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The Quayside project is a first of its kind, innovative approach to city-building that combines world-class urban design and cutting-edge technology to deliver transformative benefits in quality of life to a diverse set of city residents, workers and visitors.

Over the last 18 years, Waterfront Toronto has made progress transforming the waterfront with its forward-looking vision for new neighbourhoods. Quayside is a 12-acre parcel at the eastern edge of the East Bayfront neighbourhood which is largely owned by Waterfront Toronto. Looking at Quayside as our next development project, we recognized an opportunity to advance our ambitious sustainability and innovation mandates. We wanted to bring on a partner with a fresh vision on addressing pressing urban challenges, like climate change, affordability, and creating jobs and prosperity, while also having the financial capacity to fund the planning process.

In March 2017, Waterfront Toronto launched an international Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking an Innovation and Funding Partner. This partner would help create a plan for the neighbourhood of the future; one that would that address key priorities, including:


  • Sustainability, Resiliency and Urban Innovation: employ solutions, technologies and strategies to create a sustainable – striving for climate-positive – resilient community.
  • Complete Communities: enhance quality of life through creating a mixed-use, mixed-income neighbourhood – providing a range of housing types and amenities – and addressing the need for mobility, accessibility and connectivity.
  • Economic Development and Prosperity: serve as a testbed for Canada’s cleantech, building materials and broader innovation-driven sectors, generate prosperity by growing the emerging industry hubs on the waterfront, including employers and job creators in the urban innovation and broader technology sectors.

After a rigorous selection process, we announced Sidewalk Labs as the successful Innovation and Funding Partner on October 17, 2017.


Sidewalk Toronto

Waterfront Toronto has established the objectives and engaged Sidewalk Labs to design a proposal for a new kind of complete community on Quayside that will serve as a model for sustainable and resilient neighborhoods throughout Toronto and cities around the world. The Quayside project, also referred to as Sidewalk Toronto, has an ambition to address the toughest challenges facing cities — and meaningfully improve quality of life — through the combination of forward-thinking urban design and innovative technology.

We undertook a thorough, fair and transparent process in selecting Sidewalk Labs as the Innovation and Funding Partner for Quayside. Our evaluation of their proposal will be equally thorough and demanding, in order to determine if it should move forward. The innovation we are seeking must serve the public interest, fulfill our aspirations and meet the requirements we have set for Quayside. The whole plan will be evaluated by Waterfront Toronto, and, to be implemented, individual components will be subject to city approvals, as well as federal and provincial regulations.

We have established our approach to evaluating the proposal and— with input from the community, our government partners, Board of Directors as well as our Digital Strategy Advisory Panel—continue to refine the objectives and criteria against which the proposal will be assessed. To learn more about the approach and an overview of the high level objectives read here. The more detailed and refined evaluation framework will be shared in early 2019. 

Public Engagement

Arriving at this plan will require extensive consultation and collaboration with community members, as well as the contributions of leading global thinkers. Throughout 2018 and 2019, Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs will undertake an open and comprehensive public engagement process, offering a variety of ways in which to engage the broader community in the project. These opportunities to hear from the public and experts include hosting roundtables, convening advisory groups, speaking to neighbourhood associations, and meeting with community members, stakeholders and Waterfront Toronto’s government partners. All this engagement will provide insights, perspectives and feedback that will help inform and shape the Master Innovation and Development Plan (MIDP) to be proposed by Sidewalk Labs.

In April 2018, Waterfront Toronto also established our Digital Strategy Advisory Panel (DSAP), an arms-length body intended to help guide Waterfront Toronto on how best to incorporate data privacy, digital systems, and the safe and ethical use of new technologies in the next phase of waterfront revitalization, starting with the Quayside project.

The first draft of the MIDP is expected to be published in early 2019 for additional public input. The document will be a work-in-progress and feedback from the public, stakeholders and governments will be considered in the final MIDP proposal submitted for consideration by the boards of both Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs. The City of Toronto will also conduct public consultation on the MIDP in advance of preparing a Staff Report for City Council.

Any future implementation will require a variety of municipal and governmental approvals.

For more information, please visit the Sidewalk Toronto website.


Civic Labs

There are many aspects of city-building that are very familiar – whether talking about affordability, sustainability, transportation, or urban design we’re familiar with the issues at hand. A smart city introduces a new element, a digital layer, to be considered in the process. Smart cities have internet-connected sensors that collect data, computers that receive, analyze, and store data, and services that respond to the data. The idea is that smart cities use data to provide services that make life in the city better.

Smart city topics are new ground for Waterfront Toronto — and for city planning as a whole — creating the need to have new conversations about opportunities, risks, and the consequences associated with different choices. Digital governance, data privacy and intellectual property are among some of the important related issues, and a focus point for members of the public who are keen to understand how these opportunities will impact the MIDP. The degree of civic literacy on these important topics varies widely, as do opinions on them. Waterfront Toronto recognizes the importance of advancing the level of digital literacy for Toronto residents, and for elected officials at all three levels of government that Waterfront Toronto serves. To address this issue, the Civic Labs were formed.

For more information on the Civic Labs, please click here

The first Civic Lab exploring was held on November 23, 2018 and the event was livestreamed through the Waterfront Toronto Facebook page and is archived on Waterfront Toronto’s YouTube channel. 

The second Civic Lab meeting was on March 4, 2019, where participants discussed Digital Stewardship. You can watch the livestream on Waterfront Toronto’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

The next Civic Lab meeting will explore issues related to Intellectual Property, Data Ownership and Monetization of Data, and will be held on March 26, 2019.  We will be livestreaming the meeting to our Facebook channel. A meeting summary will be shared on our website shortly after the meeting.

related news

project status

Approved Budget:

quick facts


The Quayside development block begins at Bonnycastle Street in the west from Queens Quay East north to Lake Shore Boulevard; the eastern-most boundary is roughly the Victory Soya Mills Silos, spanning from Lake Shore Boulevard south to Lake Ontario and the Water’s Edge. 


Quayside is an approximate 4.9 hectare (12 acre) development site situated along Toronto’s waterfront, within walking distance of the vibrant central business district.


1.5 km from Toronto’s downtown


related events

Civic Labs
March 26, 2019

Civic Labs
March 4, 2019

February 13, 2019
**Due to weather conditions, the February 13th Civic Lab on Civic Digital Trusts is being rescheduled to March 4. Many of our presenters and participants were travelling to Toronto and we are mindful of their ability to get here safely. Thanks for your understanding. More details to come!

Sidewalk Toronto: Public Roundtable #4
Saturday, December 8, 2018

Civic Labs
November 23, 2018

Sidewalk Toronto Public Talks Series: The Future of Sustainable Buildings
October 16, 2018

Sidewalk Toronto Public Talks Series: The Future of Accessible Cities
September 26, 2018

Sidewalk Toronto: Public Roundtable #3
August 14, 2018 and August 15, 2018

Sidewalk Toronto: Public Roundtable #2
May 3, 2018

Sidewalk Toronto Public Talks Series: The Future of Affordable Housing
April 24, 2018

Sidewalk Toronto Public Talks Series: The Future of Complete Streets
March 27, 2018

Sidewalk Toronto: Public Roundtable
March 20, 2018

Sidewalk Toronto Community Town Hall
November 1, 2017

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