What leading urbanists, city officials, and other members of the community have to say about the Sidewalk Toronto project.

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Aaron Orkin

Physician at Mt. Sinai

Now, with a nearly $2-billion investment, Google’s Sidewalk Labs is handing Toronto the extraordinary test-bed opportunity to lead the world in rethinking and redesigning our cities to include unprecedented data linkages and analytical capacity.
The Star

Anne Golden and Alan Broadbent

Golden is from Ryerson City Building Institute and former president of the United Way, and Broadbent is the Chair of Maytree

The Quayside project should not threaten us. Indeed, it provides the opportunity for us to grapple with the legitimate issues it raises, work them out and emerge with something that will make our city better. If we do, both we and the project will be better for it.
The Globe and Mail

Barbara Hall

Former City of Toronto Mayor

Too often we focus on one issue only. What [the Sidewalk Toronto] plan does is in a comprehensive way provide responses to many issues that are creating major concerns for people who care about this city.
Barbara Hall via @SidewalkToronto

Carolyn Kim

Director of Transportation and Urban Solutions, Pembina Institute

We’re glad to see Sidewalk Toronto’s plan integrate the movement of goods and urban deliveries, in addition to the movement of people by transit and active transportation.
Carolyn Kim via @SidewalkToronto

Cindy Wilkey

Waterfront for All

Sidewalk’s partnership is intended to demonstrate innovation in sustainability and social equity that go far beyond what any player in the private sector can be expected to address.
Cindy Wilkey via @SidewalkToronto

Danny Whalen

President of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities

With all this in mind, it is clear that the Sidewalk Labs proposal is not just about Toronto, but about the economic future of the entire province. Development projects are rarely ambitious enough to spread this kind of economic growth across the whole province, but this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to bring innovation and prosperity to all Ontarians, not just those in Toronto.
Toronto Sun

David Fraser

Canadian Privacy Lawyer

I have never seen a company take such an interest in the Canadian privacy milieu from the very beginning, wanting to understand it so deeply, including the cultural context in which Canadian privacy values arise.

Dialog Design

At DIALOG, we believe great design can change the world. And the better world of tomorrow is one where our communities enable everyone to thrive – where cities promote wellbeing, are affordable, diverse and inclusive, and do their part to combat climate change. The sustainable mass timber component of Sidewalk Toronto’s proposal can help us all take a first, giant step in that direction. We’re ready.
Dialog Design

Don Walker

CEO, Magna International

It is a responsibility of all of us to push for a more prosperous future that enhances the wellbeing of all Canadians. I believe the Sidewalk Toronto proposal is an opportunity for Canada to demonstrate its ability to innovate and become a global leader in urban technology and development.
Don Walker via @SidewalkToronto

Ed Keenan

Columnist at the Toronto Star

This chance to think big — and partner big — to build something breathtaking on what has essentially been a toxic industrial partial ghost town for as long as anyone can remember is worth some hard conversations and debate and negotiation.
The Star

Editorial Board

Without a doubt, Sidewalk has put forward a creative plan to tackle the challenges that Toronto and cities all over the world face with unaffordable housing, lengthy commutes, extreme weather and the need to create jobs in the new economy.
Toronto Star

Forest Products Association of Canada

We could not be more excited to see this visionary project taking root in Toronto for millions to see and experience.” Canada’s forest products industry applauds “Toronto Tomorrow” and the plan to build a timber neighbourhood

Heather Tremain

CEO of Options for Homes

One of the things that excites me a lot about the Sidewalk Labs proposal is the extent of the affordable housing. I think what we’re seeing here is potential for an inclusive and diverse community. It’s something that won’t naturally happen on the waterfront, just because of the pricing that exists
Heather Tremain via @SidewalkToronto

Jamie Lim

President and CEO, Ontario Forest Industries Association

Building with tall timber systems is the obvious choice. We believe innovative and ambitious projects, such as Sidewalk Lab’s proposed development, recognizes that we are in a wood construction renaissance. The project also compliments the Ontario Government’s proposed Provincial Forestry Strategy by aspiring to grow our renewable natural use and use locally sourced forest products in innovative construction.

Joe Berridge

Urban Strategies

#Toronto and its citizens should support the @SidewalkLabs proposal. @SidewalkToronto are proposing several significant public goods that I do not know how else #Toronto can make happen. Here’s the thread why. (And head’s up, my firm @urbstrat has been working for them).
Joe Berridge

John Burnside

Former Toronto City Councillor

For 100 years, the easter waterfront of this city has gone unutilized. We are the only city in North America with an undeveloped lakefront area - let’s take a good, hard look at what Sidewalk Labs is proposing and do something ambitious.
@jon_burnside via @SidewalkToronto

John Sewell

Former Mayor, City of Toronto

Some 40 per cent of housing would be affordable, at below market prices, and 40 per cent would be two bedrooms or larger. Street designs are more flexible for people and vehicles of all kinds, and ground floor spaces are designed for a number of different uses. In short, innovation is the guiding principle...Sidewalk Labs seems like the kind of innovative development that Toronto should endorse. It might lead to a better city.

Justin Davidson

New York Magazine

As I sat and read, though, it became clear that this forward-to-the-past approach is not a gaffe or a ploy, but a goal. Quayside, on the other hand, turns the paradigm around, first determining what kind of place people want to live in, then designing the technological and financial tools to make it happen.
New York Magazine

Ken Greenberg

Urban designer

What sets this project apart from other smart city efforts is the focus on human experience and a healthy dose of skepticism about technology. It is about creating a remarkable new neighbourhood in a way that is very different from how tech growth has impacted other cities.
The Star

Kwame McKenzie

CEO of Wellesley Institute

I see a partnership between Sidewalk, Waterfront and the people of Toronto as part of Toronto's evolution. It is an opportunity but the question is: are we ready to collaborate?
The Star

Michele Romanow

Co-founder and President, Clearbanc

Toronto is having a moment. Sidewalk Labs is a great opportunity for this city. Now is the time to be bold. Let’s not miss the larger opportunity in favour of protectionism and NIMBYism.

Mike Yorke

President of Carpenters Union Local 27

One of the things that most inspired me was the relationship and the opportunity for the Greater Toronto Area and the City of Toronto to play a lead role in economic development in Northern Ontario.
@MYorke27 via @SidewalkToronto

Marcus Gee


Toronto desperately needs two things: space to grow at the crowded centre and new ideas about how to managers growth. Sidewalk can help with both.
The Globe and Mail

Mitch Cohen

President of The Daniels Corporation

Let’s negotiate a partnership that works for everyone. Waterfront Toronto has the skills, strength and wisdom to navigate those waters. Let’s push back where it makes sense, but let’s not push them away.
The Star

Mitch Stambler

Former Head of Planning, TTC

The fact that the streets, signal systems and the public realm will truly allow transit to be the dominant means of moving large numbers of people instead of cars is just such a huge step forward.
Mitch Stambler via @SidewalkToronto

Nancy Smith Lea

Director of The Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT)

Sidewalk Toronto is proposing to build a street network in Quayside that prioritizes walking and cycling. While the plan is still in its early stages, and requires a robust review from decision-makers, experts and citizens alike. The Centre for Active Transportation supports a vision of Toronto waterfront that is built for people, not cars.
Nancy Smith Lea via @SidewalkToronto

Plaza Ventures

If Sidewalk Labs is able to realize its vision as described in its proposal, it will firmly position Toronto at the fore of this emerging urban tech sector, positioning us as a fertile ground for innovation from which an entire cluster of new Canadian tech companies will spring forth.
The Star

Sara Diamond

President of OCAD University

I think what’s so important is that Sidewalk Labs has actually listened to the concerns of the 21,000 people who come from very different walks of life in Toronto. And Sidewalk Labs is really trying to respond to those concerns and create a partnership platform that will be necessary because it’s a public and private partnership.
Sara Diamond via @SidewalkToronto

Sunil Sharma

Managing Director, Techstars

Sidewalk Labs represents a unique opportunity for Toronto’s vibrant startup companies to work directly with the world’s most innovative new urban concept city. This provides an opportunity for “home-field advantage” for many of this regions best early-stage technology companies in areas such as mobility, smart sensors, materials science, on-demand economy, artificial intelligence, hardware and many more vertical sectors where Canada is already showing global excellence.
Sunil Sharma, via @SidewalkToronto

Tim Kocur

Executive Director, The Waterfront BIA

At the Waterfront BIA, our goal is to support the continued development of a world-class waterfront that’s well-connected to the rest of the City. The Sidewalk Labs proposal includes very ambitious ideas that could advance that goal. We’re going to encourage the business community to take a close look at the proposals, provide feedback, and consider supporting the plan.
Tim Kocur via @SidewalkToronto

Richard Florida

City builder and urbanist

This is the real value that Sidewalk Labs brings to the table. It can be the catalytic anchor company that can propel Toronto to the top of the heap in what is arguably the biggest new high-tech sector to emerge in decades – the rise of what I call “urban tech.”
The Globe and Mail

Richard Florida

City Builder and Urbanist

Despite recent progress, Toronto continues to lag behind leading high-tech cities like San Francisco, New York, London and Shanghai. Sidewalk Labs can help dramatically improve our position in the new field of urban innovation and urban tech, which puts leading-edge technology at the heart of literally every aspect of urban development.
The Star

Richard Lyall

President of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario

Funny how some folks in the media have said “traditional developers” have no reason to like this plan – representing more than 200 “traditional” builder/developers in the GTA, let me say that this is rubbish. We’re all looking to the City of Toronto to lead the way in allowing innovation in construction: the IDEA district could be the beacon of light that shines a path for future residential development.
Toronto Sun

Rob Richards

Managing Partner, Plaza Ventures

Toronto is experiencing unprecedented growth - in population density, in the vibrancy of our city, and in the development of our technology ecosystem - and now is the time for us to address the challenges and opportunities to make this growth sustainable and planned toward a better future for our city. We at Plaza believe that we should act, embracing Sidewalk Labs according to their stated intent and working with them to develop the details in order to benefit Torontonians.
Rob Richards via @SidewalkToronto

Todd Ross

Past Board Member, Anishnawbe Health Toronto

Sidewalk Labs has the potential to create a complete community that will provide sustainable development with the environment and nature in mind. The design provides solutions such as systems designed to reduce energy and waste through information and education. There are great opportunities for partnering in the use of community space, housing, employment and a wonderful opportunity for increased access to Lake Ontario.
Todd Ross via @SidewalkToronto

Toronto Region Board of Trade

From our collective perspective as leaders in the fields of urbanism, business, public policy, arts, education, social policy and enviro advocacy, we can each see aspects of the Sidewalk Toronto project which represent huge opportunities for our communities, and for Toronto

William Robson

President and CEO of the C.D. Howe Institute

The Draft Master Innovation and Development Plan released by Sidewalk Labs in late June could breathe life into Toronto’s comatose plans for a light rail line to the city’s eastern waterfront.
The Star

Zayna Khayat

Future Strategist, SE Health

It's exciting to imagine how the Sidewalk Toronto project could make city life better for aging adults. Accessible communities, close to transit and with a range of social services and amenities nearby are perfect places for older adults to live and age on their terms. With heated sidewalks and street crossings that can sense the presence of pedestrians, for example, the community would also be a safer place to live. Combine all of that with a range of affordable housing options, including co-living arrangements, and Quayside would be an exciting global platform for testing new models of independent living and supportive care for seniors to age in place, and thrive in motion.
Zayna Khayat via @SidewalkToronto

We have made important updates to the Sidewalk Toronto project. Learn more.