Google’s city-building sister company has announced plans in conjunction with Toronto Waterfront to build a massive tech focused neighbourhood in Toronto. Rumours started flying around last spring when Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet were looking into purchasing an unused industrial complex in Toronto’s east end.
In a joint press conference Wednesday between Prime Minster Justin Trudeau, Premiere Kathleen Wynn and Toronto Mayor John Tory, the plans were confirmed for a new residential and business area that will be called “Sidewalk Toronto.”
Trudeau called the new neighbourhood a “test bed” for future technologies. “Technologies that will help us build smarter, greener, more inclusive cities, which we hope to see scaled across Toronto’s eastern waterfront, and eventually in other parts of Canada and around the world,” he added.
The idea of the project is a for future Torontonians where “tens of thousands of people to live, work, learn and play,” in an environment run with “self-driving public transit and ultra-energy efficient systems” according to CBC.
(Photo by Sidewalk Labs)
Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt told reporters “This is the culmination on our side of almost 10 years of thinking about how technology could improve the quality of people’s lives in the ways that have been defined already, whether it’s inequality and access and opportunity and entrepreneurship.” On why Toronto was chosen for the city, Schmidt said “Try to remember that technology is powered by immigrants” and that Toronto is perfect because “You guys are the home for immigrants.”
A year of community consultation kicks the project off starting on November 1st with a Town Hall. For full details, see the CBC’s write-up here.
Image courtesy Sidewalk Labs