Deadline approaches for Google’s Sidewalk Labs’ waterfront proposal
Posted October 27, 2019 2:02 pm.
Last Updated October 27, 2019 2:03 pm.
A futuristic neighborhood should make for easier and more efficient living, but actually getting it built is something else entirely.
There are still several sticking points between Waterfront Toronto and Google’s Sidewalk Labs ahead of Thursday’s deadline to move the proposal into an evaluation stage.
One of the issues holding things up is public transit for the neighbourhood– something Waterfront Toronto’s Andrew Tumulty says is impossible to guarantee due to the nature of transit planning in Ontario.
“In terms of funding and planning for a new transit line, that’s the responsibility that falls to other orders of government,” he said. “It’s just not something we’re in a position ourselves to guarantee, so having it as a pre-condition is why it was identified as a threshold issue.”
Tumulty adds that privacy and data collection is another issue that must be addressed.
“Any proposals are going to have abide by existing provincial, federal regulations as far as data and privacy,” he said. “But we see an opportunity to set a world standard in terms of privacy protections and data collection.”
Janet Ecker, vice-chair of Toronto Global, a foreign-investment attraction agency, said any sticking points need to be resolved for the city to keep itself as a good place for the technology companies to grow and thrive.
“I would hope that the Google project would continue to send out that strong message, that this is a city the region that’s not afraid of a challenge, that can innovate, create, and do exciting things for the benefit of the city.”
If the proposal isn’t passed it’s back to more public consultation and new proposals for Toronto’s crown jewel of real estate.