Privacy Concerns at Quayside Waterfront Project

A public consultation held on March 20th for the proposed high-tech district planned for the port lands, saw hundreds of people in attendance.  The primary concern for those in attendance, was how the data that would be collected by sensors monitoring and controlling everything in the vicinity would be used.  Privacy concerns such as if the data would be sold and/or used for advertising purposes went unanswered as attendees were told the agencies in question are still in the negotiating process.

The Google-affiliated company, Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto co-hosted the public consultation and pledged that residents in the Quayside district proposed for the former industrial site located at Queens Quay and Parliament Street, would need to feel “comfortable and respected” and would not be monitored for the wrong reasons.

In light of the recent Facebook scandal where it is alleged that the personal data of millions of Americans was harvested without their authorization by an outside company for the purpose of targeting voters during the 2016 campaign, residents have valid cause for concern.  Unfortunately, their unease over these matters was not lessened at this public consultation.

Planning is in full swing with the City of Toronto’s examination and studies on the effect of building a light rail network across Toronto’s waterfront.   The estimated price tag for this transit addition is in the $2-billion range.  In addition, Sidewalk Labs is spending $50 million on preliminary work including consultations, showing strong commitment to the project and its strategic outcome.    Plans are not expected to be completed until 2019 however Sidewalk Toronto announced that it will be opening an office and exhibit space near the Quayside site which will be open to the public sometime this summer.  For more information on the Sidewalk Waterfront project, click here 

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The first phase of the Toronto Port Lands makeover has begun, as reported in, here. This billion dollar project has been on the agenda for a long time so it is a good sign to see movement on Cherry Street as the lake fill begins.  The project is a win-win for Toronto as it moves to protect the area from flooding while generating a vibrant new community within the downtown core.

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Toronto Port Lands Redevelopment

The much awaited announcement that the Toronto Port Lands development proposal has finally been given the go-ahead to proceed was welcome news  for city planners and private developers alike.  With a much needed flood protection plan in place,  construction of what is promised to be a virtually new downtown community is set to start materializing over the next few years.  Accommodating residential units, parklands and businesses, this $1.25 billion dollar project has been rubber-stamped and the work is moving from the boardroom to the site. Read Edward Keenan’s article from the Toronto Star on this exciting project here


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