Statement from Local Councillor and Waterfront Toronto Board Member Joe Cressy on the Release of the Master Innovation and Development Proposal by Sidewalk Labs

TORONTO – "The Waterfront is a unique and underutilized asset in our city. It needs a bold vision. And we need to get it right. Waterfront Toronto has a mission to revitalize and reclaim Toronto’s waterfront, and to build 21st century neighbourhoods. They've been doing this work for decades. Quayside is one of the critical next steps.

We are faced with significant challenges as we seek to build a sustainable, affordable and liveable city for the future. Cities are responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions, with more than 80% of our country's population now living in urban centres. Toronto is now one of the most unaffordable cities in North America to live.

These challenges are significant. In the era of accelerating climate change and a housing affordability crisis, we must find new and innovative ways to build communities for the future. This is Waterfront Toronto's goal for Quayside.

Today, Waterfront Toronto released Sidewalk Labs' Master Innovation and Development Proposal (MIDP) for Quayside. There are many positive aspects included in the lengthy and complex proposal related to sustainability, an ambitious affordable housing component, and social infrastructure to create a truly liveable neighbourhood. While I look forward to exploring these further, there are also a number of significant concerns, including data collection, management and privacy, project scope beyond Quayside, and requirements for future infrastructure investments.

Waterfront Toronto is now launching a robust and rigorous review, along with public consultation, of the Sidewalk Labs proposal. This is a process that Waterfront Toronto will lead over the next 6 months, and they take this responsibility extremely seriously. The public can take comfort in their proven ability to evaluate proposals in the public interest. The City of Toronto will then conduct its own review of the Proposal later this year. I vow to see that the public’s interests are thoroughly protected as we review all aspects of the proposal for Quayside.

Waterfront Toronto has a mandate to build 21st Century neighbourhoods. Neighbourhoods that set a new bar for affordability, sustainability, and digital innovation. That’s the bar we intend to set and meet for Quayside."

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Media Contact:

Lia Brewer – Office of Councillor Cressy: lia.brewer@toronto.ca 416-392-4044