Plans for Quayside were first revealed in 2018 as an interconnected smart neighborhood for the city and since then Sidewalk Labs had been working to pioneer a new approach to future urban developments.

“We’ve already started innovative companies addressing urban mobility, next-generation infrastructure, and community-based healthcare, and invested in startups working on everything from robotic furniture to digital electricity,” said Daniel L. Doctoroff, CEO of Sidewalk Labs. “We continue to work internally on factory-made mass timber construction that can improve housing affordability and sustainability, a digital master-planning tool that can improve quality of life outcomes and project economics, and a new approach to all-electric neighborhoods.”

Last year the government agency responsible for development of the area , Waterfront Toronto, voted to limit the original 190-acre plan to 12 acres. The revised project would have included 12 timber towers with 2,500 residential units, 1,000 of which would be rented at below-market rates and combine offices, shops and residences.

“As unprecedented economic uncertainty has set in around the world, 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,” Mr Doctoroff added. “So, after a great deal of deliberation, we concluded that it no longer made sense to proceed with the Quayside project.”

“The current health emergency makes us feel even more strongly about the importance of reimagining cities for the future. I believe that the ideas we have developed over the last two-and-a-half years will represent a meaningful contribution to the work of tackling big urban problems, particularly in the areas of affordability and sustainability. This is a vital societal endeavor, and Sidewalk Labs will continue our work to contribute to it.”