Waterfront Toronto seeks extension for Sidewalk Labs decision day

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Views of the Port Lands area from Cherry St., the future home of Sidewalk Labs in Toronto on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Google sister company Sidewalk Labs has partnered with Plaza Ventures to launch a venture capital fund focused on urban technology.The fund, which includes a $10 million commitment from Sidewalk tied to its proposed Quayside development in Toronto, will focus on a range of early-stage Canadian companies that fall under the category. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Lahodynskyj

TORONTO  Waterfront Toronto’s board will have more time to make a decision on whether to move forward with Sidewalk Lab’s proposal to build a smart city.

The agency and Sidewalk have agreed to extend the deadline by which Waterfront Toronto must make a decision about the controversial Quayside project pitched for a swath of Toronto’s lakefront to May 20 from March 31.

Waterfront and Sidewalk Labs, owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, previously extended the deadline to make a decision on the proposal from Sept. 30, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

Waterfront says the extension would give locals more time to offer input on its evaluation of Sidewalk’s proposal.

Sidewalk’s proposal involves building a tech-savvy neighbourhood featuring “raincoats for buildings”, heated and illuminated sidewalks, affordable housing, tall timber structures and innovations to support sustainability and environmentalism.

It has been met with criticism from tech, privacy and business experts across the country over its potential use of data and the demands it could place on the city and government.