What Toronto's abandoned Sidewalk Labs waterfront could look like (RENDERINGS)

Mar 10 2021, 6:56 am

A swath of land along Toronto’s eastern waterfront previously abandoned by Sidewalk Labs will soon be getting an entirely new look.

Waterfront Toronto released their vision for the 12 acres of land on Wednesday as they announced the launch of an international competition to find a developer to undertake the project.

The area, known as Quayside, is one of the last undeveloped stretches of land along the waterfront and is comprised of five developable blocks.

sidewalk labs waterfront

Waterfront Toronto

Waterfront Toronto’s vision includes the development of an “inclusive mixed-use, mixed-income neighbourhood” that would include both affordable and market-rate housing. It also calls for facilities that allow the community’s residents to “age in place.”

A full view of the possible vision for Quayside looking northwest

The keystone of the project will be the redevelopment of Parliament Slip — the waterfront area at the base of Parliament Street. Waterfront Toronto released its plans for the slip on Monday, and it is set to include a public swimming pool, water amphitheatre, boardwalk, and a floating restaurant.

“The people of Toronto have told us that they want to see a bold vision realized on the waterfront that reflects the confident, welcoming, and imaginative civic spirit of our city,” said Chair of the Board for Waterfront Toronto Stephen Diamond.

Waterfront Toronto

The project will also focus heavily on ensuring the new development is as green as possible by “demonstrating climate leadership as one of Canada’s most sustainable low-carbon communities.”

“We want Quayside to be timeless, adaptive, and to propel us into our rightful place among the great waterfronts of the world,” Diamond said.

Waterfront Toronto

Sidewalk Labs, an urban innovation organization, was originally supposed to redevelop the waterfront land but abandoned the project in May of last year due to economic uncertainty.

“For the last two-and-a-half years, we have been passionate about making Quayside happen — indeed, we have invested time, people, and resources in Toronto, including opening a 30-person office on the waterfront,” Sidewalk Labs CEO Daniel L. Doctoroff wrote in Medium post at the time.

“But, as 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.”

Waterfront Toronto

Waterfront Toronto is now accepting entries into their development competition. Select candidates will then be shortlisted and asked to submit proposals before a winner is chosen.

Laura HanrahanLaura Hanrahan

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