Sidewalk Toronto at Quayside | ?m | ?s | Sidewalk | Snøhetta

AlvinofDiaspar

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innsertnamehere

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^to be fair it's going to sit vacant for an additional 20 years after that Home Depot was proposed. It wouldn't have been a horribly bad interim land use. I understand why it was denied, but having the land sit vacant for 20 additional years isn't ideal either.

The home depot wouldn't have lasted as soon as this area became fully serviced and developable at high densities anyway.
 

junctionist

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^to be fair it's going to sit vacant for an additional 20 years after that Home Depot was proposed. It wouldn't have been a horribly bad interim land use. I understand why it was denied, but having the land sit vacant for 20 additional years isn't ideal either.

The home depot wouldn't have lasted as soon as this area became fully serviced and developable at high densities anyway.
We don't know how long it would have lasted. There's a Home Depot in the Stock Yards built in the 1990s. It's a very successful store. Once it was built, the neighbouring properties became thriving big box stores as well. Today, the area's character is defined by the big box stores and the traffic they generate, and it's hard to imagine anything else. Big box stores don't give the area the sense of a community where people look out for one another, lobby the city to address local problems, and where others want to live.

A district of big box stores doesn't make for a beautiful and vibrant neighbourhood. But that doesn't mean they're going to go away when it's convenient because they make money. Home Depot wants to keep making money in its core business. They may one day build condos on their urban stores. But a Home Depot and condos is still not necessarily what you'd want on the East Bayfront. The finer mix of smaller retail spaces, George Brown College, and office space for startups that we're getting seems a better outcome for the scenic waterfront neighbourhood. It will promote a sense of community and ownership.
 
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smably

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Sounds like Google is interested in developing Quayside:
Sidewalk Labs LLC, the urban innovation unit of Page’s Alphabet Inc., has applied to develop a 12-acre strip in downtown Toronto, according to two people familiar with the plans. Details of the proposal are private, but these people said the bid fits with the company’s ambition to create a connected, high-tech city or district from scratch.
http://business.financialpost.com/f...erfront-into-connected-high-tech-city-sources
 

torontologist

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The site under consideration is the 3C site with the Foster & Partners proposal, correct? Would this imply that it changed ownership, or are they just reconfiguring the plan?
 

smably

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3C isn't WT lands though - I think this maybe Quayside.
Yup, the article all but confirms it's Quayside:
Canadian officials set up Waterfront Toronto, a public corporation designed to revitalize a 2,000-acre downtown plot, in 2001. Earlier this year, the agency requested proposals for part of that area: a new “community” called Quayside to be developed with a private “innovation and funding partner.” Quayside would be “a testbed for emerging technologies, materials and processes that will address these challenges and advance solutions that can be replicated in cities worldwide,” the city wrote in its invitation.

Andrew Hilton, a spokesman for Waterfront Toronto, declined to comment on the applicants for Quayside or its funding structure. The agency plans to identify its development partner by June at the earliest, according to its proposal document.
 

DonValleyRainbow

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I honestly have no idea what the development could entail. When I first read the article thought it was just free Wifi or something. But the fact that it's to be significantly more has left me beyond interested.
I'd like to provide some additional context for those who are not totally up to speed.

In 2015, Google as an entity got broken up and reconfigured under the umbrella company 'Alphabet.' Google and its core products and services (search, ads, Gmail, Youtube, Android, etc.) became a division of Alphabet. Other Google undertakings became separate divisions/companies; biotech and life sciences undertaking were sorted between 'Calico' and 'Verily'; Fiber went under a still unnamed 'access and enegy' unit; the driverless car became Waymo; experimental moonshots are in the X division; Nest became separate. The whole span and structure of Alphabet is still a bit murky, but it's becoming clearer every day.

Anyway, one of those divisions is Sidewalk Labs. It is their urban innovation organization, with the goal of using tech to improve urban infrastructure. And the issues they want to solve include cost of living, and transportation and energy efficiency. One of their more tangible undertakings to date was the acquisition and formation of Intersection, a company that makes digital media platforms (i.e. billboards), but partners and cooperates with cities to make them a public asset, such as displaying road or transit information, or broadcasting emergency alerts. Think of it like the elevator/building digital software platform of Pattison OneStop, with a contract similar to Astral's street furniture arrangement, but cooperating and consulting more with the city. So Intersection's first achievement was LinkNYC, which is turning 7,500 old public pay phones into kiosks with free gigabit Wi-Fi, video and voice calling, and access to emergency and other city services across New York City. So kinda what you said, but that was just the beginning.

This development goes further. There has long been talk about Sidewalk Labs creating a totally new city that starts with internet technology, and is built up with it as the foundation. But Quayside, if true, would be doing that on a small scale; a kind of test bed.
 

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