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East Bayfront: Overview thread for Park/Bay/Dock/Quayside (SidewalkToronto) neighbourhoods

mjl08

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Excerpt from the letter:

Across its businesses, Google plays god, making choices for consumers about which they are not aware. Consider for example, Google Maps or Waze. In both cases, Google practices “load balancing,” diverting some drivers to slower routes to maintain relative efficiency for the rest. Google also accepts payment from merchants in exchange for routing potential customers past their location. Consumers are not aware that Google may route them suboptimally due to load balancing or commercial considerations.

At the scale of a smart cities project like the Toronto waterfront, Google’s authoritarian tendencies are likely to be far more intrusive – and potentially harmful – than is generally the case with Maps and Waze. The quantity of data collected will be unprecedented, as will be the potential for abuse. There are currently few restrictions on the commercial exploitation of private data, leaving consumers with no hope of safety and little recourse for harm.
 

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Thanks for posting - I find it rather alarming that they did not seem to mention the QQE streetcar - WT used to talk about 'transit first' and not having new residents get into the habit of driving everywhere. It may be a bit late for that but more and more people are moving into the area and the lack of adequate transit is a REAL problem already and will get FAR worse!
 

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Community Centre is moving ahead, slowly.

City Council authorize the City of Toronto to enter into, and the General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, to execute on behalf of the City, a Development Management Agreement for the development of an approximately 25,000 square foot community recreation centre (the Recreation Centre) within a mixed-use project containing residential, commercial, and retail components (the Block 4 Project) at 261 Queens Quay East

See: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2019.GL6.24
 

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Open Letter from Waterfront Toronto Board Chair, Stephen Diamond regarding Quayside

To all members of the public interested in the future of Toronto’s waterfront,

Waterfront Toronto has been advised that Sidewalk Labs will be providing us with their proposed Master Innovation Development Plan (MIDP) shortly.

I am writing now to tell you about the public process that Waterfront Toronto will follow to develop its response to the MIDP prepared by Sidewalk Labs.

Along with you, Waterfront Toronto’s Board, staff, and independent consultants will review Sidewalk Labs’ proposed plan to determine under which conditions, if any, it could work for Toronto.

As part of this process, Waterfront Toronto will:

  • Make the proposed MIDP available to the public within one week of receiving it.
  • Consult the public on the proposed MIDP. We will hold the first round of consultation within four weeks of receiving it.
  • All feedback received will be rigorously documented and shared publicly.

We know that a number of concerns and cautions have been raised about this project and that there are many voices that want to be heard and considered. It is Waterfront Toronto’s responsibility to act in the public interest. We take this responsibility extremely seriously and we know that you are relying on us to fulfill it rigorously. We are committed to working with all of you to do exactly that.

Sincerely,



Stephen Diamond

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Waterfront Toronto


 

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Waterfront Toronto Releases Master Innovation and Development Plan for Quayside
Today, Waterfront Toronto released the draft Master Innovation and Development Plan (MIDP) for Quayside to the public. Chairman of the Board, Stephen Diamond, has written an open letter — available on our website — addressing the evaluation process and offering insights from Waterfront Toronto’s initial review of the MIDP.

The MIDP is over 1500 pages long and has 3 volumes:

Volume 1 – focuses on the development plan and the physical manifestations of proposed innovations within that plan, including estimated economic impacts.

Volume 2 – outlines their proposed innovations for Mobility, Public Realm, Buildings and Housing, Sustainability, and Digital Innovation.

Volume 3 – describes the commercial proposal including governance, roles and responsibilities, transaction economics and implementation plans.

The MIDP is available on Waterfront Toronto’s QuaysideTO.ca website, physical copies will be coming to Toronto Public Library branches across the city, and public consultations will begin on July 15th.

To assist the public consultations, Waterfront Toronto is preparing a “Note to Reader” for the public. This will be finalized and available shortly.

It is intended to help the public navigate the document, offer questions for the public to consider, and demonstrate the unique perspective Waterfront Toronto brings to this process as stewards of the public good.


 

Northern Light

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brianmac

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Given the pall of incompetence associated with the current Ontario government and the backdrop of the Ontario Place commercialization, Sidewalk comes across as an informed breath of fresh air. Progressive, insightful and pedestrian focused. Like Haussman's rework of Paris (AGO for the win :)) it's not unreasonable to have a top down overhaul. The trade off is the concerns about privacy. Coming from a life time working with Silicon Valley, my read, much like all data concerns, is it's going to ebb and flow until some reasonable outcome is reached. GDPR forced everyone to change what user controls mean. Unease in the sales of user data, definitely affected right to use policies. I'm currently going through the build out of an AI project and front and center is data ownership and control. I'm not suggesting there won't be abuses be it through vision systems, pattern recognition or something more subtle (like recommendations, guidance). Still, as a planned community, I'll take this over Amazon's land and expand or a pure developers best efforts. This feels like a worthy experiment. Plus timber buildings!!!
 

mjl08

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Christ, the "IDEA District?" Leave it to Silicon Valley to come up with such real estate gobbledygook. IDEA District beat out other names like "Synergy Land" and "Disruptionville."
 

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jje1000

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Interesting comments from the Star.

For all we know, a lot of their technology is unproven beyond some nice diagrams and pretty renderings, so there's no guarantee we won't end up with a dud at Quayside. Also, not tremendously enthused about Sidewalk pushing to be a single developer for this much land.

I would prefer if Sidewalk hold off of the demands for their River District, and instead push the city to develop a Portlands framework that allows Sidewalk to guide other developers in integrating their technologies into their buildings- that's actually the more important element, and I think that working with developers may allow Sidewalk's ideas to promulgate through the industry (which should be the point of innovation), while industry expertise weeds out some of their more wacky unworkable concepts.

Otherwise, this is a return to the Utopian/Heroic era of modern architecture (30s-70s), which is littered with many failed grand visions like this.


Definitely some pointed statements regarding the 'audacity' of the proposal:

  1. Sidewalk Labs proposes the up-front creation of an IDEA District that covers a much larger area than the 12 acres of Quayside. Waterfront Toronto has told Sidewalk Labs that the concept of the IDEA District is premature and that Waterfront Toronto must first see its goals and objectives achieved at Quayside before deciding whether to work together in other areas. Even then, we would only move forward with the full collaboration and support of the City of Toronto, particularly where it pertains to City-owned lands.
  2. Sidewalk Labs proposes to be the lead developer of Quayside. This is not contemplated in the PDA. Should the MIDP go forward, it should be on the basis that Waterfront Toronto lead a competitive, public procurement process for a developer(s) to partner with Sidewalk Labs.
  3. Sidewalk Labs’ proposals require future commitments by our governments to realize project outcomes. This includes the extension of public transit to Quayside prior to development, new roles for public administrators, changes to regulations, and government investment.
  4. These proposals raise important implementation concerns. They are also not commitments that Waterfront Toronto can make. Sidewalk Labs has initial proposals relating to data collection, data use, and digital governance. We will require additional information to establish whether they are in compliance with applicable laws and respect Waterfront Toronto’s digital governance principles.
Comment from Tory:
 
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