Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs will no longer pursue the Quayside project, the Toronto “smart city” project, due to economic uncertainty.
In October 2017, Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto set out to plan a shared vision for Quayside, a more sustainable and affordable community resulting from innovations in technology and urban design.
For the last two-and-a-half years, Sidewalk Labs invested time, people, and resources in Toronto, including opening a 30-person office on the waterfront. However, according to Sidewalk’s CEO Daniel L. Doctoroff, the economic uncertainty has set in around the world and in the Toronto real estate market, "making it too difficult to make the 12-acre project financially viable without sacrificing core parts of the plan we had developed together with Waterfront Toronto to build a truly inclusive, sustainable community."
"After a great deal of deliberation, we concluded that it no longer made sense to proceed with the Quayside project," he said.
Sidewalk Labs first won permission to develop a proposal for the Quayside project in October 2017, and submitted their master plan in June 2019 to Waterfront.
Sidewalk Labs has already started innovative companies addressing urban mobility, next-generation infrastructure, and community-based healthcare, and invested in startups working on everything from robotic furniture to digital electricity. The company "continues to work internally on factory-made mass timber construction that can improve housing affordability and sustainability, a digital master-planning tool that can improve quality of life outcomes and project economics, and a new approach to all-electric neighborhoods."