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Quayside Consultation Engages Over 1,000 Participants

Sep 19, 2019

Meg David, Waterfront Toronto's Chief Development Officer, answering questions at the meeting held at George Brown College.Waterfront Toronto held consultations to unpack the Quayside proposal and hear what is important to the public. Pictured is Meg Davis, Waterfront Toronto's Chief Development Officer, answering questions at the meeting held at George Brown College. 

By: Katie Andrachuk

On June 24, 2019, Waterfront Toronto released Sidewalk Labs’ the Master Innovation and Development Plan (MIDP) for Quayside. Within three weeks, Waterfront Toronto launched public consultations on the MIDP to receive feedback on the proposal.   

Over the next five weeks, more than 1,000 people participated in consultation activities including four public meetings, seven drop-in information sessions at Toronto Public Library branches, an online survey and through written submissions.  

Waterfront Toronto contracted Swerhun Inc. to support the consultations and assemble feedback.  

The Round One Feedback Report summarizes the feedback from each of the four consultation activities and includes appendices for those interested in digging into more detail. Before being finalized, the public meeting summaries were sent to participants for their review and comment, and to ensure that the report accurately reflected their experience at the meetings.

Waterfront Toronto hosted seven information sessions at Toronto Public Libraries across the city.Waterfront Toronto hosted seven information sessions at Toronto Public Library branches across the city.   

We heard from those who are supportive of the project, usually based on the opportunity associated with innovations and the value of innovation in general; those that hold a cautious “maybe” position, who see both great opportunity and great risk with the project, and who have said in the broadest of terms “if the MIDP moves forward, it has to be on terms that work for Toronto”; and, those who are against the project, with issues raised related to (but not limited to) lack of trust in Sidewalk Labs, Google, and Alphabet. This diverse range of voices is represented in the summary report.  

Many of the issues raised by the public align with those outlined in an Open Letter from our Board Chair that include: the amount of land contemplated the proposal; proposed new roles for public administrators and regulatory changes needed to make the proposal work; the need for more detail and thinking on data ownership and privacy; and, questions about intellectual property ownership and value.  

Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs have agreed that we must resolve the issues outlined in the Open Letter by October 31, 2019, in order to advance the proposal through additional consultation and evaluation.  

People clearly have different ideas for the future of Toronto’s waterfront, but in one voice have told Waterfront Toronto how vital the waterfront’s future is to our city. Waterfront Toronto is listening and committed to building and protecting a waterfront valued by generations to come.  

The feedback in this Report is valuable as we consider a next generation community at Quayside. We thank everyone who participated and offered feedback and advice.