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Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs is building an 'internet city' in Toronto

A strip of the city's pricey waterfront district is going to get smart.
Timothy J. Seppala, @timseppala
October 17, 2017
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Hyungwon Kang / Reuters

The next step for Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs is making a 2,000 acre smart neighborhood in Toronto. Google Canada will relocate its headquarters to the newly created Quayside neighborhood along the Eastern Waterfront to serve as an anchor for the area, and will invest some $50 million in the first phase of planning and project testing, according to a press release. The entire project could cost as much as $1 billion, Wall Street Journal reports. TechCrunch writes that an additional $1.25 billion will come from Toronto itself. Prime minister Justin Trudeau said that the move is to make for "smarter, greener, more inclusive" cities that he hopes will expand across Toronto and eventually the globe.

The plan is to revamp transportation and infrastructure, create affordable housing opportunities and establish "clear governance policies related to data protection and privacy." Sidewalk will do so by implementing autonomous transit lines, "climate-positive" energy systems with an eye toward sustainability.

To ensure Toronto residents have a say in how Quayside is built out, there will be a series of town hall meetings starting November 1st. Given Toronto's tech and startup scene, it's any wonder why Google picked the Canadian city from a sea of proposals.

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