Google’s Sidewalk Labs Cancels ‘Smart City’ Project in Toronto Due to COVID-19
Google-affiliated company, Sidewalk Labs, has announced it has cancelled the 12-acre Quayside waterfront project in Toronto, Ontario, in what was supposed to be a cutting-edge high-tech neighbourhood.
In a Medium post, Sidewalk Labs said, “unprecedented economic uncertainty has set in around the world and in the Toronto real estate market, it has become 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.”
“And so, after a great deal of deliberation, we concluded that it no longer made sense to proceed with the Quayside project, and let Waterfront Toronto know yesterday,” continued Daniel Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs.
The project was announced in October 2017 and had built up an office staff of 30 people. Quayside was supposed to be a fully-connected community with tall timber buildings, heated sidewalks, clean recycling and more.
The Quayside project sparked privacy concerns over Sidewalk Labs’ data collection as part of the community’s plan, which would have sensors monitoring pedestrian traffic, weather, energy and garbage use and more.