
Project Background

Part 1
A Historic
Opportunity for
Inclusive Growth
Today, beyond the important Film District, the
The Ashbridges Bay For over 100 years, public officials and Today, beyond the important Film District,
Development Plan eastern waterfront is largely a storage ground
developers in Toronto have looked to the the eastern waterfront is largely a storage
Toronto’s success and growth have — one of the earliest
proposals for the eastern waterfront to help address the whose
groundremaining industrial structures
whose remaining serve
industrial as a
testament to the
asdifficulty of large-scale urban
given rise to new challenges, straining eastern waterfront,
from the Toronto
growth challenges of the day. Early last
century, they envisioned this area as a
tures serve
a testament to the diffi-
culty of large-scale urban development.
Board of Trade in
the city’s ability to live up to its values 1909 — envisioned
Ashbridges Bay as
new lakefill home for the city’s growing
industrial base.1 For a variety of reasons, As the 21st century beckoned, public
of openness and opportunity for all. an island encircled
by shipping channels
including economic timing and a lack of leaders took the first steps towards
supporting infrastructure, this original bringing the long-neglected waterfront
After a century of efforts to develop the with rail-only access.
Credit: Toronto plan for the eastern waterfront never to life. This effort began as part of an
Public Library
eastern waterfront as a growth outlet, lived up to its lofty expectations. Olympics bid, with the bid committees
strategically locating many proposed

the moment is finally right to realize its After World

from away
II, Toronto’s economy
II, Toronto’s
from manufacturing
— as was the— as in
venues along the waterfront.2 Although
the Olympics never materialized, the
potential and show the way forward for wascities
many the case in North
across manyAmerica
cities across North
— leaving the waterfront’s economic potential became
America — leavingareas
the waterfront’s a focal point of Toronto’s civic imagina-
inclusive urban development. waterfront’s
of decline and
to enter a long
enter aTowards
long period
the of tion, and a new resolve emerged from all

close of theand
decline 20thneglect.
Toronto’sthe close
waterfront three orders of government to revitalize
of the 20th century, Toronto’s waterfront the waterfront.3
remained underutilized and in need of the
remained underutilized and in need of
critical infrastructure necessary for a
the critical infrastructure necessary for This renewed focus ultimately led to the
post-industrial revival, but there was no single
a post-industrial revival, but there was no creation of Waterfront Toronto — a public
entity tasked with creating a cohesive vision for
single entity tasked with creating a cohe- corporation established in 2001 by the
the waterfront’s future.
sive vision for the waterfront’s future. Government of Canada, the Province of
Ontario, and the City of Toronto.

Section A 42 43
Waterfront Toronto:
Born to raise the bar
on urban development
threeorders of government
orders formed
of government formed Over the years, Waterfront Toronto has
Waterfront Toronto
Toronto to unlock
to unlock the social
the social and made important progress, reviving the
and economic
economic potentialpotential of the waterfront
of the waterfront by using waterfront through new approaches
by using
best best
practices in practices in urban
urban planning planning
and innovative to urban design, prioritization of the
and innovative
development development
approaches — and approaches
to advance public realm, and the delivery of critical
— and to advance core public priorities,
core public priorities, such as economic infrastructure.
such as economic opportunity, sustain-
opportunity, sustainability, and affordable
ability, and affordable housing. Waterfront Toronto has guided roughly
2.5 million square feet of development
proponent of of
community-led change, (completed or planned) and leveraged
Waterfront Toronto
change, Waterfront
Waterfront Toronto wasToronto wasto
established estab-
work initial government funding to spur
has overseen the
transformation of lished
with the to workofwith
people the people
Toronto to makeofsure
Toronto $4.1 billion in economic output for the
nearly 100 hectares to make sure waterfront development Canadian economy.4 The agency’s
waterfront development serves their needs.
of waterfront.
Its their
mission needs.
includes theIts missionobjectives:
following includes achievements also include attracting a
the following objectives: privately funded fibre-optic gigabit net-
work, leading the creation of new public
aerialview of of
view Reconnecting the city with the transit corridors and active streets, guid-
Toronto’s waterfront
waterfront water’s edge as a place that belongs ing over 36 hectares of parks and public
from circa 1933, look-
from circa 1933, looking
ing east towards the to every Torontonian spaces, and helping secure roughly 600
east towards the Port
Port Lands, shows units of affordable housing (completed
Lands, shows the
the industrial area Creating not just new buildings but
or nearing completion).5
created area created
by filling new neighbourhoods where people
in filling
by Ashbridges Bay
in Ashbridges can live, work, and thrive
marsh. Credit: City The waterfront revitalization area under
Bay marsh. Credit: City
of Toronto Archives
of Toronto Archives
Catalyzing economic activity in Waterfront Toronto’s scope is 800 hect-
emerging areas, such as technology ares, and to date, the agency has
overseen the transformation of nearly
Pursuing groundbreaking solutions
100 hectares of waterfront lands.6
to some of Toronto’s most pressing
issues: urban sprawl, affordable
housing, climate change, mobility,
and economic growth

Section A Project Background 44 45

A view of the Credit: DroneBoy

eastern waterfront today

Section Project Background 46 47

Corktown Common
Waterfront Toronto case studies Credit:
Waterfront Toronto
A track record
of progress

Since its inception in 2001, Waterfront West Don Lands. Located in the elbow
Toronto has made important progress where the Don Valley Parkway meets the
revitalizing the city’s waterfront. Gardiner Expressway, the West Don Lands
Some of its key projects include:7 was, by the late 20th century, an aban-
doned and flood-prone industrial area.
Corktown Common. Located at the A two-year public consultation process
southeasternmost corner of the West resulted in a 2005 precinct plan calling
Don Lands, Corktown Common serves for a forward-thinking mix of residential
the role of neighbourhood centrepiece: and commercial spaces, an abundance
a 7.3-hectare public park that includes of park space, and a higher standard for
a playground, splash pad, play field, and green buildings found in few other parts Queens Quay West
firepit, situated in naturalized environ- of Toronto. Following extensive flood-re- Credit:
Waterfront Toronto
ments such as marshlands and prairies. mediation efforts, the first developments
The park’s unique features include its were completed prior to the Pan Ameri-
position atop a landform that protects can games in 2015, which catalyzed more
over 200 hectares from flooding. In addi- recent development and the growth of
tion to serving as an important commu- the area known as the Canary District,
nity asset, the award-winning project has today home to the George Brown Col-
been widely recognized, including as a lege student residence and a new YMCA
recipient of the Federation of Canadian facility. The West Don Lands project,
Municipalities Sustainable Communities which now includes nearly 500 afford-
Award for Neighbourhood Development able housing units, has received a num-
in 2014.8 ber of awards, including the Urban Land
Institute’s Global Award of Excellence
QueensQuay West.
Quay The waterfront’s
West. primary
The waterfront’s in 2017/18.9
primarystreet, Queens street,
east-west Quay West underwent
Queens Quaya
decade-long transformation,
West underwent beginning in 2006
a decade-long with a
transfor- Other
Otherkey projects
key include
projects the Intelligent
include the Intelligent West Don Lands
successful pilot project to reconfigure the street for Credit:
mation, beginning in 2006 with a suc- Community
Community initiatives and and
initiatives partnership with
more pedestrian and cycling traffic. The revitalization Waterfront Toronto
cessful pilot project to reconfigure the with telecommunications
telecommunications provider to
provider Beanfield Bean-
enabled easier access to the water, added a
street for more pedestrian and cycling field toinnovation
promote promote innovation and digital
and digital inclusion;
double-row of new trees, eliminated elevated curbs,
traffic. The revitalization enabled easier inclusion; construction
construction of the
of the unique and unique
popular and
increased the public realm with a wide granite
access to
pedestrian the water,
promenade, andadded
added aanew
stretch of popular
Rees, and Spadina, Rees,Deck
Simcoe Wave- and Simcoe Wave-
of Martin
the new trees, eliminated
Goodman elevated
Trail — altogether curbs,
making Deckthe
along boardwalks along
shoreline; the the shoreline;
redevelopment the
of the
Queens Quay the public
Toronto’s firstrealm with
“complete a wide
street.” redevelopment of the Harbourfront Cen-
Harbourfront Centre surface parking lot at York
granite pedestrian promenade, and tre surface parking lot at York Quay into
Quay into underground parking, the Ontario
added a new stretch of the Martin Good- underground parking, the Ontario Square
Square plaza, and the public art installation
man Trail — altogether making Queens plaza, and the public art installation Light
Light Cascade; and the revitalization of Harbour
Quay Toronto’s first “complete street.” Cascade; and the revitalization of Harbour
Square Park and the Jack Layton Ferry
Square Park and the Jack Layton Ferry
Terminal at the foot of Bay Street.
Terminal at the foot of Bay Street.

Section A Project Background 48 49

A vision for unlocking the
eastern waterfront’s potential

In the past few years, development In 2017, Waterfront Toronto took a key
has marched towards the eastern step towards unlocking the eastern
waterfront: an area of more than 300 waterfront by securing an extraordinary
hectares just southeast of downtown,
$1.25 billion investment in flood mitiga-
including a five-hectare parcel called tion from all three levels of government.
Quayside that serves as a connection By rerouting the Don River, this flood-mit-
point to the city centre. igation project will result in the creation of
a new area for development called Villiers
The eastern waterfront represents the Island, which will feature 16 hectares of
city’s last great frontier for downtown interconnected parkland along its renatu-
growth and the largest underdeveloped ralized banks and beyond.12
parcel of urban land in North America,
extending around the inner harbour and When approaching the revitalization of
encompassing the industrial areas sur- this critical growth outlet, Waterfront
rounding Parliament Slip, the mouth of Toronto could have used a traditional
the Don River, the Ship Channel, and the model: bidding out a series of develop-
Turning Basin.11 ment parcels, with market-rate condos
dominating the mix. But several emerg- Map
ing trends rightly led Waterfront Toronto
Quayside and the Toronto’s eastern waterfront occupies some
300 hectares of the 800-hectare Designated

eastern waterfront Waterfront Area just southeast of downtown,

with the five-hectare Quayside area serving as

within the Designated a connection point to the city centre.

“Toronto’s eastern waterfront, with more than Waterfront Area

300 hectares (750 acres) of land subject to future
revitalization, presents a unique opportunity to choose a different path — one more population foreign-born.13 This openness

for governments, private enterprise, technology focused on helping the city address its
population growth challenges.
has led people and companies to flock to
the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), which is
providers, investors and academic institutions to projected to add 2.8 million people by 2041,

collaborate on these critical challenges and create Toronto’s success is threatening

its inclusivity.
including nearly 1 million new residents
within Toronto city limits.14 It has top aca-
a new global benchmark for sustainable, inclusive Toronto is rapidly becoming one of the demic institutions, a rich legacy of urban
world’s most popular and productive cities. planning, and a booming tech sector —
and accessible urban development.” the fourth-largest in North America.15
The city boasts an exceptionally diverse
Waterfront Toronto RFP No. 2017-13 (March 17, 2017)
population thanks to its welcoming But like a lot of global urban centres,
immigration policies, with nearly half its Toronto is becoming a victim of its own

Section A Project Background 50 51

success. As the city continues to
success. As the city continues to grow, warming, communities must remove
Toronto’s fading middle-income
grow, Toronto
Toronto has become
has become less andless
less and
able carbon from the environment, and do so neighbourhoods
lesstoable to provide
provide the opportunities
the opportunities that pow- in an affordable way.

thatered this growth in the first place.

powered this growth in the first Since
ofthese problems have disproportionate becomeincreasingly
increasingly segregated
The result is a widening gap between
place. The result is a widening gap
these problems have dispropor-
become segregated by by income,
income, with
Toronto’s deep commitment to diversity tionateon
impacts impacts onvulnerable
the most the mostpopulations
between Toronto’s
and inclusion deep
and the commitment
city’s capacity
with wealthy
wealthy areas downtown,
areas downtown, low-income
low-income areas
inpopulations in urban communities.
urban communities.
for inclusive
to diversity andgrowth.
inclusion and the city’s
areas forced to the edges, and middle-income
forced to the edges, and middle-income pockets
Recognizing the need for a new type pockets that continue to shrink.
capacity for inclusive growth.
This gap is widest when it comes to of development. that continue to shrink.
finding an affordable place to live. Given this complex set of urban chal-
Home prices in the GTA have more than lenges — starting with affordability and High-income
doubled since 2006, far outpacing extending to sustainability, inclusivity,
earnings.16 Rental prices have ballooned economic opportunity, and mobility — 1970
as well.17 The high demand for urban Toronto is the perfect place to demon-
living has created a geographic disparity strate forward-thinking planning and
known locally as the “Three Cities”: drive the future of urban development in Low-income
Toronto’s neighbourhoods are increas- the digital age.
ingly segregated by income, with wealthy

Key Term
areas downtown, low-income areas In
In spring
spring 2017, WaterfrontToronto
2017, Waterfront Torontoissued
forced to the edges, and middle-income a Request
issued for Proposals
a Request (RFP) for(RFP)
for Proposals an Inno-
RFP No. pockets that continue to shrink.18 vation and Funding Partner that identi-
for an Innovation and Funding Partner
2017-13 fied the eastern waterfront as a “unique
that identified the eastern waterfront as a
Waterfront Toronto As households move farther from job opportunity for governments, private
issued this Request
centres, traffic congestion has steadily “unique opportunity
enterprise, for providers,
technology governments,
for Proposals in
increased, with Toronto now having the private
tors andenterprise,
institutions providers,
to collab-
March 2017 to find
an “Innovation and second-longest average commute time orate on these critical challenges and
investors and academic institutions to
Funding Partner.”
among North American cities, according create a new global benchmark for
collaborate on these critical challenges
to a recent study by the Toronto Region sustainable, inclusive and accessible
and create a new global benchmark for
Board of Trade.19 Rapid transit infrastruc- urban development.”
ture has struggled to keep pace with sustainable, inclusive and accessible Note
growth. The vast majority of households urban
RFP was
recognitionthat more
that of the
more of individual
tract, or neighbourhood, com-
across the city own a car, as do nearly the same development would nobelonger tract, or neighbourhood,
same development would no longer pared to the Toronto Census
compared to the Toronto Census
half of households downtown,20 despite be sufficient
sufficient for inclusive
for inclusive growth,growth,
given thegiven Metropolitan Area (CMA) aver-
age, which wasArea$5,756
(CMA)in 1970,
the high financial cost — let alone other the severity
severity of Toronto’s
of Toronto’s urban chal-
urban challenges. $28,980 which
average, in 1995, and
was $50,479
$5,756 in in
costs of safety, productivity lost to traffic, lenges. Traditional
Traditional development development — levels
— with its low with 2015. Middle-income neigh-
1970, $28,980 in 1995, and
and pollution. ofits low levels of
affordability, affordability,
lack lacklack
of public realm, of public
bourhoods refer to average
$50,479 in 2015. Middle-income
individual incomes that are
realm, lack of commercial space — would
commercial space — would not help neighbourhoods
20 percent above refer
or to average
Addtotothese challenges
these thethe
challenges urgency of climate
urgency of not help meaningfully address emerging individual
the CMA incomes
or atare 20
change. change.
same The same development
development patterns
meaningfully address emerging challenges
challenges around sustainability, inclu-
around sustainability, inclusion, economic
percent of CMA. High-income
percent above or below the CMA
refers to 120 percent and
pushing pushing
families families
to the fringestoare
odds with sion, economic opportunity, and mobility. average, or at 80-120 percent of
opportunity, and mobility. above; low-income refers to
the at odds withurban
of dense the type of dense urban
neighbourhoods that CMA. High-income
less than refers to 120
80 percent.
neighbourhoods percent and above; low-income
increase sustainablethat increase
living. Merely sustain-
cutting Instead, these types of trends would
refers Statistics
to less than 80Canada
energy use is no longer enough — to use
able living. Merely cutting energy make is ano require a different path with a different
Census Profile Series 1971,
longer enough — to make a dent in global partner: one that could help devise, 1996, 2016; analysis by J. David
dent in global
finance, and implement a bold vision of Hulchanski, Neighbourhood
Change Research Partnership.
urban progress for the eastern waterfront.

Section A Project Background 52 53

Project Background

“Waterfront Toronto is seeking a unique

Part 2 partner, one with invention ingrained
in its culture, which can transform
Seeking a “Unique conventional business practices and
help to establish a benchmark climate
Partner” to Help positive approach that will lead the
world in city building practices.”
Set New Standards Waterfront Toronto RFP No. 2017-13 (March 17, 2017)

for City Building The RFP sought proposals for achieving a Developing “a new partnership
series of objectives that went far beyond model that ensures a solid

Waterfront Toronto’s RFP sought an Innovation and Funding Partner to help narrow economic goals.21 financial foundation, manages
Waterfront Toronto’s RFP sought an
advance a new model of urban development that used emerging capabilities to
financial risk and secures

help tackle the toughestand Funding
urban growth challenges.Partner to help
After a global competition,
to help achieve
Specifically, the RFP soughta apartner
achieve aa series
revenue that funds future phases
of waterfront revitalization”

advance a new model of urban develop-

Waterfront Toronto selected Sidewalk Labs as this partner, given the company’s
unique mission to integrate urban planning, technology, and policy to radically
high-level objectives” around sustain-
high-level objectives” around
ability, inclusion, economic development, Achieving
Achievingany single
anyone of theseone
single objectives would be
of these difficult.
improve that
quality of life used
for all. emerging capabilities to sustainability, inclusion, economic
and financial feasibility. These objectives
development, and financial feasibility.
Achieving them all in one comprehensive project is a challenge
tives would be difficult. Achieving them all
that has eluded large-scale developments in high-demand cities
included: in onethe comprehensive project is a chal-
help tackle the toughest urban growth These objectives included:
around world.
lenge that has eluded large-scale devel-

challenges. After a global competition, Creating “a globally significant

demonstration project that
opments in high-demand cities around
the world.

Waterfront Toronto selected Sidewalk advances a new market model

for climate-positive urban For that reason, the RFP recognized
Labs as this partner, given the company’s developments” the need for this project to become a
model for others: a “globally-significant
unique mission to integrate urban plan- Establishing “a complete community
that emphasizes quality of place, and
community that will showcase advanced

ning, technology, and policy to radically provides a range of housing types

technologies, building materials,
sustainable practices and innovative
for families of all sizes and income
improve quality of life for all. levels within a robust mix of uses”
business models.”

Providing “a testbed for Canada’s

cleantech, building materials and
broader innovation-driven sectors
to support their growth and
competitiveness in global markets”

Section A 54 55
The RFP also recognized the potential The
The RFP wasaarecognition
RFP was recognitionthat
today’s A new set of capabilities
has emerged to address
challenges of realizing all these goals in developers can
developers can do
do far
far more
more to
to improve
a neighbourhood the size of Quayside, urban life using new digital and design
urban life using new digital and design

urban challenges
including a requirement for respondents innovations, seeking out a partner with
to describe their “ability and readiness
innovations, seeking out a partner with
“invention ingrained in its culture” to help
to take the concepts and solutions “invention
transformingrained in its
conventional culture” to to
deployed on Quayside to scale in future help transform
urban conventional
development. The RFP also iden-
phases of waterfront revitalization.” tified the need
approaches for “new
to urban and innovative
development. The
To fully realize key objectives, the RFP partnerships, funding and investment
RFP also identified the need for “new Waterfront Toronto’s RFP emerged at a While
everycity faces
city these
faces problems
these in its
noted that “it may be beneficial to models” in an era of “constrained” gov-
and innovative partnerships, funding moment when technology has advanced in its
own ownthe
way, way, the symptoms
symptoms are con-
are consistent:
advance the solutions, processes and ernment resources.
and investment models” in an era of enough to make genuine breakthroughs sistent:
places places
that that
are less are less
livable, livable, and
partnerships proven successful through
on tough urban challenges, if applied with affordable,—and
sustainable withsustainable
fewer chances — with fewer
for the
the Project to subsequent developments “constrained”
Thus,the government
theInnovation and
Innovation resources.
and Partner
Funding Partner
the right level of thought and care. chancesdiversity
broadest for the of
to thrive.of
on the eastern waterfront.” wouldserve
would serve
asas more
more than
than thethe developer
developer of
residents to thrive.
of Quayside,
Quayside, but abut a partner
partner toalongside
to work work along-
havealways been
always been humanity’s greatest
Insteadofofa amore
moretraditional plan,
traditional which
plan, which side Waterfront
Waterfront TorontoToronto to conceive
to conceive anda
and execute
engines of engines of opportunity,
opportunity, invention, andinven- As
challengesrise, so so
rise, tootoo
might lead mainly
mainly to to condo
condo towers,
towers, the RFP execute a forward-looking
forward-looking vision for the
vision for the eastern tion, and community
community through theirthrough
ability to their ability
connect so the opportunity
opportunity to address
to address them
them using using
the RFP
sought to sought to forge
forge a new a new
model for a model
complete, eastern waterfront
waterfront — a partner—with
a partner
the rightwith
of to connect
many diverseso many
people indiverse
the same people
But emerging
digital digital and
and physical physicalincluding
capabilities, capabilities,
for a complete,
mixed-use mixed-use
community, community,
with outsized levels of right level of ambition, innovation exper-
ambition, innovation expertise, and financial the same place. But they moment
have reached
with outsized levels of affordable they have reached a pivotal in theira including connectivity,
ubiquitous ubiquitous connectivity, arti-
artificial intelligence,
affordable and below-market housing.and
Rather tise, and financial resources.
resources. pivotal moment
development. The in their development.
quality-of-life challengesThe ficial
and intelligence,
sensing and
tools, as wellsensing
as new tools,
than looking to Quayside for incrementallook-
below-market housing. Rather than
quality-of-life challenges facing Toronto well as new design and fabrication tech-
ing to Quayside for incremental improve- Several local and international firms facing Toronto are being experienced by fabrication techniques, including the use of
improvements over past development, the are being experienced by rapidly growing niques, including the use of robotics.
ments over past development, the RFP submitted responses to Waterfront rapidly growing metros around the globe, from robotics.
RFP sought to use the area as a metros around the globe, from New York
sought to use the area as a demonstra- Toronto’s RFP, describing their vision, New York to San Francisco to London and
demonstration for how advances in to San Francisco to London and beyond. This
capabilitiesrepresents a fourth
represents a
tion for how advances in technology and team strength and experience, and beyond.
technology and design can yield substantial fourth
urban urban technological
technological revolution
revolution of the modernof
design can yield substantial improve- financial capacity. Following a rigorous
improvements in quality of life for residents, Income inequality is growing, with more the potentially
era, modern era, potentially
every every bit as
bit as transformative for
ments in quality of life for residents, visi- evaluation process, Waterfront Toronto
visitors, and workers. And instead of seeking and more households unable to afford transformative
cities as the steamfor citieselectric
engine, as the grid,
steam or
tors, and workers. And instead of seeking selected Sidewalk Labs as Innovation
modest sustainability gains, the RFP sought homes near their jobs.22 Commuters engine, electric
automobile before grid,
it. Butorasautomobile before
the history of
modest sustainability gains, the RFP and Funding Partner.
an extraordinarily ambitious goal: a spend hours a day trapped in traffic con- it. Butprior
those as the history shows,
revolutions of those prior revo-
innovation can
sought an extraordinarily ambitious goal:
climate-positive community. gestion. Energy consumption must get lutions shows, innovation can have great
a climate-positive community. have great social benefits or significant
leaner and cleaner to protect the environ- social benefits or significant drawbacks
drawbacks depending on how thoughtfully it is
ment. Downtown neighbourhoods with depending on how thoughtfully it is incor-
incorporated into urban life.
limited developable space are squeezed porated into urban life.
for parks, open spaces, schools, health
services, and community centres. The
proliferation of data and digital devices
To fully realize key objectives, in cities has left people rightly concerned

the RFP noted the potential about their privacy.

need to scale new solutions

“to subsequent developments
on the eastern waterfront.”

Section A Project Background 56 57

new jobnew
gave riserise
gave to industry
to industry
but it led to
The lesson from history, as well as from What makes Sidewalk Labs
a unique Innovation and
and brought job opportunities, but the recent smart cities movement, is
terrible smog
it led to and poor
terrible smog work
poor work clear: technology is not a quick fix for

Funding Partner
Electricity Electricity
brought brought
cities 24/7 cities
activity, elevators, complicated urban challenges. Instead,
and activity, elevators,
skyscrapers, and skyscrapers,
but it furthered reliance on new advances must be incorporated into
but itfuels.
fossil furthered reliance on
The automobile fossil
it easier the city with great care to improve urban
get automobile
people made
and goods it easier
in and out of to get but
cities, peo-
it life, not undermine it.
ple and goods
generated in and
enormous out of cities,
congestion and led but it
generated enormous congestion and led But
Butinfusing new
infusing capabilities
new into into
capabilities the urban
households to leave cities for the suburbs. Sidewalk
Sidewalk Labs is an
Labs is anAlphabet
company Following
formation, Sidewalk
formation, LabsLabs
Sidewalk entered
households to leave cities for the suburbs. environment is hard. Cities are complex
urban environment is hard. Cities are places.
(and a sibling
sibling company
company of Google)
of Google) aentered
period ofaintensive
period ofresearch andresearch
The technologists
complex places.who
Theproduce ambitious
technologists who
founded in 2015 for the very purpose of development. This work
and development. involved
This consulting
work involved
Applying new technology to cities in producedoambitious
solutions not speak solutions
the same do not speak
language as founded in 2015 for the very purpose of
delivering dramatic improvements in consulting
outside outside
experts experts
from around thefrom
to advise
a thoughtful way is difficult. the
the same language
urbanists who mustas the
find urbanists
ways who
to implement delivering dramatic improvements in
urban life — on the belief that tackling the
on theworld toof
impact advise on the
technology onimpact of tech-
urban life;
The urban technologies emerging today must
them infind ways to
the public implement
interest — an them in the urban
theselife — on the
challenges is belief that
possible tackling
with careful nology on
evaluating urban life;
hundreds evaluating
of emerging hundreds
face an inflection point. public interest — an divide.
“urbanist-technologist” “urbanist-technolo-
These two these challenges
integration is possible
of emerging with careful
innovations and of emerging
innovations, urban
from innovations,
self-driving from
vehicles to new
gist” divide.
groups These
have very two groups
different have
tolerances forvery
Self-driving vehicles have
vehicles the the
have potential to to
potential different tolerances for risk, different
integration ofurban
people-first emerging innovations
design. and
To fulfill that self-driving vehicles to new fabrication
fabrication techniques to clean energy systems;
different requirements for transparency, and mandate, Sidewalk Labs assembled a techniques to clean energy systems;
make city streets
city dramatically
streets safer,safer,
dramatically but only
butif requirements for transparency, and dif- people-first urban design. To fulfill that reviewing 50 years of precedents for innovation
different expectations for how long it should unique team from across the worlds of reviewing 50 years of precedents for
if theyfollow
rules of the
the road.of the
rules ferent expectations for how long it should mandate, Sidewalk Labs assembled a districts or “smart city” initiatives; and creating
take to get things done. urban planning, urban development, and innovation districts or “smart city” ini-
road. Factory-based
Factory-based construction
construction can
can meaningfully take to get things done. unique team from across the worlds of the framework for planning a large-scale district
digital technology. tiatives; and creating the framework for
improve housingimprove housing
affordability afford-
and accelerate with innovation built into its foundation.
urban planning, urban development, and planning a large-scale district with inno-
ability and accelerate
development, development,
but these savings but
must support That is why no single city stands as a new
This technology.
diverse team
teamshares a set
shares of beliefs
a set and
of beliefs vation built into its foundation.
these savings
below-market must programs
housing support below-mar-
and robust model for a brighter urban future.
founding principles
and founding about what
principles makes
about whatcities
ket housing
public policies programs and
to reach their fullrobust
Digital great
makes(see sidebar
cities on (see
great Pagesidebar
60), withon
a Page Sidewalk
Sidewalk Labs undertook feasibility
Labs undertook feasibility stud-
policies to reach their full benefit. Digital
connectivity can expand job opportunities and 60), withmission
a company mission “to combine iesbased
on this
this concept
connectivity can expand job opportu-
company “to combine forward-thinking ies concept with
with several
encourage innovation, but it must come with a forward-thinking
urban urban design
design and cutting-edge and cut-
technology to key assumptions. The district would have
nities and encourage innovation, but it key assumptions. The district would
process that protects privacy and the public ting-edge
radically technology
improve to radically
urban life.” The teamimprove
also to be socio-economically diverse, closely
must come with a process that protects
have to be socio-economically diverse,
formed The
set of team also
founding formed
objectives, allaworking
set of connected to the surrounding metropol-
privacy and the public good. closely connected to the surrounding
towards theobjectives, all working
goal of creating a districttowards
that could itan area, and of sufficient scale to sup-
the goal of creating a district that could metropolitan area, and of
port key infrastructure sufficient scale
set a new standard for urban life:
set a new standard for urban life: to support key infrastructure systems.

The four urban tech Enable a meaningfully superior

quality of life for a diverse population

revolutions Establish the world’s most innovative

urban district

Attract and sustain a diverse

21st-century economy, including a
cluster focused on urban innovation

Create a replicable model that can

1 1. Early19th
Early 19thcentury
century 2 2. Late19th
Late 19thcentury
century 3 3. Early20th
Early 20thcentury
century 4 4. Early
Early 21st
21st century be implemented around the world
Steam engine
Steam engine Electricity
Electricity Automobile
Automobile Digital
century Digital
Provide financial viability for
long-term investors

Section A Project Background 58 59

Company spotlight
onthis analysis,
this Sidewalk
analysis, Labs
Sidewalk Labs Three capabilities unique Collectively, this team has worked on

Sidewalk Labs’ concluded

concluded that
that it could
it could achieve
achieve all founding
all five five
to Sidewalk Labs
numerous innovative projects in large
foundingand objectives
create aand create a funda- cities around the world. These efforts
founding principles objectives
vibrant, more
and livable,
anda afford-
place: district Several attributes make Sidewalk
Several attributes SidewalkLabs
Labs include several major initiatives in New
that place: a district
significantly reducesthat
of living while theideal
the ideal partner
partner for
for delivering
delivering an
an urban
urban York City, including:
reduces cost of living while
providing better housing options providing
(in particular project to match the ambitions of Water-
Cities are about people. Whenever we improve project to match the ambitions of
better housing options (in particular for front Toronto and the three levels of gov- The transformation of Manhattan’s
the human experience, we improve the city. for families), cuts greenhouse gas emissions
families), cuts greenhouse gas emissions
Waterfront Toronto and the three levels
ernment it represents. These include a Far West Side, unlocked by the
Whenever we ignore it, we make things worse. by at least two-thirds, and gives people back at
by at least two-thirds, and gives people of government
novel approachitto
innovation These
drawn from innovative financing approach that
least an hour of time every day thanks to better
Interactions. back at least an hour of time every day include a novel approach
an interdisciplinary tourbanists
team of innovation sparked the city’s first subway
Cities serve people by fostering interactions,
transportation options and live-work
thanks to better transportation options and technologists,
drawn the benefits of
from an interdisciplinary long-
team of expansion in 25 years
both planned and unplanned, among individu- neighbourhoods leading to shorter commutes.
and live-work neighbourhoods leading to term thinking possible with patient cap-
als, their ideas, and their creations. Whenever urbanists and technologists, the benefits The redevelopment of an unused
shorter commutes. ital, and the ability to catalyze economic
cities are divided — by wealth, race, or any of long- term thinking possible with elevated freight track into the
other factor — their people suffer.
patient capital, and the ability to catalyze celebrated High Line park
thetime Waterfront
time Toronto
Waterfront issued
Toronto its
economic development.

Opportunity. its RFP
RFP seeking
seeking an Innovation
an Innovation and Fund-
and Funding The design of the pioneering
Cities are engines of opportunity. They are the ing Partner
Partner in spring
in spring 2017, Sidewalk
2017, Sidewalk Labs
Labs had sustainability plan called PlaNYC
most effective tool humanity has for lifting had spent more
spent more than a than a year creating
year creating this visionthis The creation or preservation of
people out of poverty, and for enjoying a high
and and searching
searching the worldthe world
for the for
right the to
quality of life without destroying our planet. 165,000 units of affordable housing
bring to bring it to life. An interdisciplinary approach to across the city
Community. urban innovation.
Toronto — with its devotion to inclusive The development of Cornell Tech,
The inherent power of cities is that they are
missionof radically
of radically
shared, which can help everyone realize growth, the challenges it faced, the a sustainable academic campus
improvingurban lifelife
urban for for
all, all,
Sidewalk LabsLabs
Sidewalk has focused on technology and
greater benefits. Cities are ecosystems where opportunity along the waterfront, and
people can connect with each other, influence developed a cross-disciplinary
has developed team thatteam
a cross-disciplinary entrepreneurship
Waterfront Toronto’s shared belief in
their environment, and contribute to commu- that fundamentally
fundamentally differentiates
differentiates it from
it from a traditional
creating something so much greater The launch of Google’s first
nity well-being. a traditionalpartner,
development development
leading draw-
than a traditional real estate project — engineering office outside Silicon
ing leading professionals
professionals from
from the diverse the diverse
was the perfect match. Valley, helping to jumpstart New York
necessary tonecessary to plan
plan and execute a and execute
project of this
Cities thrive when they are able to evolve to
a project of this scope and magnitude, City’s now booming tech ecosystem
meet the diverse and changing needs of their scope and magnitude, including urban
including urban planning, digital technol-
residents, workers, and visitors. planning, digital technology, policy,
ogy, policy, architecture, engineering, real Sidewalk
Labsalso has
also established
has a a sig-
architecture, engineering, real estate
estate development, and finance. nificant Toronto
significant Toronto presence, withmore
presence, with more than
development, and finance. 30employees
employees working
Openness to people from all backgrounds and 30 working outout
of aof a new
new office
office and
walks of life, from Indigenous people to new- Sidewalk
hasbrought together
brought former
together for- and innovation
innovation workshop
workshop called
called “307,” “307,”
which was
comers, is what keeps even the oldest cities mer public servants which was
launched launched
in 2018 in 2018
in a former in a former
public servants — many—with
many with back-in
moving forward.
grounds in city—
government — who fish-processing
plant in Quayside. plant in Quayside.
city government who are sensitive toare
issues and to urban issues
respectful and respectful
of the public sector;
Cities require coordinated actions among
of thedevelopers,
urban public sector; urbanand
architects, developers,
people, whether to manage congestion or to architects, and planners deeply familiarof
deeply familiar with the practical challenges
preserve public safety. But the most effective with the practical challenges of creat-
creating places that are both appealing and
coordination prioritizes community-led innova- ing places that are both appealing and
affordable; and some of the most innovative
tion rather than prescribing solutions. affordable; and some of the most inno-
thinkers, specifically technologists sensitive to
vative thinkers, specifically technologists
urban issues.
sensitive to urban issues.

Section A Project Background 60 61

con- This
an an abandoned
abandoned elevated on Roosevelt
Roosevelt IslandIsland
elevated rail line into was transformed into
rail line into an transformed into Cornell
an internationally ac- Cornell Tech, a tech-
claimed park acclaimed
that has Tech, a technology
nology campus that
park that has
spurred spurred a
a dramatic campus
set new that set new
dramatic resurgence
economic sustainability and
standards has
in surrounding
resurgence in neigh- helped catalyze New
and has helped catalyze
bourhoods. Credit: York’s tech ecosys-
surrounding New York’s tech
Sidewalk Labs tem. Credit:
neighbourhoods. Credit: ecosystem. Credit:
Sidewalk Labs
Sidewalk Labs Sidewalk Labs

“value The
capture” financing
financing reimagined
reimagined thethe area
approach enabled beneath the Gardin-
approach enabled the beneath the Gardiner
the extension of the er Expressway as a
extension of the
7 train into the7new
train Expressway as aspace
vibrant public vibrant
into the new
Hudson Hudson
Yards devel- public space connecting
connecting multiple
opment on Manhat-
Yards development on neighbourhoods and
multiple neighbourhoods
tan’s Far West Side, offering an exhila-
Manhattan’s Far West and offering an
New York City’s first rating entrance to
Side, New York City’s exhilarating entrance to
subway expansion Toronto’s waterfront
first subway
in 25 years. expansion Toronto’s waterfront
with creative year-with
25 years. Credit:
iStock creative year- round
round programming.
iStock Credit:
programming. Credit:
Ken Greenberg
Ken Greenberg

Toronto-based team alsoalso
team includes a mix
includes a the urban fabric to improve quality of life familiarity
familiaritywith many
with of the
many technological
of the technolog- Of
Of course, in proposing
course, in proposingaaproject
project that
Key Term,
Term Urban
mix ofservants,
civil servants, urban planners, and in cities. Much more than just the pursuit assets in development
ical assets by its sibling
in development by its sibling that includes digital technology as one
of civil urban planners, and includes digital technology as one tool
Urbanis the
Innovation technologists
technologists who
who have
have played
played a role
a role in in of isolated efficiencies associated with companies,
companies, many
many of which
of which are are highly
highly tool (among many) to help drive inno-
(among many) to help drive innovation,
integration of Toronto’sWest
Toronto’s WestDon
Don Lands
Lands and
and East
East Bay-
Bayfront “smart cities,” urban innovation requires relevant
relevant toto urban
urban innovation,
innovation, ranging
ranging from vation, questions about data collection
questions about data collection and
physical, front developments,
digital,ofand developments,
is the integration the Bentway
the Bentway parkthe
park beneath a thoughtful interdisciplinary approach from infrastructure
digital digital infrastructure and geospa-
and geospatial mapping and management are critical. Side-
physical, digital, and beneathExpressway,
the Gardiner that sits at the intersection of two of the totial mappingvehicles
to self-driving vehicles and management are critical.
walk Labs recognizes thatSidewalk
policy advances
policy advances to to
Gardiner theExpressway, the
Evergreen Brick self-driving and energy
Evergreen Brick Works site, the Eglinton
Works site, the Eglinton Crosstown rapid
defining trends of the 21st century: global energy management.
management. Labs recognizes
collected in publicthat information
space must be put to
improve urban
improve urban life.
Crosstown rapid transit line, and many urbanization and technological change. use for the
collected in greater good, protected
public space by
must be put
transit line, and many other innovative
other innovative projects. This team Critically,
Critically,this approach
this does
approach not not
does presume
pre- a transparent and independent pro-
projects. This team has also worked closely to use for the greater good, protected
has also worked closely with every pub- Sidewalk
identify sume
that that Sidewalk
Sidewalk Labs
Labs alone alone
would wouldall
develop cess and robust privacy safeguards,
with every public-sector development agency, by a transparent and independent
lic-sector development agency, including innovations
innovations that
that areare beginning
beginning to betodeployed
be develop
the all thea innovations
innovations a city
city might need. Onmight
the and made publicly accessible for any-
including CreateTO, Toronto Community process andon.
robust privacy
CreateTO, Toronto Community Housing todeployed to improve
improve life life in cities,
in cities, drawing draw-
inspiration need. On
contrary, the contrary,
Sidewalk Sidewalk
Labs aims Labs
to create the one to build
Housing Corporation, and Infrastructure safeguards, and made publicly
Corporation, and Infrastructure Ontario. ing inspiration
from fromwork
the cutting-edge the cutting-edge
being done by aimsconditions
open to createfortheongoing
open conditions
improvement for—
Ontario. work planners
urban being done
and by urban planners
designers around the and ongoing improvement
recognizing — recognizing
that the best solutions to urban accessible for anyone to build on.
Together, this team has developed a designers
world, around
as well as fromthe
theworld, as well
capabilities as
being that the best solutions to urban chal-
challenges come not from the top down but
unique approach to “urban innovation,” from the capabilities being developed lenges come not from the top down but
developed by leading technologists. As a rather from the community up.
broadly defined as the integration of by leading technologists. As a subsidi- rather from the community up.
subsidiary of Alphabet, Sidewalk Labs has
physical, digital, and policy advances into ary of Alphabet, Sidewalk Labs has close

Section A Project Background 62 63

Access to patient capital that enables
a long-term vision.
Alphabet has a demonstrated commitment to taking a long-term view of investing,
Alphabet has a demonstrated commit-
where warranted. To take just one example, the Alphabet company Waymo,
ment to taking a long-term view of invest-
which focuses on self-driving vehicle technology, has been patiently developing its
An uncommon ability to catalyze
economic development.
A Sidewalk Labs study of several U.S.
cities found that Google’s arrival cor-
work for more than a decade, and has now completed millions of miles of test
A second factor that makes Sidewalk ing, where warranted. To take just one A third aspect related with an increase in office value in
driving. Labs unique is that makes
its ability toSidewalk
leverage its
Labs unique is that, as a subsidiary of example, the Alphabet company Waymo, Labs unique is its ability to leverage its the area, as well as an uptick in the local
approach to urban innovation as well as
Alphabet, it has an ability to invest in which focuses on self-driving vehicle approach to urban innovation as well as retail and residential inventory of 20 to 108
long-term projects. technology, has been patiently develop-
its relationship with Alphabet to create
its relationship with Alphabet to create percent, above and beyond the growth
ing its work for more than a decade, jobs
new industries that lead
industries that lead to
to inclu- exhibited in each city’s central business
Sidewalk Labs is a for-profit but mission- and has now completed millions of miles inclusive economic
sive economic growth
growth — recognizing
— recognizing that district.23 In Chicago, for example, the
driven company backed by Alphabet’s of test driving. thisthis
that approach must
approach benefit
must everyone
benefit by
everyone Fulton Market area experienced a 108
patient capital. That profile makes planning for prosperity with equity. percent increase in office inventory, while
by planning for prosperity with equity.
The benefits of patient Sidewalk Labs uniquely suited to pursue Sidewalk
canlikewise take
likewise a longer
take view.
a longer growing office space value by 5.7 percent.
capital include:
More resources
longer-term returns, conduct far more This longer
view. view is view
This longer criticalisto the innovative
critical to the As
describedfurther on Pageon
further 156 of this156
Page Overview,
of this
More resources for for
research and devel- robust research and development than innovative
urban modelurban
soughtmodel sought
in the RFP, in the
which RFP,
calls for Sidewalk LabsSidewalk
Overview, plans to help catalyze
Labs plansanto
help More
broadly,high concentrations
high of tech
concentrations of tech
research and development
opment cluster focused
an on urban innovation, building on on employment in cities have been demonstrated
a typical real estate developer, and build awhich
longercalls for a longer
investment horizoninvestment hori-
than traditional catalyze economic cluster focused employment in cities have been demon-
An ability
An ability toto priori-
prioritize Toronto’s substantial existing leadership in emerging
foundational pieces of urban technology zonestate.
real than traditional
thisestate. Accord-
approach urban innovation, building on Toronto’s tostrated to the
increase increase
overallthe overall
number number
of non-tech
tize long-term bene-
long-term benefits over fields of technology and urban design. This effort is
fits over immediate that neither the market nor government ingly, this
requires approach
financial requires
backers financial
committed to seeing substantial existing leadership in emerg- of non-tech
jobs jobs as well,
as well, amounting amounting tofive
to approximately
profits profits. anchored by the relocation of Google’s Canadian
can or will, with the goal of jumpstarting backers committed to seeing it through
it through — to prove out the initial innovations ing fields of technology and urban design. approximately
new non-tech jobsfive
new techjobs
job for
willingness to fund
to fund headquarters to the eastern waterfront as part of a
innovation by others. — to prove out the initial innovations and This effort is anchored by the relocation every new tech job created.
foundational urban urban and ultimately achieve economic viability. new innovation campus.
technologies like like ultimately achieve economic viability. of Google’s Canadian headquarters to
next-generation stormwater For
example,there is no
there significant
is no significant mar- the eastern waterfront as part of a new These
effortswould follow
would initiatives
follow designed
stormwater infra-
structure marketplace
ketplace toto fundnext-generation
fund next-generation storm- This
This long-term
long-term perspective allows
allows innovation campus. todesigned
todevelopment through long-term
accelerate development
Sidewalk Labs See the “Economic
water infrastructure
stormwater that
infrastructure thatresponds
responds to
to Sidewalk Labs to
commit more
moreresources Development” chapter
through long-term
investments in critical investments
infrastructure,in critical
such as
heavy rainforecasts,
forecasts, or next-generation
or next-generation to research and development than a of Volume 1, on Page Google has a well-documented history infrastructure,
light rail transit; tosuch as light
implement rail transit; to
a general
resources to research and development 420, for more details
energy infrastructure
thatthat draws
draws elec-
electricity typical real estate developer, to invest in of acting as a catalyst for economic implement
approach a general approach
to people-first planning thatto aims
than a typical real estate developer, to on Sidewalk Labs’
when when
the the
power power
grid grid is or
is cleanest, cleanest, hard assets with higher capital require- proposals for an development when it commits to expand ple-first
attract planning
talent throughthat aims mix
a vibrant to attract
of homes,
or next-generation digital connectivity invest
mentsin hard
than assets technology
a typical with highercom-
capital urban innovation
in a region. When it reaches a critical talent through a vibrant mix of homes,
next-generation digital connectivity that cluster and prosperity offices, shops, civic amenities, and open
that creates a secure personal network requirements than
pany, and to be a typical
patient abouttechnology
earning a with equity. mass of employees in a city, time and offices, shops, civic amenities, and open
creates a secure personal network for spaces; and to support the creation of an
for households or businesses across an
households or businesses across an entire company, and
reasonable to be patient about
return. again, significant growth follows. spaces; and to support the creation of an
Ontario-based mass timber factory to catalyze
entire neighbourhood. Ontario-based mass timber factory to
neighbourhood. earning a reasonable return. an industry centred on this sustainable
catalyze an industry centred on this sus-
building material of the future.
Backed by Alphabet, Sidewalk Labs can tainable building material of the future.
explore new services, tools, and financing
structures that can bring these ideas to
life over the long term.

Section A Project Background 64 65

Project Background
SidewalkLabs was
Labs selected
was by by
selected become
one of
of the
the city’s largest-ever
city’s largest-ever

Part 3
Consultation by
Torontoas as
Innovation andand
Innovation public discussions on an urban develop-
the numbers public discussions on an urban
~21,000 people FundingPartner,
Funding Partner,thethe Sidewalk
Sidewalk Toronto
Toronto ment — and it is still ongoing.
engaged in person development — and it is still ongoing.
project launched
launched in October
in October 2017.
2017. In fact,
In fact,

Launching the
during Sidewalk
Toronto and 307 thisdesignation
this designation merely
merely gave
gave Sidewalk
Sidewalk Labs At that first Town Hall, Torontonians
events Labs
the the exclusive
exclusive right with
right to work to work with
Waterfront said they wanted a community engage-
~280,000 online
Waterfront Toronto and governmental ment process that would be inclusive,
Toronto and governmental partners to

Sidewalk Toronto
views of live-
streamed events or partners to develop a plan and partner- transparent, frequent, wide-reaching,
develop a plan and partnership proposal for
videos ship proposal for creating a new type of and meaningful. Soon after, Sidewalk
More than 11,000
creating a new type of community on the
community on the waterfront. Labs released its participation plan: 13

Project and
visitors to 307 waterfront.
since June 16, 2018 different programs that would ultimately
Public engagement began
began shortly
shortly after
after connect the project with tens of thou-
launch and
and occurred sands of Torontonians.25
the occurred along-

a Robust Public
side this period of intensive planning
alongside this period of intensive
work. This type of extensive engagement Sidewalk Labs’ subsequent outreach has
planning work. This type of extensive
from the outset is critical to designing a included dozens of community meetings

plan that trulyfrom the outset
reflects is criticaland
the aspirations to and programs.26 A series of large-scale
designing a plan that truly reflects the
ideas of Torontonians. roundtable meetings helped to keep peo-
aspirations and ideas of Torontonians. ple informed of the latest project updates

In November 2017, some 530 Torontonians and asked them to weigh in on key topics,
showed up on a chilly evening, packing from the principles guiding the planning
the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts to process to the initial drafts of the plan for
hear about the Sidewalk Toronto project. Quayside. A series of public talks brought
date,the Sidewalk
the Side-
SidewalkToronto project
Toronto teams
project walk Toronto
Toronto public public
engagement program
The live-streamed discussion from this
initial Town Hall has since been viewed by
local and global experts to broaden the
conversation on safe street design, hous-
engagement program has
solicited a wide range
teams solicited of feedback
a wide rangefrom
of feed- has reached more
reached more than
than 21,000 Toron-
over 5,000 people online.24 It was the start ing affordability, accessibility, and sus-
tonians of all ages.of all
Torontonians of a sprawling conversation that, over tainable buildings.
back from
residents, residents,
researchers, researchers,
community leaders, Credit:
ages. Jenna
Credit: Wakani
Jenna the course of the next 18 months, would
Wakani The engagement plan included two
and governmentleaders,
agenciesand govern-
across the city. intensive programs for representative

This agencies across
unprecedented level ofthe city. This
groups of Torontonians. One was the
Sidewalk Toronto Residents Reference

public levelmore
input — reaching of preliminary
than 21,000
Panel: a group of 36 residents from every
corner of the city and diverse back-
public input
Torontonians in — reaching
person to date more than
— helped grounds. Across six Saturday sessions,
spread over nine months and dozens of
shape theTorontonians
plan. in person to hours, the panelists received an in-depth

date — helped shape the plan. look at many aspects of the Sidewalk
Toronto project and provided a detailed
set of recommendations, helping to
shape the plan in the best interests of
all Torontonians.27

The other intensive program was

the Sidewalk Toronto Fellows program,
designed as an opportunity for

Section A 66 67
12 early-career
early-career Torontonians
Torontoniansaged 19 to
aged 1924
to to elements of the project and “design jams” Consultations
Consultationswere also
were held
also withwith
held residents
resi- and service providers — from a mix of
Consultation by
24 to to citiestoacross
travel citiesNorth America
across Northand
America that provided stakeholders and residents the numbers
and and students
students from suburbs
from the inner the innerof sub- age groups and cultural, professional,
and Europe
Europe andabout
and learn learnwaterfront
about waterfront with an opportunity to engage deeply with 100+ hours spent urbs of and
Rexdale Rexdale and Scarborough,
Scarborough, with
with the Lived and political backgrounds — were inter-
revitalization and co-designing with
revitalization and thethe
useuse of technol-The
of technology. aspects of the project focused on vertical the Lived Experience
Experience Advisory
Advisory Group Group
to the City of to viewed in their homes and communities.
ogy. The
fellows fellows represented
represented a range
a range of perspectives, living, cycling, and the water. ~1,700 total hours
the City of
Toronto’s Toronto’s
Poverty Poverty
Reduction Reduction
Strategy, and Idea Couture and Sidewalk Labs then
of perspectives,
skills, skills,
and educational and educational
backgrounds from all volunteered by Strategy, and with the Toronto Commu-
with the Toronto Community Benefits hosted a co-design charrette at the Cen-
Resident Reference
backgrounds from all over Toronto.
over Toronto. They synthesized their learnings Learning from Panel members
nity Benefits Network to explore ways
Network to explore ways in which the
tre for Social Innovation in Toronto, with
They synthesized their learnings and in which the project could drive equity, participants from both the public and pri-
and published a report of recommendations many voices ~2,300 total hours project could drive equity, opportunity, and
published a report of recommendations committed by opportunity, and social inclusion. vate sectors, to co-create more than 90
that has directly influenced Sidewalk Labs’ social inclusion.
that has directly influenced Sidewalk In June 2018, Sidewalk Labs opened a Sidewalk Toronto ideas on the future of community care.
planning teams. fellows
Labs’ planning teams. Toronto office and innovation workspace Worked with 75
Planning teams also commissioned The resulting report sketched out a con-
in Quayside called 307, housed in a for- experts, across ethnographic research that emphasized cept for a new type of community-based
mer fish-processing plant in Quayside. six expert the inclusion of diverse voices or voices care hub in Quayside.30
advisory groups
All summer long, 307 hosted special often missed in the traditional public
events that attracted residents, art- engagement process for reasons such “Family Lifestyles”:
ists, and innovators to learn more about as geography, awareness, or access. Informing a new housing toolkit.
the Sidewalk Toronto project, engage These studies focused on public space, With SHS Consulting, a Toronto-based
with early explorations into a variety family housing, and community care. housing research firm, Sidewalk Labs
of urban innovations, and provide valu- conducted research with 25 low- or
able feedback.28 “North of the Water”: middle-income couples and families to
Generating open space principles. uncover the housing needs of Toronto-
Since its
its opening, 307has
opening, 307 haswelcomed
welcomed Sidewalk Labs collaborated with Doblin, nians — beyond the typical downtown
more than 11,000 people, creating a Deloitte’s consulting practice on resident. This work interviewed couples
more than 11,000 people, creating a
dynamic and original venue for consulta- human-centred design, and Park Peo- and families from the Toronto core, Eto-
dynamic and original venue for
tion and exploration. ple, Canada’s leading charity devoted to bicoke, and Scarborough in their homes
Sidewalk Labs’ Amina The outreach effort stretched across
consultation and exploration. improving public space, to understand and conducted a three-hour co-de-
Mohamed discusses
all ages, including a partnership with the In the latter half of 2018, Sidewalk Labs which factors contribute to a sense of sign workshop at 307, where families
a student-created
model imagining the YMCA that led to a kids camp. reached out to groups whose voices belonging in public space. The “North of responded to a unit mock-up, tried out
future of Quayside had been missing and brought them the Water” research involved 40 Toronto- digital prototypes, and filled out work-
with visitors to 307.
Bringinginformed scrutiny
informed into into
scrutiny the heart of
the heart to the design and planning table, and nians who had previously not participated books. This direct feedback helped the
More than 11,000
Torontonians have of the
the project
project was essential.
was essential. Sidewalk
Sidewalk Labs also sought to meet people in their in a formal public engagement process, Sidewalk Labs planning teams develop
visited 307 since it Labs convened
convened six topic-specific
six topic-specific advi-
advisory boards own communities. representing 23 different neighbourhoods and validate certain concepts in a new
opened in June 2018. See the “Public Realm”
filled boards
localfilled with
experts to local experts
challenge and to chapter of Volume and a mix of ages and backgrounds. housing toolkit.
Credit: Jenna Wakani
challenge 2, on Page 118, for
improve the and improve
project’s the project’s
assumptions. Project Teams worked with members of the Indig-
more details on this
The work drew from in-depth interviews,
assumptions. Project members also held
members also held hundreds of one-on-one enous community for a design workshop; research. “research walks” through public space, To date, Sidewalk Labs has heard
hundreds of one-on-one or small group engaged seniors in a charrette around and daily diaries. A final report — avail- first hand from more than 21,000
or small group meetings — including
meetings — including concerted out- housing; travelled to middle schools to able on the Sidewalk Toronto website — Torontonians.
concerted outreach to the business,
reach to the business, academic, non- ask children and youth for their ideas; and resulted in six design principles for great,
academic, non- profit, and institutional
profit, and institutional sectors — and held a series of co-design sessions with inclusive public space. But the listening does not stop here.
sectors — and engaged extensively with
engaged extensively with Waterfront members of the accessibility community Sidewalk Labs will continue learning from
Waterfront Toronto and public officials at all
Toronto and public officials at all three and with people with lived experience of “Living Well on the Waterfront”: Torontonians and incorporating their
three levels of government.
levels of government. addiction and mental health challenges, Understanding health needs. feedback as the plans for Quayside and
in collaboration with the Inclusive Design Sidewalk Labs commissioned the the eastern waterfront come to life.
This programming was complemented by Research Centre at the Ontario College of design firm Idea Couture to provide
consultations held by Waterfront Toronto, Art and Design University.29 an understanding of the health needs
including Civic Labs that focused on digital of Torontonians. Twenty residents

Section A Project Background 68 69


November First look at the plan

Sidewalk Labs releases its Draft Site

November First Town Hall

More than 530 people attend the
2018 Plan for Quayside, laying out specific
goals for the neighbourhood: 40
percent below-market housing, mass

2017 Sidewalk Toronto project’s first town

hall meeting, at the St. Lawrence
June Opening of 307 timber construction up to around
30 storeys, a 75 percent reduction in
March Unveils new prototypes
At the fourth of a series of Open

Sidewalk Labs opens a Toronto

Centre for the Arts, with another 5,700 office and experimental work- greenhouse gas emissions, and more. Sidewalk events at 307, Sidewalk
more participating via livestream. space at 307 Lake Shore Boulevard Labs unveils two new prototypes:
East, welcoming the public to the modular pavement and building
learn about the Sidewalk Toronto Raincoat systems. About 785
project and participate in regular people attend.
programs held in partnership with
local vendors. About 2,000 Toron- December Fourth public roundtable
February Public engagement Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk

tonians attend.
plan release Labs host the fourth public round-

2018 The Sidewalk Toronto team releases

its full public engagement plan,
outlining dozens of ways for Toronto-
table. Roughly 400 people attend in
person, with another 3,400 joining
via livestream.
May Reference Panel
nians to get involved across a variety
of programs.
August Third public roundtable
Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk
2019 The 36-member Residents Reference
Panel releases its 60-page final report.
Across six sessions spread over nine

2018 Labs host the third public roundta- months, and a collective 1,728 hours,
ble, focused on initial thinking for the residents received an in-depth
public realm, streets, and buildings. January Advisory Working Groups’ look at the Sidewalk Toronto project,
final meetings provided feedback, and helped to

Roughly 460 people attend in per-
March First public roundtable son, with another 8,700 joining After six months to a year of meet- shape the plan in the best interests
Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk of Torontonians.

via livestream. ings, the Advisory Working Groups —
Labs host the first public round- which include 75 experts from across
table. Roughly 800 people attend six critical areas: community services,
in person, with another 1,700 sustainability, mobility, digital gover-
joining via livestream. nance, housing, and public realm —
meet for the final time.

September Design jams June Draft MIDP release

Sidewalk Labs submits its Master

Waterfront Toronto hosts three

2018 “design jams”: full-day sessions Innovation and Development Plan

for local residents to help shape to Waterfront Toronto and the City
May Initial data framework and the project. Themes include of Toronto for consideration.
second public roundtable February Draft accessibility principles

vertical living, water connections,
Sidewalk Labs issues its initial Respon- After participating in 70 hours

and cycling.
sible Data Use Policy Framework, of co-design sessions with the
laying out the project’s proposed accessibility community and host-
approach to data privacy, steward- ing 14 accessibility-related events,
ship, access, and security, and raises Sidewalk Labs releases a set of
the possibility of a data trust to draft accessibility principles to
ensure transparent governance over guide the planning process for the
data issues. Sidewalk Labs presents Sidewalk Toronto project.
the framework for feedback at the
second public roundtable, which is
attended by roughly 400 people, with
another 1,300 joining via livestream.

Section A Project Background 70 71

What we heard: Two visitors who
attended “Open

The big themes that emerged Sidewalk: The

Accessible City”

during public consultation

chat by the
picnic tables
outside 307. Credit:
Jenna Wakani

eachpublic event,
public a summary
event, report
a summary consultation touchpoints, several key
was produced
report and posted
was produced online,
and often
posted online, themes emerged, and each one is
For more examples often garnering
garnering further comments
further comments and
and interaction. reflected in Sidewalk Labs’ proposals
of how public interaction. Together, all ofconsultations,
these events, throughout the MIDP.
consultation Together, all of these events,
influenced the MIDP, consultations,
and andgenerated
online postings online postings gener-
thousands of
see the “Public
Engagement” sections
ated thousands of comments.
comments. Theme 1:
of every chapter in
Volume 2. Focus on priority
SidewalkLabs public
Labs engagement
public engage-
sorted this feedback
through this — all the
feed- outcomes
back —meeting
reports, all the reports,
minutes, meeting minutes,
session notes, 307
session notes, Overwhelmingly,
“feedback cards,”307
more — and cards,” and
expressed aa desire
desire forfor
thethe project
project to
to achieve
to the—planning
and presented it toprocess
teams. This the planning
came to
teams. Thistheprocess achieve objectives
objectives that match that matchToronto’s
Waterfront Waterfront
characterize deeplycame to nature
iterative characterize
of the
the deeply iterative nature of the project, Toronto’s
priority priorityjob
outcomes: outcomes: jobeconomic
creation and creation
project, leading from an initial, high-level vision
leading from an initial, high-level vision and economic
development, development,
sustainability and sustainabil-
to a detailed final proposal that reflects the
to a detailed final proposal that reflects ity and climate-positive
climate-positive development,development,
shared aspirations of thousands of housing affordability, new mobility (includ- How we responded Generating $1.4 billion in private
the shared aspirations of thousands of affordability, new mobility (including
Torontonians. ing accessibility to ensure outcomes funding for below-market housing,
Torontonians. accessibility to ensure outcomes are available Achieving the priority outcomes.
are available to the broadest diversity supporting an ambitious housing
to the broadest diversity of Torontonians), and Sidewalk Labs proposes a new devel-
of Torontonians), and urban innovations vision with the potential to create
hasreflected deeply
reflected on
deeply urban innovations (including data privacy and opment approach that not only meets
(including data privacy and governance). 13,600 below-market units (with
how this feedback
on how could could
this feedback help the MIDP
help the governance). Waterfront Toronto’s five ambitious prior-
additional government support)
MIDP achieve
achieve Waterfront
Waterfront Toronto’sToronto’s
priority pri- ity outcomes but exceeds them beyond
ority outcomes.
outcomes. Throughout
Throughout all these all these the ability of any traditional developer, Enabling 77 percent of all trips to
across the full scale of the proposed be made by public transit, walking,
IDEA District (see Page 162 for more): or cycling

“When I think of the environment, I think Generating

93,000 total jobsjobs
total (including
Increasing pedestrian space on
streets by 91 percent, as compared
of the stewardship of our planet. The cluding
44,000 44,000
billion GDP
in annual
and $14.2 and $14.2
in to traditional development
annual outputGDP output by 2040
by 2040
things we do have ripple effects beyond Creating 2,500 manufacturing
Enabling an open ecosystem for
urban innovations to flourish,
our own neighbourhood or our city. And jobs and catalyzing the mass establishing the eastern waterfront

we can try to be carbon-neutral but it’s timber industry through a new

Ontario factory
as a global hub for new city solutions

just not possible in the city we have now. Realizing a climate-positive

Setting a new standard for
responsible data use in cities by
We have to use our resources responsibly.” district that cuts greenhouse
gases by 89 percent
protecting privacy and the public
good while still supporting innovation
Fatema C., Regent Park

Section A Project Background 72 73

How we responded
“I think affordable housing is Toronto’s system, helping the whole city
access the waterfront
biggest challenge, and once we put our minds Prioritizing affordability.
Planning for a place where people of all Expanding publicly accessible

to tackling that, other things will come in ages, abilities, incomes, and backgrounds
can thrive and belong means prioritizing
spaces open to all, including a wide
range of pedestrian-only streets,
its wake. Sidewalk Toronto says there are affordability. Towards this end, Sidewalk wide promenades, parks, plazas, and

innovative ways to build pre-fabricated Labs’ proposals include: water spaces

housing so that they can be built faster and Setting a housing vision that includes Catalyzing an open ecosystem.
20 percent affordable housing units To ensure that Canadian businesses,
less expensively. … Toronto has a reputation (with at least a quarter going towards non-profit organizations, and innovators

for inclusiveness. I hope it stays that way.” households with “deep” affordability
needs) and 20 percent of units for
benefit from the opportunities
generated by the project, Sidewalk Labs’
Shaheen M., Etobicoke, near the subway terminal middle-income households proposals include:

Creating adaptable spaces, flexible

Identifying appropriate local
lease terms, co-tenancy options, new
partners to deliver many of the
operating tools, and a small business
elements described in the MIDP.
Theme 2: incubator program, making it easier
The actual business arrangements
for community groups, arts and
Be inclusive and make could take various forms, including
cultural installations, and startups to
room for all occupy ground-floor space
but not limited to partnerships, joint
ventures, and licence arrangements
createa welcoming, inclusive
a welcoming, community,
inclusive com- Going all-electric affordably through
Torontonians urged Sidewalkurged
munity, Torontonians Labs toSidewalk
plan the Purchasing third-party technology
a suite of energy innovations,
Labs toToronto project
plan the with a broad
Sidewalk diversity
Toronto of
project whenever there are existing
including an advanced power grid
populations in mind. All Torontonians should be able companies that have the capability
with a broad diversity of populations in that would keep bills comparable
to live in, work in, and visit Quayside and the broader to implement the systems required.
mind. All Torontonians should be able to to existing ones while reducing
eastern waterfront. As roundtable participants noted,
live in, work in, and visit Quayside and the Sidewalk Labs plans to give priority
services and opportunities in these places should be greenhouse gas emissions
broader eastern waterfront. As round- to technology local to Toronto,
accessible to people elsewhere across the city.
table participants noted, services and Designing an integrated mobility Ontario, or Canada
opportunities in these places should be package that would provide access to
Publishing properly protected data
accessible to people elsewhere across a full range of affordable trip options,
in standard formats and making
the city. saving households $4,000 a year by
software source code public under
reducing the need to own a car
free software licences
Additionally, Torontonians wanttotosee
Torontonians want see a
Ensuring accessibility. Seeding $10 million to launch
a broad
broad group
group of of businesses,non-profit
businesses, non-profit
To ensure that the IDEA District is acces- a new venture fund focused on
organizations, and innovators actively
organizations, and innovators actively sible to all Torontonians, Sidewalk Labs’ Canadian startups
participate in the new opportunities
participate in the new opportunities proposals include:
created by the project — especially
SidewalkLabs Director of
Labs created bycompanies
Canadian the projectand
— especially
Creating opportunities for all.
Public of Jesse
Realm PublicShapins
Canadian companies andto see open Continuing to work with the To ensure that the opportunities cre-
Consequently, they want
Jesse Shapins presents
presents initial ideas for the accessibility community to ensure ated by the IDEA District are accessible
initial ideas for the Quay- entrepreneurs.
standards (“no Consequently, they want
technology lock-in”), so
Quayside plan at a session of the physical and digital accessibility to everyone, Sidewalk Labs proposes to
tomultiple parties can develop innova-
side plan at a session of
see open standards (“no technology of the IDEA District launch a new workforce development
tions in response to tastes, trends, and
Residents Reference
Reference Panel. lock-in”), so multiple parties can develop program and a construction jobs pro-
Panel. Credit: David Pike technological advances. Extending public transit and
Credit: David Pike
innovations in response to tastes, gram for equity-seeking populations.
connecting into Toronto’s broader
trends, and technological advances.
Section A Project Background 74 75
Theme 3:
No tech for tech’s sake
“The challenge is to find ways for
strongly thatthat
strongly technology
technology to help foster a sense of
should not benot
ogy should the be
go-to for everyfor
answer community. That seems utopian but it’s
problem, but usedbut
every problem,
if it can
to abe
to be
only if it can
a better
possible. ... We can find a way to make it
to to
or or happen. I think Toronto can be a global
approach. They want technology that that
targets significant
significant urban
urban challenges,
challenges, not
model for a new kind of technology
not technology for its
technology for its own sake.own sake.
that helps keep us human.”
As participants
public Annick B., West Hill (Lawrence Avenue East and Kingston Road)
roundtable pointedout,
out, technology
alone does not make a community great,
alone does not make a community
but it can potentially enhance a commu-
great, but it can potentially enhance a
nity. As the Residents’ Reference Panel
community. As the should
put it: “technology Residents’
only exist to
How we responded
Reference Panel put it: “technology
serve people.” Establishing an independent
should only exist to serve people.” Urban Data Trust.
Sidewalk Labs proposes a new cate-
gory of data called “urban data,” which
includes both personal information and
information collected in a physical space
in the city, where meaningful consent
prior to collection and use is hard, if not
impossible, to obtain. Sidewalk Labs
proposes that an independent, gov-
ernment-sanctioned entity called the
Urban Data Trust manage urban data
and establish a transparent process for
approving the use or collection of urban
data — given its potential to impact peo-
ple’s daily lives.

Ensuring responsible data use.

To ensure that digital technology is being
used to help address significant urban
challenges, Sidewalk Labs proposes that
the independent Urban Data Trust estab-
lish a set of Responsible Data Use Guide- Participants at a
lines, and recommends that these guide- public roundtable
discussion at 307
lines include the need to outline a clear
give feedback on
beneficial purpose for the proposed use plans and concepts
or collection of urban data. for the Sidewalk
Toronto project.
Credit: David Pike

Section A Project Background 76 77

Theme 4:
Make sure the public
“I think I understand the concern
sector has a strong role about privacy. I share it, too. But in
Many participants were unsure about the overall scale I am positive about
the nature of Sidewalk Labs’ relationship
with government.
it, because I think of technology as a
tool. Technology does not have a life of
While some were excited about the
potential of a private company to improve
its own. It’s humans who decide how it
government responsiveness, others
were concerned that the project would
gets used to the benefit or detriment of
lead to the privatization of public services. society. I believe that through proper
The Residents Reference Panel noted
that, historically, government has not kept
governance we will strive for good.”
How we responded
up with the rapid pace of technological Ray J., Willowdale
innovation and may not be able to provide Defining public- and private-sector roles. A project of this scope, complexity, and
Defining public- and private-sector roles.
duration requires strong public oversight and a regulatory framework predisposed to
appropriate oversight of the project. A project of this scope, complexity, and
new approaches. To ensure this outcome, Sidewalk Labs’ proposals include:

duration requires strong public oversight

memberof of
thethe Res-
Torontonians stressed the importance and a regulatory framework predisposed idents Reference
Residents ReferencePan-
of public entities having clear mandates to new approaches. To ensure this out- el hands over written
Panel hands over written
and adequate resources to negotiate come, Sidewalk Labs’ proposals include: notes to a facilitator.
Public to engagement
a facilitator.
with Sidewalk Labs effectively, and then
teams engagement
to provide strong ongoing oversight Calling for government to all feedback to the to
presented all feedback
and accountability of the partnership designate a public entity to serve Sidewalk Labs plan-
the Sidewalk Labs
ning teams and put
as it unfolds. as revitalization lead for the planning teams and put
the information on
IDEA District, with this public the
the information on the
project website
administrator empowered to hold project website
for anyone tofor anyone
Credit: David Pike
to review. Credit: David
Sidewalk Labs and others working
in the district accountable

Establishing a supporting role

for Sidewalk Labs that includes
providing advisory services, limited
technology deployment, and optional
infrastructure financing — doing
only what is needed to ensure the
MIDP’s innovative approaches are
properly implemented

Limiting Sidewalk Labs’ role as

lead real estate developer (working
with local partners) to Quayside
and Villiers West, for the purposes
of proving out the innovative
development approach

Section A Project Background 78 79

Theme 5:
Prove out the concept “If we are successful Toronto can be
concerned that,
that, as a
as a a model for other cities. There are
byaa private
private American
company, Sidewalk
company, Sidewalk Toronto
lots of concerns but they can all be
actually benefit Toronto or Torontonians.
actually benefit Toronto or
They urged Sidewalk Labs to be mind-
managed. We can create standards
Torontonians. They urged Sidewalk
ful of the project’s Canadian context, to
Labs to be mindful of the project’s
How we responded that are better than what we have
with local experts
nies, to reach
and compa-
out to engage with local
Building trust.
To ensure that the Sidewalk Toronto
now. Let’s build it so that people will
and to embrace
experts the idea to
and companies,
about us without us.”
of reach
out to project benefits Toronto, Sidewalk Labs’ come and say: ‘Wow!’ ”
Indigenous peoples, and to embrace the proposals include:
Jack G., Sunnyside
idea of “nothing about us without us.”
Torontonians expressed concern about
expressed concern about
Engaging meaningfully by
complex, large-scale,
maintaining its significant Toronto
long-term plan could fail. They support
long-term plan could fail. They support presence via 307, its Toronto
achieving a big vision through a phased
achieving a big vision through a phased workspace that houses public events
approach: to prove out the develop-
approach: to prove out the development and local employees Theme 6: How we responded
ment approach in Quayside as a demon-
approach in Quayside
stration project, beforeas a
extending to Continuing to solicit input from Build on what has Advancing the work of others.
demonstration project, before extending
successive phases. diverse groups of Torontonians, been done ToToensure
ensure that
that Sidewalk
Sidewalk Labs
Labs is advanc-
is advancing the
including the community, Indigenous ing the work of others who have a proven
work of others who have a proven track record
to successive phases. Over
Overtime, Toronto
time, hashas
Toronto made progress
made in
As one advisory council member noted, groups, Waterfront Toronto, the track
along record along
Toronto’s Toronto’s
waterfront, waterfront,
Sidewalk Labs’
developing the waterfront
in developing and in trying
the waterfront and innew
Sidewalk Labs must demonstrate its City of Toronto, and other levels Sidewalk Labs’
proposals include: proposals include:
ways to solve
ing new waysurban challenges,
to solve thanks in large
urban challenges,
ability to execute, to earn the right to of government
part to theinwork
thanks ofpart
large Waterfront
to the Toronto.
work of Water-
proceed further. Taking an evolutionary approach
Starting small and working up to front Toronto.
Torontonians Torontonians
emphasized empha- of
the importance
that builds on existing planning
larger areas as urban innovations sized the
building importance
on this ofofbuilding
record and on this
recognizing and
approaches, including the Villiers
are proven and priority outcomes record and of recognizing and
expanding approaches that have been expanding
Island, East Bayside, and Keating
are achieved approaches that have been successful.
successful. Channel precinct plans and the Port
Proposing to pay the public sector a Lands Planning Framework
consultations, Sidewalk
share of the upside value if Quayside
was further
Labs remindedreminded
was further that this land
long Building on Canada’s existing
and Villiers West prove more
has a that
longprecedes bothprecedes
history that industrialization
both and timber industry through support
profitable than expected, as well as a
revitalization. Sidewalk
industrialization and Labs is committed
revitalization. to
Side- for an Ontario-based factory
profit-sharing model through which
walk Labs
engaging in is committed
ongoing to engaging
conversations and in focused on mass timber building
the public sector would receive a
ongoing conversations
collaboration andcommunities
with Indigenous collaboration
in parts and a plan to develop
share of the profits generated by
Toronto, to treating the land with respect and to
with Indigenous communities in Toronto, Quayside as the world’s first
certain technologies first tested and
humility, thetoland withpeaceably
sharing respect and humility,
in its all-mass timber neighbourhood
deployed in the IDEA District
and to sharing peaceably in its resources.
Earning a “performance payment” if
(and only if) Sidewalk Labs reaches
a series of performance and growth
targets directly tied to Waterfront
Toronto’s priority outcomes

Section A Project Background 80 81

Theme 7:
Present a transparent
business model
Advancing Toronto’s successful Torontonians as
Torontonians highlight transparency as
tech ecosystem by creating a new keyto
key to gaining
gaining public
public trust,
trust, particularly
urban innovation campus on Villiers with respect to the financial obligations
with respect to the financial obligations
Island, anchored by a new Google and benefits in any agreement, initially
and benefits in any agreement, initially
Canadian headquarters and a and over time. The complex and long-
non-profit, applied research Urban and over
term time.
nature of The complex and
the transaction long-
Innovation Institute term nature
the need forof the transaction
clarity about roles,increases
the needand
bilities, forhow
clarity about Labs
Sidewalk roles,intends to
How we responded
Accelerating the financing of a
make money. Designing a fair transaction.
light rail expansion, building on responsibilities, and how Sidewalk Labs
Sidewalk Labs proposes to make money
the extensions identified as critical intends to make money.
Common questions around the business from the real estate development it does,
by existing planning initiatives, such
model included: Who will own the land? charges on any financing it provides, and,
as Waterfront Toronto’s Transit
What’s in it for you? What’s the scale of if all goes well, a performance payment
Reset efforts
the project? Will Toronto and Canadian considered at a time when the project’s
Meeting and surpassing the City of tech companies, real estate developers, success against agreed-upon metrics
Toronto’s resiliency framework for or other third parties be involved? And can be judged. The project’s finances and
flood management and establishing will they be able to work together to solve transactional framework are designed to
an ecological foundation for new Toronto’s most pressing challenges? ensure that all project participants, public
sustainable communities built and private, are treated fairly, and that the
around spectacular parks and nature public interest is protected.

“I like what Waterfront Toronto has “People want to live in cities, but things
been doing recently. … They’re making like congestion and transit are problems
spaces to congregate so it feels like a everywhere. Eventually, the cities that
neighbourhood. They understand that it figure out a better way to organize
needs to have its own unique flavour, and themselves are going to win.”
be more than just condos. That makes me Jason S., First Chinatown, then Riverdale
optimistic for Quayside.”
Alex B. L., Yonge-Dundas Square

Section A Project Background 82 83

Sidewalk Labs’ intentions for
the Sidewalk Toronto project
In the view of Sidewalk Labs, digital
Sidewalk Labs’ motives for
Labs’ motives for pursuing
pursuing Sidewalk
Labsis is
not motivated
not by aby
motivated desire
a to technology is never the end goal,
Waterfront Toronto’s RFP
overall business model have been sub-
to export
talent or intellectual
the UnitedLabs
talent or
is not Side-
but rather a tool that empowers
overall business model have been
ject to speculation, even a fair amount
subject to speculation, even a fair
walk Labs
internet is notthat
company an internet
can existcompany
An people to improve quality of life.
of cynicism. Many of these concerns can existpart
important anywhere. An important
of its business part of
model involves
amount of cynicism.
can be addressed Many with
upfront of these
a few its business
going “all in” onmodel involves
physical places.going “all in”
This proposal
concerns can be addressed upfront
clear statements: on physical
seeks to makeplaces.
TorontoThis proposal
such a place. seeks
with a few clear statements: to make Toronto such a place. Moreover,
Moreover, Sidewalk Labs has committed to
Labsis is
not seeking
not to sell
seeking personal
to sell per- Sidewalk Labs has committed to share
share profits with the public sector of certain
information or use it for
sonal information or advertising. Sidewalk
use it for advertis- profits with the public sector of certain
technologies first deployed in Toronto.

1 2
ing. has
Labs Sidewalk Labsthat
committed hasitcommitted that
would not sell technologies first deployed in Toronto.
it wouldinformation
personal not sell personal information
to third parties or use it
for third parties or use it
purposes. for advertising
It also commits to Finally, SidewalkLabs
Finally, Sidewalk Labsisisnot
not It also commits
disclose personal to not
information disclose
to third developthe
develop the broader
broader Port
Port Lands.
parties, information
including to third companies,
other Alphabet parties, Sidewalk Labs’ role as a real estate
Sidewalk Labs’ role as a real estate Demonstrate the impact of urban Earn a reasonable return.
including other Alphabet companies, developer would be restricted to two
without explicit consent. Finally, Sidewalk developer would be restricted to two innovation on quality of life. Sidewalk Labs is a commercial venture,
without explicit consent. Finally, Sidewalk areas, Quayside and Villiers West, and
Labs has proposed that an independent entity Sidewalk
Sidewalk Labs
Labs is aismission-driven
a mission-driven com-
company. and although it is mission-driven, it is also
Labs has proposed that an independent areas, Quayside
undertaken and
for the Villiers
limited West, of
purpose and
approve proposed collections and uses of pany.
That That mission
mission is to forward-thinking
is to combine combine for- a subsidiary of a publicly owned company.
entity approve proposed collections and undertaken
proving outfor
thethe limited purpose
innovative of
urban data in the project area by all parties, ward-thinking
urban design andurban designtechnology
cutting-edge and cut- to Sidewalk Labs has already invested more
uses of urban data in the project area by
including Sidewalk Labs.
proving outEven
approach. the innovative development
in those locations, Side-
radically technology
improve toSidewalk
urban life. radicallyLabs
is than $50 million USD, with no guarantees
all parties, including Sidewalk Labs. walk Labs expects to have local partners.
approach. Even in those locations, urban life. Sidewalk
In total, Sidewalk Labs proposes leading motivated to pursue thisLabs is motivated
project by a desireto
to of being repaid, to develop this MIDP. This
Sidewalk Labs expects to have local pursue this project by a desire to create investment, however, represents a small
In the view of Sidewalk Labs, digital tech- development (with local partners) on less create places that apply 21st-century concepts
nology is never the end goal, but rather partners. In total,
than 7 percent of Sidewalk Labs
the eastern waterfront.
places that apply 21st-century concepts
in design and technology to achieve
share of the overall cost to the company
in design and technology to achieve if the project is approved. Sidewalk Labs
a tool that empowers people to improve proposes
(See Pageleading development
90 for more details on(with
pro- improvements in nearly every dimension
improvements in nearly every dimension would seek to earn a reasonable return
quality of life. local
posedpartners) on less than 7 percent of
project roles.) important to quality of urban life, from creating
important to quality of urban life, from on its investment.
See the “Digital jobs and reducing the cost of living to
Innovation” chapter
the eastern waterfront. (See Page 90 for creating jobs and reducing the cost of
of Volume 2, on Sidewalk Labs’ two primary goals are increasing mobility and advancing
Page 374, for more
more details on proposed project roles.) living to increasing mobility and advanc-
quite simple. sustainability. This mission calls for an urban
details on Sidewalk ing sustainability. This mission calls for
Labs’ proposals for district of sufficient
responsible data use. an urban districtscale to demonstrate
of sufficient the
scale to
value of an integrated
demonstrate approach
the value of anfor achieving
approachbenefits on critical
for achieving priorities. ben-
efits on critical priorities.

Section A Project Background 84 85

Submitting the Master Innovation
and Development Plan
robust engagement
robust process,
engagement The
The result
result of this process
of this process isisthis
Sidewalk Sidewalk Labsan
conducted conducted
intensive an Innovation and Development Plan (MIDP),
Innovation and Development Plan
planning planning
process overprocess
the pastover the past
18 months, submitted by Sidewalk Labs for con-
(MIDP), submitted by Sidewalk Labs for
18 months,
with with
input from theinput
local from the local
community, com-
Waterfront sideration to Waterfront Toronto and
munity, the
Waterfront Toronto, the Citylevels
consideration to Waterfront Toronto and
all levels of government. Sidewalk Labs
Toronto, City of Toronto, and other
Toronto, and other levels of government. all levels of government.
is honoured Sidewalk
by the opportunity to Labs
of government. This effort turned Sidewalk
This effort turned Sidewalk Labs’ initial
Labs’ initial ideas, as expressed in the RFP ispresent
honoured by theand
the MIDP, opportunity to
by the prospect
ideas, as expressed in the RFP response, of working
present thealongside
MIDP, andWaterfront Toronto
by the prospect

Sidewalk Labs is
response, into a development plan with the
into a development plan with the potential and the three levels of government it
potential to serve as a demonstration for an of working alongside Waterfront Toronto
to serve as a demonstration for an inclu- represents to advance this plan for the
inclusive community that puts urban innovation and the three levels of government it
sive community that puts urban innova- benefit of Toronto.
to work for better quality of life. represents to advance this plan for the

honoured to present
tion to work for better quality of life.
benefit of Toronto.
The submission of this MIDP is not the end of the process — far from it.
The submission of this MIDP is not the end
Waterfront Toronto will consult the public on the plan and run an evaluation

While this planning

While this planningeffort
effort focused
focused on
on the of the process — far from it. Waterfront
process. Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs would then negotiate updates and
revisions to the MIDP. Should both parties agree to move forward, individual
the Quayside neighbourhood and sur- Toronto will consult the public on the plan

this MIDP, and to work

Quayside neighbourhood and components would be subject to relevant municipal, provincial, and federal
rounding parts of the eastern waterfront, and run an evaluation process. Water-
surrounding parts of the eastern
Sidewalk Labs believes the innovations front Toronto and Sidewalk Labs would
waterfront, Sidewalk Labs believes the
applied to this project can make an then negotiate updates and revisions to
along the
impact in other
an impact
to this project
in otherthe
city, and
throughout the city,
the MIDP. Should both parties agree to
move forward, individual components
would be subject to relevant municipal,
towards advancing
the plan for the
provincial, and federal approvals.
and around the world.
It is important to note that the opportu-
nity to conduct this planning work came
with no guarantee of approval and no
exchange of land. On the contrary, Side-
walk Labs, Waterfront Toronto, and the
city must all agree to move forward for
benefit of Toronto.
the project to continue. Sidewalk Labs
was willing to stake $50 million31 USD to
develop this plan because it believes
the resulting plan will not just be “good
enough” to meet approval but will demon-
strate a new path forward for inclusive
urban growth in the digital age.

Section A Project Background 86 87

The Plans B

Part11Introduction to the Part 2
Plans: to the
Geography, Role, Quayside: A Complete
Plans: Geography, Role, Community and a Proving
Approach Ground for Innovation
p90 p96

Part 3 Part 4
The River District: Committing to Diversity,
Creating an Innovation Equity, and Inclusion
Ecosystem to Build on p150
Quayside’s Impact

Part 5
A New Economic Engine
That Drives Outsized
Job Growth on an
Accelerated Timeline

Overview 88 89
The Plans
Throughout its planning process, Side- forming the basis for identifying the
walk Labs has tried to directly respond required innovations and the critical

Part 1
to Waterfront Toronto’s priority out- and advanced infrastructure to make
comes as well as the City of Toronto’s it all happen.
Official Plan, which embraces the use of

“innovative implementation solutions” Sidewalk
Labsproposes to lead
proposes thisthis
to lead
to help address tough urban challenges development,
development, working withwith
working locallocal
and describes the future city as one ners,
and and to
to take thetake the
risk of risk ofthe
proving proving

to the Plans:
where “the private sector marshals its the market
viability viability development
of a proposed of a proposedmodel
resources to help implement public development
that incorporatesmodel
urban that incorporates
innovations to
objectives.” Specifically, the Official Plan urban innovations
achieve to achieveobjectives.
ambitious quality-of-life ambitious

Geography, Role,
calls for leaders in the private sector “with quality-of-life objectives.
the courage to take risks, develop proac-
2A The River District:

tive solutions and then follow through.”32

and Innovation Consistent

Consistent with
with these values,
ideas introduced
introduced here
here put
put forward
Villiers West.

innovative implementation solutions, aim The River District: Villiers West.
innovative implementation solutions,
to leverage private resources to realize The second phase would be the River
Key Terms aim to leverage private resources to
public objectives, and advocate for sus- District, a 62-hectare area made up of
A five-hectare
realize public
tainable objectives,
communities andthe
along advocate
eastern five neighbourhoods surrounding the
neighbourhood for sustainable communities along the
waterfront. renaturalized Don River: Keating East,
proposesa vision — —
a vision downtown Toronto
and the eastern
eastern waterfront.
thesegoals, thethe
goals, MIDP proposes
MIDP pro- to
Villiers West, Villiers East, Polson Quay,
and McCleary. Extending Quayside’s

beginning with
with Quayside
Quayside — designed
— designed to waterfront. transform
poses toatransform
small portion of theportion
a small
— less than—one-third,
eastern waterfront less than
eastern of the
innovations into the River District would
unlock opportunities for Waterfront
to realize
realize and maximize
and maximize ambitious
ambitious quality-of-life
River District:
A 62-hectare
area of the
developed over 20 over
to be developed years20
— years
into a 77-hectare
— into a Toronto and the city to fully realize
IDEA IDEArepresents
District that District that represents
an innovative priority outcomes.
goals goals
by integrating by integrating
innovations into theinno-
eastern waterfront
consisting of five
an innovative
new developmentnew development
model for how themodel

vations into the physical development.

physical development.
(Keating East,
for how
sector canthe
public sector
growth in
can support
public sector
tackling the
in tackling
(A Keating West parcel of roughly eight
hectares that sits between Quayside
Villiers West,
Villiers East,
growth challenges. The IDEA
District consists of two phases. District con- and Keating East already has approved
Polson Quay, sists of two phases. plans; the private land-owners there can
and McCleary). choose to participate in the IDEA District

1 Quayside.
IDEA District:
if they want.)
A 77-hectare
area consisting InInVilliers
West,a aparcel
parcelof of
nearly eight
nearly eight
of Quayside and
the River District
hectares,Sidewalk Labs
Sidewalk proposes
Labs to betolead
proposes be
(with optional Quayside. lead developer,
developer, workingworking with
with local local part-
participation for The first phase of the IDEA District would ners. Villiers Westserve
Villiers West would asserve as a for
a catalyst cata-
the privately held
Keating West
be Quayside, a five-hectare neighbour- lysteconomic
new for a newcluster
economic cluster
focused focused
on urban
parcel) capable hood that sits at the crucial transition innovation, anchored byanchored
on urban innovation, by a new
a new Google
of maximizing point to the broader eastern waterfront. Google Canadian headquarters and a
Canadian headquarters and a new Urban
The Quayside development plan provides new Urban Innovation Institute, and it
impacts in Innovation Institute, and it could further prove
a financially the opportunity to lay out the founda- could further prove out the innovations
out the innovations necessary to achieve
feasible way. tions for achieving the priority outcomes, necessary to achieve Waterfront Toron-
Waterfront Toronto’s priority outcomes.
to’s priority outcomes.

Section B 90 91
In total, Sidewalk Labs proposes leading and Standards” that can be used to
development (with local partners) on less ensure that all developments in the
than 7 percent of the eastern waterfront.33 IDEA District achieve the desired
outcomes. Waterfront Toronto would

be responsible for working with
government to approve them and
then ensure their implementation as
development proceeds.
The River District: Beyond Villiers West.
support.In this role,role,
In this Sidewalk
Planning and development for the River
Sidewalk Labs proposes to deploy
Labs proposes to deploy a limited set of
District would be led by Waterfront
a limited setrequired
technologies of technologies
to achieve required
Toronto and the City of Toronto, working
to achieve key project objectives —
project objectives — defined in Waterfront
with various development partners. It is
defined in
Toronto’s Waterfront
original RFP asToronto’s
Waterfront Toronto’s mandate to lead the
original RFP as “purposeful
solutions” — including a dynamicsolu-
urban planning, design, infrastructure
tions” — including a dynamic curb
delivery, and real estate development that can adjust throughout the day to
that can adjust throughout the day
associated with broader geographies accommodate vehicle traffic or pedestrian
to accommodate vehicle traffic or
along the eastern waterfront. uses, and a standardized mount system
pedestrian uses, and a standardized
that can help catalyze digital innovation by
mount system that can help catalyze
Sidewalk Labs proposes that government third parties.
digital innovation by third parties.
designate a public entity to serve — or in
the case of Waterfront Toronto, continue Optional infrastructure financing. In
to serve — as revitalization lead for the this role, Sidewalk Labs proposes to
IDEA District. provide optional support financing
critical infrastructure, such as upfront
Beyond Quayside and Villiers West, debt service, to help ensure that
Sidewalk Labs proposes to play a the city and waterfront can invest
different role across the IDEA District, holistically in systems that unlock the
focusing on three supportive areas: potential for future development.

Planning, design, and implementation. These supportive roles reflect Sidewalk

In this role, Sidewalk Labs proposes Labs’ belief that the greatest cities are
to support Waterfront Toronto’s built from the community up, and that
ability to provide cutting-edge the proposed innovation strategies
infrastructure and development for achieving public policy goals can Map

The IDEA District and

that meets agreed-upon guidelines only be successful if widely adopted by
and standards for innovation, with Toronto’s broader development and
the goal of realizing key quality-of- innovation communities. eastern waterfront
See the “Innovation
life objectives around economic
opportunity, affordability, mobility,
and Funding
Partnership Proposal” and sustainability. Building on the AApublic
administratorand and
the three ordersorders
the three of
chapter of Volume 3, of government
government wouldwould determine
determine whetherwhether
to extendto
Quayside innovations, Sidewalk
on Page 82, for more extend the IDEA District beyond Quayside and
IDEA District beyond Quayside and Villiers West. At
details on Sidewalk Labs proposes to work with Villiers West. At its full anticipated scope, the
Labs’ proposed roles. its full anticipated
IDEA scope,
District would the IDEA
consist Districtneighbour-
of seven would
Waterfront Toronto to prepare a
hoods.ofThe seven neighbourhoods.
neighbourhood The neighbourhood
names in the map
set of “Innovative Design Guidelines
above were drawn largely from the
names in the map above were drawn largely Portfrom
Planning Framework and other city planning
Port Lands Planning Framework and other city
planning documents.

Section B The Plans 92 93

A planning approach that No
community is complete
is completewithout a
without a Buildings: Sustainable buildings that

integrates innovations into cross-cutting

ture that
could could
of social
of social
that can be constructed and adapted
far more quickly and support a lively

the physical environment

support to and
health support healtheducation
well-being, and well-be-
and mix of uses.
ing, education
work and
opportunities, work
civic life,opportunities,
and arts and Housing: A program with 40 percent
civic life, and arts and culture.
culture. Sidewalk Labs’ approach wouldSidewalk
below-market units to improve
Labs’ approach would integrate physical
integrate physical spaces, trusted delivery affordability and expand options for
spaces, trusted delivery partners, and
partners, and digital complements to enable a all households.
digital complements to enable a healthy
development of of
IDEA District
IDEA provides
District pro- Sidewalk
SidewalkLabs’ approach
Labs’ to planning
approach centres around
to planning healthy and engaged community where
and engaged community where every- Sustainability: A new standard
avides a rare opportunity
rare opportunity to achieveto—achieve — and
and exceed — providing
centresthe physical,providing
around digital, andthe
policy conditions for
physical, everyone can grow, thrive, and belong.
innovation on which an array of third parties can build one can grow, thrive, and belong. of sustainability that creates a
the priority—outcomes
the priority outcomes
established estab-
by Waterfront digital, and policy conditions for innova-
and explore new solutions to urban challenges, with blueprint for truly climate-positive
lished by
Toronto for Waterfront
the MIDP: jobToronto
creationfor the MIDP:
and tion on which an array of third parties can
the goal of achieving long-term quality-of-life goals. Within
these areas,
these areas,thethe
plan- communities.
job creation
economic and economic
development, development,
sustainability and build and explore new solutions to urban
ning incorporated
team team incorporated innovations
innovations into the into
Social Infrastructure: Health, civic
climate-positive development, housing devel-
sustainability and climate-positive challenges, with the goal of achieving
the development designs
development designs with anwith an eye
eye towards life, learning, and workforce
opment, housing affordability, new mobil- long-term quality-of-life goals.
affordability, new mobility, and urban towards Waterfront
achieving Waterfront Toronto’s
ity, and urban innovation (including robust achieving Toronto’s priority initiatives and facilities that enable
innovation (including robust data privacy and priority outcomes andquality
outcomes and improving of lifequality
for all. people to thrive.
data privacy and digital governance).
digital governance). To
To catalyze this approach,
catalyze this approach,Sidewalk
of life for all. This goal is reflected in the
This goal is reflected in the vision statements
Labs identified the building blocks of
Labs identified the building blocks of a vision statements for each of the urban Digital Innovation: Catalyze
haveproven largely
proven elusive
largely elu- a neighbourhood — mobility, public for each of the urban innovation areas:
neighbourhood — mobility, public realm, innovation areas: digital innovations that help tackle
for for a variety
a variety of reasons.
of reasons. They
They speak tospeak realm, buildings and housing, and sustain-
buildings and housing, and sustainability urban challenges and establish
to problems
problems that cannot
that cannot be solved
be solved in a
in a single ability — and explored how urban innova-
Mobility: A transportation system a new standard for the responsible
single development
development and
and require require
a scale of a scale
— andwithin
tions explored how
these urban
areas innovations
could support a
that reduces the need to own a collection and use of data
of coordination
coordination that isthat is difficult,
difficult, if not if not within these
new kind areas couldand
of community support a flexi-
infuse new in cities.
car by providing safe, convenient,
unprecedented. In some
In some cases,
cases, the solu-
the solutions bilityofinto
kind the built environment.
community and infuse flexibility For more details on connected, and affordable options
tions are contrary to market forces. For the urban innovations
are contrary to market forces. For many of into the built environment. proposed by Sidewalk for every trip.
many of these challenges, the technol- Many
Manyofofthese advances,
these from
advances, mobility
from mobility
these challenges, the technology simply did Labs, see Section C
ogy simply did not exist to successfully management
management systems
systems guiding
guiding the streets
the streets to of the Overview Public Realm: A system of streets,
not exist to successfully address the issues. (on Page 162) as well
address the issues. to building
building systems
systems optimizing
optimizing energyenergy
use, are as Volume 2. parks, plazas, and open spaces that
use, are
made made
possible bypossible by connectivity
connectivity and digital encourages people to spend more
thepotential to change
potential today.
to change The
today. and digitalSidewalk
innovation. innovation.
LabsSidewalk Labs
aims to establish time outdoors, together.
Key Term
The scale
scale of the of theDistrict
IDEA IDEA District offers
offers the the
opportunity aims
the to establish
open foundationthe
for aopen
array of thirdfor
Urban toopportunity
create a trulytotransformative
create a truly transforma-
experience — a wide array of third parties to address
parties to address urban challenges using
data attive
moment when — at the moment
technology when
has finally urban challenges using urban data. To
urban data. To ensure that digital innovation
Information gathered technology
advanced has finally
enough to makeadvanced
genuine enough ensure that digital innovation aligns with
aligns with the public interest, all digital
in the city’s physical to make genuine breakthroughs,
breakthroughs, if applied with the rightiflevel of the public interest, all digital proposals —
proposals — including those by Sidewalk Labs
applied with the right level of thought and including those by Sidewalk Labs — would
including the public thought and care. But realizing this opportunity — would be subject to approval from an
realm, publicly care. But realizing this opportunity for the be subject to approval from an inde-
for the betterment of people’s lives and urban independent entity tasked with overseeing a
accessible spaces, betterment of people’s lives and urban pendent entity tasked with overseeing
and even some economies requires a new approach to urban transparent process for responsible data use,
private buildings.
economies requires a new approach to a transparent process for responsible
planning and a strong focus on quality-of-life which wouldwhich
in addition to in
urban planning and a strong focus on data use, apply addition to
objectives. Canadian privacy laws.
quality-of-life objectives. existing Canadian privacy laws.

Section B The Plans 94 95

The Plans

Part22 Quayside: A
Complete Community
Responding to the feedback from 18
months of public engagement, Sidewalk
A Complete Labs proposes a plan for Quayside that

and a Proving
Community Ground
would create a diverse live-work
neighbourhood, connect to the GTA,
a Proving Ground generate new economic opportunity
for more people, and explore new
innovations to dramatically improve
quality of life.

Section B 96 97
The Quayside neighbourhood
This view of the Quayside site plan and public space — with the goal of
looks northeast towards the Gardiner improving quality of life for Torontonians.
Expressway. The plan incorporates a It reflects 18 months of public engage-
series of innovations around transport ment needed to refine these planning
ation, social infrastructure, housing ideas and start to achieve Waterfront
affordability, digital tools, sustainable Toronto’s ambitious priority outcomes.
infrastructure, building construction,
This housing visionincludes
housing vision includes20
percent In total, the Quayside plan calls for
Key Term
of units for
for traditional
traditional affordable
affordable housing
hous- roughly 2,600 residential units, including
AMR ing (a quarter of which Sidewalk Labs roughly 1,000 below-market units.
Toronto (a quarter of which Sidewalk Labs would
would dedicate to “deep” affordability
defines affordable
defines affordable dedicate to “deep” affordability needs,
rental housing as needs, defined by the city as being at or Sidewalk Labs estimates
Sidewalk Labs estimatesthat
beinghousing as being defined bypercent
below 60 the cityAverage
as beingMarket
at or below
Rent). workapproach
approach would
would also
at or below
work also result
100 percent Average
at or below 100 percent 60 percent
The Average
vision further Marketaffordabil-
expands Rent). The economic development, with more than
Market Rent (AMR). major economic development, with
Average Market Rent
Sidewalk Labs defines ity to put
vision 20 percent
further expandsof affordability
units towards to put 3,900 jobs eventually located in Quayside
(AMR). Sidewalk to
“below-market” Labs below-market housing for middle-income
more than 3,900 jobs eventually located
and more than 9,000 new jobs in Ontario
20 percent of units towards
include mid-range
defines “below-market” households. inoverall.
Quayside(See and
Pagemore than
156 for 9,000
more new
on eco-
rental housing at below-market housing for middle-income
mid-range jobs in Ontario
nomic overall. (See Page 156
AMR as well. households.
rental housing at for more on economic development.)
100-150 percent AMR
as well.

Quayside development table

Quayside (approximate Quayside (program
Zoning bylaws36
square feet) percentages)

Total developable space 2.65 million sq ft 100% 3.17 million sq ft

planview of
view The plan for Sidewalk Toronto begins in which calls for primarily residential uses
Residential space 1.78 million 67% (of total program) 95% (of total program)
of Quayside
Quayside illustrates the Quayside, which marks the beginning of and 20 percent affordable housing.34
illustrates the
neighbourhood’s the eastern waterfront, at the head of
extensive pedestrian Condo 800,000 45% (of residential)
extensive pedes- Parliament Slip. In contrast, Sidewalk Labs proposes a
pathways, as well as
trian pathways, asa
more diverse live-work community in
new grand public
well as a new grand
Located just southeast of downtown at the nexus of many key corridors —
public Located just southeast of downtown Quayside, that can sooner and more dra- Market rental 270,000 15% (of residential)
space atspace at
Parliament Queens Quay, Parliament Street, Lake Shore Boulevard East, and the Inner
Parliament Plaza.
at the nexus of many key corridors —
Harbour — Quayside can become a new connection point that draws on the matically realize the objectives of existing
energy of surrounding neighbourhoods and makes the eastern waterfront more
Queens Quay, Parliament Street, Lake precinct plans designed for the area.35
accessible to Torontonians and better connected to the city fabric. Below market 710,000 40% (of residential)
Shore Boulevard East, and the Inner Har-
bour — Quayside can become a new con- AAcornerstone
cornerstoneof of
Sidewalk Labs’
Sidewalk proposed
Labs’ pro-
nection point that draws on the energy of posed development program forisQuay- Non-residential space 870,000 33% (of total program) 5% (of total program)
development program for Quayside that it
surrounding neighbourhoods and makes sidefor
calls is that it calls
roughly for roughly
33 percent of the33 percent
the eastern waterfront more accessible of the site’s
allowable floorallowable
area to befloor areatoto be
devoted Traditional commercial 340,000 39% (of non-residential)
to Torontonians and better connected to devoted to non-residential uses, encour- space
non-residential uses, encouraging a mix of
the city fabric. aging a mix of office space for companies
office space for companies and startups, Loft commercial space 70,000 8% (of non-residential)
and startups, ground-floor commer-
ground-floor commercial space for retailers and (3rd to 12th floors)
Quayside as a cial space for retailers and makers, and
makers, and social space for schools and
social space for schools and community Stoa spaces 400,000 45% (or non-residential)
live-work community community groups, in addition to homes. (1st or 2nd floor)
groups, in addition to homes.
Quayside would have a dramatically dif- Elementary school 60,000 7% (of non-residential)
ferent development profile from conven- For
residentialspaces, Sidewalk
spaces, Side-
tional waterfront revitalization in Toronto. walkproposes
Labs Labs proposes an unprecedented
an unprecedented
Left to the market, Quayside would likely commitment
commitment to mixed-income
to mixed-income hous-
housing, with Numbers may not add up due to rounding. All numbers
align with current zoning for the site, ing, with 40 are subject to change based on further consultations
40 percent of percent of housing
housing units units at
at below-market
and refinement of the plan.
below-market rates.
The Plans 100 101
Section B
Quayside as a proving ground
for urban innovations
Quayside would be a complete com-
munity and a great neighbourhood in
its own right. It would also serve as a
proving ground for what is possible
with a new approach to development
that integrates new innovations into
the physical environment. Public Realm. Buildings. Digital Innovation.
Quayside’s public realm consists of an All of the buildings in Quayside are Widespread digital infrastructure and
anunderutilized and
underutilized predominantly
and predominantly integrated set of parks, plazas, and open planned to be built with sustainable ubiquitous connectivity would be incor-
publicly owned neighbourhood,
neighbourhood, Quay-
Quayside spaces designed to draw people of all mass timber through a modular, fac- porated in the plan through a fast and
side presents
presents an opportunity
an opportunity to exploretoand
refine ages and abilities outdoors year-round, tory-based construction process. secure fibre-optics network and through
new refine new solutions
to pressing to pressing
urban challenges, as well as to bring people down to the This approach would help catalyze an standardized mounts designed to enable
from challenges,
energy from energy
use to housing use to
affordability to water. This approach includes flexible Ontario-based industry focused on digital innovation by a range of commu-
housing affordability to street safety.
street safety. The Quayside development lower-floor stoa spaces featuring a lively sustainable construction and building nity and entrepreneurs. These tools are
The Quayside development plan inte- mix of traditional retailers, pop-ups, technologies. Flexible Loft spaces are designed to support innovation while also
plan integrates emerging physical and digital
grates emerging physical and digital production or maker spaces, and com- designed to accommodate a mix of adhering to the appropriate guidelines,
tools beyond those used in the traditional
tools beyond those used in the tradi- munity uses — all seamlessly integrated residential and non-residential uses policies, and protocols to ensure privacy
development process, with the ultimate goal
tional development process, with the with the sidewalks and plazas to create that can evolve to meet the neighbour- protection and responsible data use
of improving people’s lives.
ultimate goal of improving people’s lives. a vibrant streetscape. hood’s changing needs.

Mobility. Housing. Sustainability. Social Infrastructure.

The Quayside plan is built around con- As described earlier, Quayside’s residen- The Quayside plan would result in a In Quayside, the proposed development
necting to surrounding neighbour- tial program strives towards an unprece- low-carbon, resilient neighbourhood program would include building space
hoods and the rest of the city through dented range of housing options for peo- with a significant number of environ- for an elementary school co-located
a network of people-first streets, walk- ple of all incomes, blending market- and mental innovations, including sustain- with a daycare facility, as well as ground-
able street designs, enhanced cycling below-market units throughout buildings able building materials and designs, floor space for evolving community
options, accessibility initiatives, and new and across the neighbourhood. Addi- an advanced power grid for electricity, uses, including a neighbourhood centre
mobility services that encourage shared tionally, a shared equity program aims to a clean thermal grid for heating for health and other care services,
trips. Light rail transit would be extended expand home-ownership opportunities and cooling, a smart disposal chain a community centre designed to inspire
through the neighbourhood to improve for middle-income households that might designed to increase recycling, and civic engagement, and ongoing educa-
connections with other parts of the city. otherwise not be able to afford a large active stormwater management. tional programs.
down payment.

Section B The Plans 102 103

Mobility Proposed urban innovations

A transportation system that reduces the need

1 8
A self-financing light rail transit extension A mobility management system would
to own a car by providing safe, convenient, would connect residents to job hubs and use real-time information to coordinate

connected, and affordable options for every trip. draw workers and visitors to the water- travel modes, traffic signals, and street
front from all over the city. infrastructure, and to apply pricing to
curb and parking spaces — reducing con-

The Quayside plan integrates safe street bike and pedestrian infrastructure, 2 A vast network of pedestrian and cycling
infrastructure featuring wider sidewalks,
gestion and encouraging shared trips.

design, innovative policy approaches, and

new digital tools to create a balanced set
of mobility options and connect into the
support new mobility services priced
for sharing, and encourage electric
vehicles. While designed for safe
wider and heated bike lanes, and accessi-
bility elements would encourage walking
and cycling and support people using
9 A district parking management system
would incorporate high-density on- and
off-site parking, on-demand retrieval of
surrounding city. Extensive accessibility operation today, Queens Quay would wheelchairs or other assistive devices. vehicles, and electric-vehicle charging.
initiatives would help meet the needs of also anticipate the potential benefits

3 10
All streets in Quayside
all travellers.37 of self-driving technology. New mobility services such as ride-hail, Dynamic curbs are flexible street spaces
(such as Bonnycastle
Street, shown here) bike-share, electric vehicle car-share, that would provide passenger loading
would feature a range Anchored around a reimagined Queens Taken together, these mobility initiatives and e-scooters would provide affordable zones during rush hour and public spaces
of innovations that
Quay, the Quayside plan would support would encourage 73 percent of all trips alternatives to private car trips. in off-peak times.
balance the needs of
light rail expansion, provide exceptional to be made using public transit, walking,

all users.
or cycling. “People-first” street types would be
designed for different speeds and pri-
mary uses, including Boulevards and
11 Adaptive traffic signals would prioritize
pedestrians who need more time to
cross a street or transit vehicles running
Transitways for public transit and vehicle behind schedule.
traffic, Accessways for cyclists, and Lan-
eways for pedestrians.


A wide set of accessibility initiatives
would include curbless street design,
wider sidewalks, heated pavement,
wayfinding beacons, and accessible
ride-hail vehicles.

An integrated mobility subscription
package would establish a new pricing
4 model that enables residents and work-
ers to see all their trip choices in real
time and pay in one place.

A freight “logistics hub” would feature
5 a consolidated shipping centre (housed
alongside on-demand storage and a
borrowing library) with underground
delivery, reducing truck traffic on local
10 streets and improving convenience.

Section B The Plans 104 105

Public Realm Proposed urban innovations

A system of streets, parks, plazas, and open

1 6
Quayside’s three primary open spaces Modular pavement — hexagonal pavers
spaces that encourages people to spend more would be infused with flexibility to encour- that can be replaced or repaired in mere

time outdoors, together. age year-round use, including a dynamic hours by a single person with a handheld
water feature and performance space at machine — would dramatically reduce
Parliament Plaza, barges on Parliament the amount of time streets spend closed
Slip, and multi-sport fields in Silo Park. down for road or utility work and increase
The Quayside plan features an expansive Parliament Slip would provide direct flexibility of street uses.

public realm designed to bring together access to the water, and Silo Park An outdoor-comfort system

The 6,000-square-
metre Parliament
residents, workers, and visitors of all ages
and abilities.38
would provide a lively mix of recre-
ational facilities.
(featuring Raincoats to shelter sidewalks;
Fanshells to cover open spaces; and
Lanterns to block wind) could dramat-
7 A proposed entity called the Open
Space Alliance would coordinate pro-
gramming, operations, and maintenance
Plaza would be The heart of Quayside’s public realm is Adaptable lower-floor “stoa” spaces can ically increase the amount of time it is across Quayside’s parks, plazas, streets,
surrounded by stoa
Parliament Plaza, a flexible space that support a wide variety of retail, office, comfortable outside. and water spaces for a more responsive
space and include
dynamic water incorporates water features, ground- production, and community uses. Outdoor public realm.

features and an floor markets, and public programming. comfort systems could increase the num- Flexible ground-floor “stoa” spaces

overhead canopy
ber of comfortable hours by 35 percent, designed to accommodate a wide range Shared programming infrastructure,
for weather protec-
tion in all seasons. drawing people outside in all seasons. of uses beyond traditional retail would such as projectors and lighting options,
ensure that the community has a lively would enable the community to program
mix of shops, restaurants, cafés, art open spaces themselves.
installations, community gatherings, and

maker studios. A real-time map of public realm
assets — including park benches and

4 A leasing platform called Seed Space
would help small businesses and other
retailers book a wide range of stoa sizes,
landscaped gardens — would enable
proactive maintenance and keep
spaces in good condition.
from anchor-tenant spaces to micro-

stalls, for short- or long-term uses.

10 Open access channels located under

removable pavers would allow for easy

5 People-first street designs would elimi-

nate curbside parking, widen sidewalks,
and increase tree plantings to improve
utility access and greater flexibility to
incorporate new systems as they are
developed over time.
safety and activate street life.

Section B The Plans 106 107

Buildings and Housing Proposed urban innovations

Sustainable buildings that can be constructed and

1 7
ambitiousbelow-market housing
below-market housing Middle-income
Middle-incomehousing would
housing options would
adapted far more quickly, and a new set of financial program
wouldfeature 20 percent
feature affordable
20 percent include“shared
include “shared equity”
equity” units
units designed
designed to
and design tools that help improve affordability and affordable
housing unitshousing units
(a quarter (a quarter
of which of
would go help households build value in their home
help households build value in their
which would
towards “deep”go towards needs)
affordability “deep” and
20 without the high up-front cost of a tradi-
expand options for all households. ability needs) and 20 percent middle-
home without the high up-front cost of a
tional mortgage down payment.
percent middle- income housing units; half
traditional mortgage down payment.
the totalhousing units;
proposed halfprogram
housing of the total

Quayside’s innovative approach to An
ambitiousaffordability programprogram
affordability targets 40 percent
tar- of consist of “purpose-built” rentals criticalcon-
proposed housing program would to Quayside
wouldfeature a set
feature of efficient
a set and
of efficient
buildings and housing would create a units
gets for40
percent of housing. Flexible
units for wall systems
below-market sist of “purpose-built” rentals critical to ultra-efficient units that
and ultra-efficient reduce
units thatsize to enable
reduce size
improving long-term affordability.
neighbourhood that is more inclusive and efficient Flexible
housing. unit designs help
wall create a and
systems rangeefficient
of options improving long-term affordability. to enable affordability
affordability while remainingwhile remaining
livable through liv-
for families, single-person households, the elderly, and able through thoughtful design
and responsive to community needs.39 unit designs help create a range of options thoughtful design features, such as features,

other groups currently hoping to live downtown.
for families, single-person households, the Quayside
neighbour-built such as space-saving
space-saving furniture,
furniture, shared shared
Quayside(with SiloSilo
(with Park The plan calls for mass timber buildings elderly, and other groups currently hoping entirely of “mass
hood built timber”
entirely — an emerging
of “mass timber” — an building amenities,
amenities, and accessand access
to off-site to off-site
storage space
Park shown
shown here)be
here) would that are just as strong and fire-resistant to live downtown. emerging
material material
every everyand
bit as strong bit as strong and
fire-resistant as storage space with on-demand delivery.
with on-demand delivery.
would be the first
the first neighbourhood as steel or concrete but dramatically more fire-resistant
concrete or steelas concrete
but far more or steel but —
sustainable far

neighbourhood built
built entirely of mass more sustainable — including record-set- This approach of “affordability by design”
entirely of mass tim- sustainable. Mass timber parts would be including record-setting buildings of around 30
timber whilesupporting
ber while supporting a ting buildings of around 30 storeys. would enable the creation of 87 more
produced in an Ontario-based factory, storeys.
range of housing
a range for
of housing
accelerating project timelines by up to 35 units in Quayside than would otherwise

for people across
people across the
the socio-economic percent without compromising safety or An
Ontario-based factory
factory would produce
would pro- exist in a conventional development,
spectrum. duce timber
mass timber building
design excellence. mass building parts parts for fast
for fast creating $37 million of value that could be
assembly in Quayside, catalyzing a new applied towards below-market housing.
assembly in Quayside, catalyzing a new
industry that taps into Canada’s vast sus-

industry that taps into Canada’s vast AAset
tainable forests. setofofco-living
co-livingunits would
units feature
would shared
sustainable forests.
1 building
sharedamenities, such as communal
building amenities, such as com-

Buildings in Quayside would feature munal kitchens,
kitchens, to community
to enhance enhance community
for a range
adaptable “Loft” spaces designed with offor a rangeincluding
residents, of residents, including sin-
2 8
flexible floor plates to accommodate gle-personmulti-generational
households, households, multi-genera-
families, and
residential, commercial, and light tional families, and seniors.
manufacturing uses, enabling a true

live-work community. In Quayside, 40 percent of housing
would consist of family-sized units at

A system of flexible wall panels two bedrooms or more.
would enable renovations to Loft and
residential spaces to occur much faster
than normal, reducing vacancies and
helping the neighbourhood adapt to
market conditions.

A proposed “outcome-based” building
code system would monitor noise,
nuisances, and structural integrity in
real time to help a mix of residential
and non-residential uses thrive without
sacrificing public safety or comfort.

Section B The Plans 108 109

Sustainability Proposed urban innovations

A new standard of sustainability that creates a

1 7
Low-energy building designs — inspired An underground pneumatic tube
blueprint for truly climate-positive communities. by the Passive House movement — would system would separate waste streams
achieve Toronto Green Standard Tier 3 underground, reducing contamination
rating for energy efficiency and Tier 4 for and centralizing trash hauling.
greenhouse gas intensity.

An anaerobic digestion facility can

Following Waterfront Toronto’s lead in energy-efficient
energy-efficientbuildings that that
buildings meetmeetthe the Digital active energy management tools convert organic (food) waste into a
sustainable development, the Quayside TorontoGreen
Toronto Green Standard
Standard TierTier 3; increasing
3; increasing called “Schedulers” would optimize clean energy source called biogas.
plan would create a nearly carbon- recycling
recycling with
with a smart
a smart disposal
disposal chain;
chain; and and energy systems for residents, businesses,

Buildingsin in
the neutral neighbourhood that cuts deploying and building operators, ensuring that An
management system
deploying anan active
active stormwater
stormwater manage-
Quayside (shown buildings operate in the most efficient system
(shown here near greenhouse gases by 85 percent from ment system.
system. would relywould relyinfrastructure
on green on green infrastructure
to capture
here near Parliament way possible. to capture and retain stormwater and to
Parliament Slip and the city average.40 and retain stormwater and on digital sensors
Slip andwould
Cove) Cove) feature
theseinitiatives, Quayside
initiatives, Quaysidewould on digital
empty sensors
storage to empty
containers storage
in advance of acon-

feature ambitious
ambitious ener-
It would achieve this outcome through a would
set setstandard
a new a new standard of sustain-
of sustainability that AAdistrict
districtenergy system
energy called
system a “thermal
called grid”
a “ther- tainers in advance of a storm.
gy-efficient con-
struction, while the series of innovations that include relying ability
takes that
the firsttakes
stepsthe first a
towards steps towards mal grid”
would would
provide provide
heating, heating,
cooling, cooling,
and domestic
construction, while the
public realm would and domestic hot water by energy
drawing on
public realm would on clean energy sources for heating and a climate-positive
climate-positive community
community on the on hot water by drawing on clean sources
incorporate green
incorporate greento cooling; optimizing energy consumption the waterfront. clean
such asenergy sources
geothermal such as geothermal
(underground) energy,
infrastructure waterfront.
infrastructure to manage
manage stormwater. using digital technology; designing (underground)
building energy,
“waste” (or building
excess) “waste”
heat, and
stormwater. (or excess)heat.
wastewater heat, and wastewater heat.

An advanced power grid would use solar
energy, battery storage, and time-based
energy pricing to reduce reliance on the
main Toronto Hydro grid during periods
of peak demand and make an all-electric
community affordable.

An innovative utility bill structure would
enable residents and businesses to set
monthly budgets for energy costs, similar
to the way people pay for mobile phone
plans today.

A smart disposal chain would feature
real-time feedback to improve waste
sorting and “pay-as-you-throw” chutes to
reduce household and business waste.

Section B The Plans 110 111

Social Infrastructure Proposed urban innovations

Health, civic life, learning, and

1 5
CareCollective would
Collective provide
would community
provide commu- An online resource called Collab
workforce initiatives and facilities nity space
space dedicated
dedicated to enhancing
to enhancing health
health and could allow community members to

that enable people to thrive. and well-being

well-being by co-locating
by co-locating theof
the delivery delivery
health decide on public space programming,
of health care and community services
care and community services alongside giving them a nuanced understanding
proactive proactive
health health programming.
programming. of trade-offs and community impact.

AACivic Assembly,adjacent
The Quayside plan would integrate space Quayside’s
socialinfrastructure could
infrastructure feature
could Civic Assembly, The Sidewalk Works jobs program would
allocates a central
a central space for social infrastructure from the start, afeature a Care Collective
Care Collective dedicated dedicated
to enhancingto Care Collective,
Care Collective, would
provideneigh- bring employers and educators into
space called the creating opportunities for community enhancing health and well-being, a Civic bourhood access to spaces for conversation, prepare workers to acquire
called the Civic health and well-being, a Civic Assembly neighbourhood access to spaces for
Civic Assembly as
organizations and local service providers Assembly community programs, civic engage- in-demand skills, and connect employers
Assembly as the
the physical heart of designed to designed
encourage civicand
engagement community programs, civic
physical heart of civic to activate these spaces, strengthen the engagement ment, and cultural events. with a diverse and talented workforce.
civic life in the neigh- social cohesion,and social cohesion,
an elementary schoolan
life — a place
in the neighbourhood community, and help community mem- elementary school proposed to be oper-
engagement, and cultural events.
proposed to be operated by the Toronto

to connect with
— a place to connect bers thrive.41 While Sidewalk Labs would ated by the Toronto District School Board, An elementary school, co-located with
neighbours, engage District School Board, and a collaboration
with neighbours, engage a childcare centre, would ensure that
in cultural activities, not provide any community services, it and a collaboration with the Toronto
activities, with the Toronto Public Library.
ser- would work with partners to ensure that Public Library. downtown families have access to basic
vices, local services,
and partici-
critical services are accessible to all popu- education and child care needs.
and in community
participate in
decisions. lations, including the most vulnerable.
community decisions.

proposed collaboration withwith
collaboration the Toronto
the Toronto
Public Library (TPL)
(TPL) would
would explore
explore ways
ways to to
integrate the
the library’s
library’s presence
presence through-
throughout the
out the neighbourhood, resulting in poten-
neighbourhood, resulting in potential pop-up
tial pop-up
lending lending
services services or TPL-devel-
or TPL-developed classes on
oped classes
digital literacy. on digital literacy.

Section B The Plans 112 113

Digital Innovation Proposed urban innovations

Catalyze digital innovations that help

1 5
ubiquitousconnectivity network
connectivity — powered
network — Building
Buildingon on
existing privacyprivacy
existing laws, a proposed
laws, a pro-
tackle urban challenges and establish powered
by by a new Super-PON
a new Super-PON technol-
technology that reaches independent Urban Data Trust
posed independent Urbanwould oversee
Data the
review and approvalthe
of allreview
digital innovations that
a new standard for the responsible ogy that
faster reaches
speeds faster
with less speeds—
equipment with
canless would oversee and approval
propose to use or collect urban data in Quayside —
provide — can and
households provide households
businesses with a of all digital innovations that propose to
collection and use of data in cities. and businesses with a across
whether developed by Sidewalk Labs or third
use or collect urban data in Quayside —
secure personal network entire parties.
network across an entire neighbourhood,
neighbourhood, indoors and outdoors. whether developed by Sidewalk Labs or
In Quayside, Sidewalk Labs proposes to The
would also serve
also asas
serve a a indoors and outdoors. third parties.
take a holistic approach that creates four globaldemonstration
global demonstrationfor for responsible
responsible datadata

In Quayside (here, a sidewalk cafe

In Quayside (here,
beneath a building Raincoat, along
a sidewalk cafe
Queens Quay East), Sidewalk Labs
core conditions for digital innovation to
flourish responsibly.42
inuse in cities
be controlled
by proposing
by proposing
by anby
the Urban
that urban
an independent
Data Trust,
Trust, charged

be data
entity called
Standardized physical mounts connected
to power would dramatically reduce the
cost of deploying digital innovations,
6 The
The proposed

proposed Urban DataTrust
Urban Data Trust would
would be tasked with establishing
tasked with establishing clear
clear Responsible Data Use Guidelines
Responsible Data Use Guidelines that
beneath a build-
proposes deployment of super-fast,
conditionsinclude providing
include providingmore
more balancing the interests of personal pri- serving as a sort of “urban USB port.” that safeguard the public good while
ing Raincoat,
super-secure Wi-Fi. along interests of personal privacy, public interest, safeguard the public good while
Queens Quay East), affordable
affordable and
and flexible
flexible digital
digital infrastruc-
infrastructure, vacy, public interest, and innovation. enabling innovation, including by making

and innovation.
Sidewalk Labs ture, setting data standards that are Open,
Open, published standardswould
published standards wouldmake
make enabling innovation,
de-identified includingdata
or non-personal by pub-
setting data standards that are open andopen
proposes deployment
of super-fast, and secure,
secure, and launching
and launching coreservices
core digital digital properly protected urban data acces-
properly protected urban data making de-identified
licly accessible or non-personal
by default.
services sible to the community in real time, and data publicly accessible by default.
super-secure Wi-Fi. that othersthat
can others
build on.can build on. accessible to the community in real

make it easy for third parties to build new AApublicly
publiclytransparent Responsible
transparent DataData
Responsible Use
time, and make it easy for third parties
services or competitive alternatives to Use Assessment would ensure that com-
Assessment would ensure that companies or
to build new
existing services or competitive
ones. panies or members
community community members
wishing to use wishing
urban data
alternatives to existing ones. to use urban data do so in a way that has
do so in a way that has a beneficial purpose

4 AAbest-in-class
best-in-class approach to security
approach to security and
resiliency would be designed to prevent
resiliency would be designed to prevent
disruptions, rapidly detect them, and rap-
disruptions, rapidly detect them, and
a beneficial
and purpose and protects privacy.
protects privacy.

idly restore functionality.

rapidly restore functionality.

Section B The Plans 114 115

Pedestrian walkway: Intimate
walkway: AAnetwork
networkof of pedes-
trian-only pathways
all-mass timber

Intimate public spaces


public spaces
would be lined with neighbourhood,
pathways would be lined neighbourhood,
a variety of retail, Quayside would be-
with a variety ofand
community, retail, Quayside would become
come a global model
community, and cultural
cultural ground-floor afor
global model for this
stoa spaces,
ground-floor stoawith sustainable,
showcasing thisbeautiful
housing and offices building material.
spaces, with housing and sustainable, beautiful
on upper floors to
offices building material.
createona upper floors to
true live-
work a true live- work

Section B The Plans 116 117

Queens Quay: AAredesigned
Quay would
modular pave-
ment system
pavement with
system with

People-first streets
expanded pedes- embedded lights and
expanded pedestrian embedded lights and
trian spaces that heating would facil-
frombenefit from
animat- heating would
itate safe, facilitate
ed ground ground floors,
floors, safe, welcoming
ing spaces thatspaces
curbless streets,
streets, lush adapt to changing
that can adapt to
lush plantings, and conditions.
plantings, and changing conditions.
strategies that make
it possiblethat make
for peopleit
to spendformore
people to
outside together.
spend more time outside

Section B The Plans 118 119

Parliament Plaza: Connecting land and water
Parliament Plaza: A series of water-
based play spaces
would anchor a grand
The plaza would
be surrounded by
two-story ground-

Connecting land and water central plaza designed

to draw people down
to the water’s edge
floor stoa spaces
that host diverse
programming and
and host a wide range blur the line between
of activities, from indoors and outdoors.
concerts to markets
to art installations.

Section B The Plans 120 121

Parliament Slip: Active in all seasons
Parliament Slip: Framed by lower-scale,
intimate buildings,
art installations, and
relaxation. A new
Parliament Slip would pedestrian bridge

Active in all seasons offer direct access to

the water for activ-
ities like kayaking,
would connect the slip
with the stunning new
parks of Villiers Island.
educational programs,

Section B The Plans 122 123

Outdoor-comfort support ongoing
strategies, such as programming to
building Raincoats ensure that the
that extend over waterfront remains
the sidewalk and lively and safe year-
temporary enclosed round.
Open for full structures, would
Parliament Slip

124 125
Exploring larger scales to estimates that 10,500 of the 93,000 IDEA Specifically,
keep Quayside
keep resident
Quayside resident

realize and maximize the energy

District jobs would be focused on urban energybills inin
bills line with
line Toronto
with averages,
Toronto the
innovation, creating a new economic the advanced
advanced powerpower and thermal
and thermal grids
grids would

impact achieved in Quayside

engine around this emerging area. would arequire
require a $19supplemental
$19 million million supplemen-
tal innovation
investment investment
based based
on the current ondue
plan, theto
Catalyzing a mass timber industry. current
factors plan, due
including theto factors
high cost ofincluding the
As the world’s first entirely mass- high costand
exchange of geothermal
initial electricexchange and
grid connections,
timber neighbourhood, Quayside can
ininitial electric grid connections, in addi-
addition to the poor economies of scale for
help demonstrate the feasibility and tion to the poor economies of scale for
steps the world.43 The following initiatives operating costs.
benefits of this new sustainable building operating costs.
towards Waterfront
Waterfront Toronto’s
Toronto’s quali-
quality-of-life require such scale to realize their
material. But Sidewalk Labs estimates
ty-of-life and
objectives objectives and afor
a new model new model for
urban intended impact.
that a larger development area — roughly The
The River District would
River District wouldprovide
urban development.
development. But someBut some
of the of theof the
elements 6 million square feet — is needed to jus- enough area
enough area to
to support these invest-
support these

Quayside of the Quayside
cannot planfull
reach their cannot
impact at tify an investment in the factory-based ments, such as a new thermal energy
the size of a five-hectare neighbourhood,a while
reach their full impact at the size of investments, such as a new thermal
production of mass timber, as well as grid for heating and cooling buildings,
five-hectare neighbourhood, while others
others cannot be financed or successfully for such a factory to hit peak efficiency
energy grid for heating and cooling
because the systems scale in a finan-
cannot be financed or successfully buildings, because theWith
systems scale in
operated without a certain amount of density in producing sustainable building com- cially sustainable way. public-sector
operated without a certain amount of
to support them. Attracting new economic ponents on a predictable timeline that asupport,
thesustainable way. With
Sidewalk Toronto project
density to support them.
developers can trust. could become
public-sector the largest,
support, densest cli-
the Sidewalk
and jobs anchors mate-positive district in North America
Moreimportantly, comprehensive
importantly, comprehensive planning
plan- Toronto project could become the
Extendingthis approach across the River
this approach District could
across thecatalyze
River and the third largest in the world —
and andare
scale scale are necessary
necessary to realizetoand
realize Sparking an urban innovation cluster. the creation of a new Canadian industry that capitalizes on the largest, densest climate-positive district
District could catalyze the creation of a establishing a credible path forward
and maximize Waterfront Toronto’s ambi- Quayside can establish the foundation country’s abundant green-certified forests, and could support a
maximize Waterfront Toronto’s ambitious new
new Canadian
modular factory thatindustry
accelerates that capitalizes
construction timelines byon
up citiesAmerica
to follow.and the third largest in
tious priority
priority outcomes:
outcomes: joband
job creation creation and
economic of a district that actively supports inno-
tothe country’s
35 percent. abundant green-certified the world — establishing a credible
economic development,
development, sustainability
sustainability and vation, creativity, and exploration, but

forests, and could support a new modu- path forward for cities to follow.
and climate-positive
climate-positive development,
development, housing hous- the River District has sufficient space to
lar factory that accelerates construction
ing affordability, new mobility, and urban accommodate an economic cluster’s
The full proposed affordability, new mobility, and urban timelines by up to 35 percent.
IDEA District innovation (including robust data privacy potential expansion and a sufficient den-
innovation (including robust data privacy and
could catalyze and digital governance). sity of housing, retail, and amenities to

93,000 total jobs, digital governance).
support tens of thousands of new work- Unlocking significant
44,000 direct jobs Consistent
Consistent with thethe
with RFP’s recognition
RFP’s of the
recognition of ers and residents.
by 2040.
progress towards
the potential
potential need
need to to explore
explore scale, Side-
scale, Sidewalk Labs
walk Labs
believes in abelieves in a phased
phased approach approach
for testing, Alphabet
Alphabetcommits to establishing
commits a new
to establishing a housing affordability
for testing,
refining, refining, and demonstrating
and demonstrating the impact of core new Canadian
Canadian headquarters
headquarters foron
for Google Google
the Supporting advanced To
makeaasignificant dent
significant in housing
dent in hous-
the impactbeginning
of core innovations, beginning on the western edge of Villiers Island,
innovations, with a smaller setting western edge of Villiers Island, as part of an infrastructure to achieve ing affordability,
affordability, Sidewalk
Sidewalk Labstoplans
Labs plans explore a
with a smaller setting and working up to as part of an
agreed-upon agreed-upon
transaction withintransaction
the IDEA to explore a series of private
and working up to larger areas along the series of private funding sourcesfunding
that can help
larger areas along the eastern waterfront within the climate positivity
eastern waterfront as project objectives are District. ThisIDEA
new District. This new
headquarters wouldhead-
be the sources
support anthat can help
ambitious support an
below-market ambi-
as project objectives are achieved. quarters
centre and would
forthe centre
a new and cata-
innovation Robust
energyinfrastructure can can
infrastructure reduce
reduce tious below-market vision, including
achieved. including affordability by design (using efficient
lyst for a new innovation campus, which greenhouse
greenhouse gas
gas emissions
emissions by percent
by 85 85 percent
in affordability by design (using efficient
campus, which would also include a new unit design to create more total units, and thus
suchreasons, Sidewalk
reasons, Sidewalk Labs hashas
Labs would also include a new non-profit in Quayside
Quayside compared
compared to thetostatus
the status quo.
quo. But unit design to create more total units, and
non-profit applied research institute called additional value); the increased value of public
proposed a concept
a concept planplan
for afor a wider
wider River applied research institute called the But designing, implementing, and operat- thus additional value); the increased value
the Urban Innovation Institute. designing, implementing, and operating the land due to factory-built timber construction;
River District
District geography
geography that wouldthat would
make make
it possible Urban Innovation Institute. ing the advanced infrastructure systems of public land due to factory-built timber
advanced infrastructure systems necessary to and a condo resale fee.
toit meet
possible to meet
or exceed theor exceed priority
ambitious the ambi- necessary to achieve climate positivity
achieve climate positivity — which requires — construction; and a condo resale fee.
tious priority
outcomes outcomes
in a way in a financially
that is both way that is The innovation campus would be a major which requires exporting clean energy
exporting clean energy outside a project area
both financially
achievable achievable
and replicable andparts
in other replicable
of employment anchor for the revitalized outside a project area — requires a large At the Quayside scale, however, only
— requires a large enough customer base to
in other parts of Canada and around eastern waterfront. In total, Sidewalk Labs enough customer base to be effective affordability by design would create
Canada and around be effective and financially feasible.
and financially feasible. value (roughly $37 million) that could be

Section B 126 127

towards a
a below-market
below-market hous- Quayside’s
development of 10of 10 Creating a trusted process for
ing program. Generating land value from buildings
buildings (roughly
(roughly 2.65
2.65 million
million square
square feet)feet)
housing program. Generating land responsible data use, with a
factory-based construction requires 6 is not
not large
large enough
enough to sustainably
to sustainably supportsup-
the proposed independent Urban Data
value from factory-based construction
million square feet of delivery output to port theof
financing financing of thelight
the waterfront waterfront lightthe
rail. An area Trust to oversee and approval the
requires 6 million square feet of delivery
refine the factory process and reliably rail.of
size Anthe
area the size
proposed of the
River proposed
District (nearlyRiver
27 Creating the conditions use or collection of urban data
output to refine thetimelines
factory process and
accelerate project and reduce District (nearly 27 million square feet)
million square feet) could provide enough for urban innovation Launching core digital services
project accelerate project timelines
risks for developers. and
Generating could provide enough density to pursue
density to pursue promising self-financing
demonstration site to that others can build on through
funds from
reduce therisks
project resale
forfee requires ongo-
developers. promising self-financing methods for the
methods for the light rail, such as tax increment open access to properly protected
ing condo turnover, and thus additional light rail, such as tax increment financing. site to
begin begin establishing
establishing thedigital,
the physical, physical,
Generating funds from the resale fee financing. urban data
phases of development. digital,
policy and policy
conditions for conditions for urban
urban innovation,
requires ongoing condo turnover, and innovation, enablingentrepreneurs,
researchers, private
Designing a network of new enabling researchers,
thus additional
Applying these phases
these of at
strategies development.
at the
the scale
scale mobility options. preneurs, private
companies, companies,government
civic organizations, civic orga- But some of these initiatives require the
Housing affordability scale of the River District to realize their
of the River District has the poten- The limited street network of Quayside nizations,and
agencies, government agencies,
innovators to and
create countless
by the numbers: of the River District has the potential to full potential.
40% below-market tial to generate more than $1.4 billion (four blocks) can be used to develop new innovators to create countless new ser-
new services designed to improve urban life.
vision generate more than $1.4 billion for vices designed to improve urban life.
for below-market housing. With this ways to design streets that prioritize peo-
More than
below-market housing. With this
approach, and additional government ple and cyclists, improve the efficiency
advances in fibre-optic
advances technology
in fibre-optic
$1.4 billion in
and network security
technology can build on
and network Waterfront
security canToronto’s
private funding approach, and
support, the additional
district couldgovernment
include an of how space is allocated as travel pat- At the heart of this vision is the ability to
at the full IDEA progress bridging the
on Waterfront digital divide
Toronto’s and enable
progress bridging
support, the13,600
estimated district could include
below-market an —
units terns shift across a day, and incorporate create the digital conditions for others to
District scale countless new solutions to be developed by a wide
build on. These include: the digital divide and enable countless new
Up to 13,600 helping to 13,600
estimated addressbelow-market
increasingly urgent
units adaptable features that can respond to array of third parties. But such an advanced network
below-market units solutions to be developed by a wide array
affordable housing needs. new mobility options as they emerge. But only becomes financially sustainable at the scale of the
(with additional — helping to address increasingly of third parties. But such an advanced
streets only have transformative impact Providing more affordable and River District, given the number of residents or
government urgent affordable housing needs. flexible digital infrastructure, such network only becomes financially sustain-

support) at the full when they form a network. businesses needed to recoup the initial investment in
IDEA District scale as ubiquitous connectivity and able
core at theinfrastructure.
enabling scale of the River District, given
standardized mounts the number of residents or businesses
IfIfQuayside’s mobilityinnovations
Quayside’s mobility innovationsare
needed to recoup the initial investment in
applied across
applied across the
the River
there Setting data standards that are
core enabling infrastructure.
would be opportunities to give residents,
Creating a 21st-century would be opportunities to give open and secure
workers, and visitors a full set of trans-
residents, workers, and visitors a full set By planning holistically, and over a large
mobility network portation options designed to meet
of enough area, these conditions would help
of their needs options designed
without owning to
a car,
Extending the LRT into the Port Lands. the IDEA District become an economic
meet all of77their
enabling needs
percent without
of trips owning
to be made a
Toronto has planned an extension of its engine focused on urban innovation while
public transit network across the east-
car, enabling
through 77orpercent
transit of tripsacross
active modes to be
unlocking transformative quality-of-life
the IDEA District.
ern waterfront since 2006, but the plans, made through transit or active modes improvements for all.
which could cost as much as $1.2 billion, across the IDEA District.
The River District could also showcase
remain unfunded.44 Sidewalk Labs is pro- This is the opportunity before Toronto.
the world’s first street network designed
posing, if public funding is not available,
to integrate self-driving vehicles in a way
that this critical project can be built now
and financed through future revenue
that supports public transit use, shared
rides, and enhanced pedestrian and
By planning over a large
streams generated by the development
made possible by the transit extension.
cycling experiences. enough area, the IDEA
District could become an
Sidewalk Labs is prepared to provide
financial support to this approach, but economic engine and unlock
it only becomes viable if the new transit
lines would serve a sufficient amount of
transformative quality-of-
development. life improvements.
Section B 128 129
The Plans

Part 3
The River District: Anchored by the relocation of Google’s
Canadian headquarters to Villiers West,
Creating an the proposed River District would consist
of five distinct neighbourhoods —
together creating a new hub for urban
Ecosystem to Build innovation with the potential for
global impact.
on Quayside’s
Section B 130 131
Quayside innovation
Quayside inno- Planning
Planningfor the
for River
the District
River is guided
District by the
is guided
Key Term
vation framework
framework and development
and development approach at by the
Port Port
Lands Lands Planning
Planning Framework, Framework,
which lays
The IDEA District’s
Innovation approach
scale, at scale,
Sidewalk Labs Sidewalk Labs pro-
proposes Waterfront which
out laysto
a vision out a visionthese
transform to transform
poses Waterfront
and the CityToronto and the Citythis industrial lands and
an economic and
Framework Toronto of Toronto also apply into an economic hub that
of Toronto
approach to also apply
a larger this approach
geography toas
identified a innovation
adapts hub that
to changing adapts to
conditions, changing
a modified regulatory
framework designed larger
the geography
“River identified
District,” an as the62
area spanning “River conditions,
ubiquitous enjoys ubiquitous
connectivity, respects connectiv-
to foster the policy District,” an area spanning 62 hectares ity, respects the waterfront context, and
conditions necessary
hectares with five distinct neighbourhoods: waterfront context, and creates a network of
with five distinct neighbourhoods: Villiers creates a network of dynamic new neigh-
to tackle urban Villiers West, Villiers East, Keating East, dynamic new neighbourhoods. Plans for
challenges using West, Villiers East, Keating East, McCleary, bourhoods. Plans for Villiers Island and
McCleary, and Polson Quay. Villiers Island and Keating are further guided
innovative solutions. and Polson Quay. Keating are further guided by the Villiers
by the Villiers Island and Keating precinct
Island and Keating precinct plans.
These neighbourhoods wouldbe
neighbourhoods would becarefully
stitched into their surrounding environ- While
While the the
investment in the Port Lands
investment Flood
in the Protection
Port Lands Project is
carefully stitched into their surrounding extraordinary, it is only a first step. Substantial additional
ments, including extending the innova- Flood Protection Project is extraordinary,
environments, including extending the investments are required to fully unlock the area’s potential,
tion corridor along Queens Quay and into it is only
especially a first
strong transitstep. Substantial
connections additional
and basic infrastructure. The
innovation corridor along Queens Quay
Quayside. They would also be anchored investments
lack are required
of modern infrastructure to fully
and questions unlock
over how to finance it
and into common
by their Quayside. They would
connection also
to a be
newly create a formidable
the area’s barrier to any
potential, kind of development,
especially strong let tran-
the standard-setting communities envisioned by Waterfront
anchored byDon
naturalized their common
River, connection
a historic $1.25 to sit connections and basic infrastructure.
Toronto and the City of Toronto in the Port Lands Planning
newlyproject that will
naturalized Don eliminate
River, flooding
a historic The lack of modern infrastructure and
in the eastern waterfront and establish an questions over how to finance it create a
$1.25 billion project that will eliminate Through
new The River District program overall is The
RiverDistrict is is
District anan
ecological foundation for new sustainable formidable barrier to any kind of develop-
flooding in the eastern waterfront and economic
economic hub hub
on on
Villiers shaped by the need for enough density tunity
for for Waterfront
Waterfront Toronto,
Toronto, the City ofthe City of
communities built around spectacular ment, let alone the standard-setting com- Villiers West and
West and by planning
parks andan ecological foundation for
nature. munities envisioned by Waterfront Toronto by planning and to achieve Waterfront Toronto’s priority Toronto,
and othersand others to
to capitalize oncapitalize on the
the investments
and financing innovative
new sustainable communities built financing innovative outcomes and make the development investments
proposed proposed
by Sidewalk byAs
Labs. Sidewalk Labs.
and the City of Toronto in the Port Lands
systems across
financially sustainable. As Innovation
and and Funding
Funding Partner, SidewalkPartner, Side-
Labs would
around spectacular parks and nature. Planning Framework. district, Sidewalk
district, Sidewalk Labs
Labs can create the walktoLabs
seek helpwould
provideseek to help provide
the framework and the
can create the
conditions to fully By
Google’s expanded
Canadian framework and funding through which
funding through which this part of the eastern
conditions to fully unlock
unlock the water-
headquarters to Villiers
to Villiers West,
West, establishing
establishing an this part of the eastern waterfront can
the waterfront’s
front’s potential. waterfront can finally be unlocked and
potential. Credit:
Credit: DroneBoy an Urban
Urban Innovation
Innovation Institute,
Institute, and plan-
and planning and finally be unlocked and achieve a vision
achieve a vision for revitalization. The River
“Over the coming decades, the Port Lands will DroneBoy ning and financing
the district,
financing innovative systems across the
can create the can
for revitalization. The River District pro-
District proposal does not include Sidewalk
posal does not include Sidewalk Labs
transform from a predominantly industrial