Sidewalk Labs pulls out of Toronto Quayside project

May 7, 2020 by School of Cities Staff

The partnership that began in October 2017 with the rosy promises of reinventing Waterfront Toronto into a "smart city" is over. With Sidewalk Labs (the urban innovation organization of Google parent company Alphabet) pulling the plug on its "Master Plan" for the the Quayside project, the contentious overhaul now faces an uncertain future. Over the past few years the project been a subject of public ire, with data privacy activists and organizations demanding Waterfront Toronto to discontinue the partnership with the Google kin in the spirit of protecting the freedom of its residence. According to Sidewalk Labs' plan, Quaside was going to be tranformed into a sustainable living haven with the use of digital tools which would collect data on all aspects of life, from traffic to the movement of the residents. However, there was always Ontario's question of safeguarding the privacy of the residents which Sidewalk Labs didn't have the right answers for. 

The article 'Sidewalk Labs pulls out of Toronto Quayside project' gives readers a snapshot of the history of the project and the story behind it, with inputs from Prof. Shauna Brail.