George Brown working with Sidewalk Labs on redevelopment of Toronto’s eastern waterfront

Nov 28 2019, 8:26 am

George Brown College will be working with Sidewalk Labs in projects relating to the redevelopment of Toronto’s eastern waterfront.

According to Sidewalk Labs, they will explore projects that relate to innovative community programming, including opportunities to enhance digital literacy and technology skills and opportunities to continue to strengthen the Toronto innovation ecosystem.

“George Brown plays an integral role in the city of Toronto, and we want to continue to shape its future,” said Rick Huijbregts, VP Strategy and Innovation at George Brown College. “Sidewalk Labs gives us an opportunity to collaborate on a broad range of projects intended to build community, enhance innovation and provide unique learning experiences for our students.”

Additionally, the school said it is excited for Sidewalk Labs’ vision for “a more innovative city.”

The potential collaboration between the two include public engagement and research, guest lecturing, building digital literacy skills, a community kitchen, and public workshops with the broader community.

“We look forward to working with George Brown College, one of our most forward-thinking neighbours at Quayside,” says Alexis Wise, director of Sidewalk Labs.

“We both share a commitment to putting community members at the forefront and building complete neighbourhoods, and look forward to testing and refining some of the ideas proposed in our plan for Quayside.”

Sidewalk Labs is a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, and aims to develop its “smart city” project called Quayside on a 12-acre parcel of waterfront land around Queens Quay East between Sherbourne and Parliament streets.

In October, Waterfront Toronto voted unanimously in favour of moving forward with Sidewalk Labs’ proposal.

According to George Brown, the project includes plans for mixed-income housing, mass timber constructed buildings, and public spaces connected by a digital infrastructure meant to improve sustainability, connectivity, and digital innovation.