FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What is Sidewalk Toronto? Is it different from Quayside?

Sidewalk Toronto and Quayside are both names used for the same project. The name Quayside specifically references the development area.

What if I don’t want my data collected?

Meaningful consent is an important consideration in this project and methods to opt out of the collection of data is an element of the digital policy we are exploring during the MIDP phase.

Where will the data be stored?

The Plan Development Agreement commits that important provisions, such as jurisdictional localization and data protection, that are consistent with Canadian data protection laws, be incorporated into the MIDP.

Data sovereignty is an important issue. It is our position that data from the Quayside project will be stored in Canada as a first principle, unless there is a documented reason, beyond business case/finance, that precludes the data from remaining here.

Having said that, we want to be sure we fully understand the technical requirements and potential implications of data protection being a requirement. We intend to look at this issue from a very granular perspective, with sensitivity to the different types of data that may be involved in the project, ranging from environmental information to potentially personal information.

Distinct uses of data will also be explored to ensure that broader project objectives can be achieved, including academic research and potential collaboration with companies and researchers abroad.

How are we furthering our depth of understanding about privacy and the development of intelligent communities? What is the role of the Digital Strategy Advisory Panel (DSAP)?

Waterfront Toronto has formed a Digital Strategy Advisory Panel made up of subject matter experts representing academia, the civic technology community and legal experts to address digital governance issues and make recommendations to Waterfront Toronto.

The Digital Strategy Advisory Panel is an arms-length body that provides objective, professional advice to Waterfront Toronto on important matters such as the ethical use of technology, accountability, transparency, protection of personal privacy, data governance, and cyber security.

It’s important that these issues are also considered together with the opportunity for broad and equitable benefits that can come from the intellectual property and data. We want to ensure that the issues and opportunities are addressed in a robust way to encourage innovation and economic development and preserve the public good.

The DSAP has advised Waterfront Toronto on the PDA and will continue to provide advice and guidance through the evaluation of the MIDP on matters including:

  • Privacy
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Governance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Shared Benefits/Business Models
  • Commercial and Operating Agreements
  • IT Architecture and Platforms

 

Because the Quayside project may pilot first-to-market technologies, we expect that the panel will generate recommendations that could inform new federal and provincial digital governance laws and regulations.

What is the approach to data and privacy? Who will own the data?

We know these are important issues for the public and getting it right is a priority we share. Those issues include digital governance, data ownership, privacy, and the ethical use of technology.

Waterfront Toronto—and Quayside specifically—is approaching our intelligent community initiatives with an expectation of the protection of the fundamental right of privacy that is well beyond the strict letter of the law. This includes the following six commitments:

Adherence to the principles of Privacy by Design (in addition to compliance with all existing laws and regulations).

No preferential treatment to any Alphabet company, including Google, regarding linking to, sharing, or use of personal information

  • No use of data for advertising purposes*
  • De-identification of personal information at source*
  • Minimization of data collection to only what is necessary
  • Storage in Canada of data collected for the Quayside project

* except with knowledgeable and expressed consent

What is the affordable housing mandate for Quayside?

As an organization, Waterfront Toronto has a mandate to set aside land sufficient to accommodate 20% of residential units as Affordable Rental Housing. Waterfront Toronto defines “affordable” based on the City of Toronto’s Official Plan definition, which uses Average Market Rent (AMR) as a measure of affordability. These are figures that are published annually by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. In order to be affordable, a project’s average rent can not exceed 100% AMR.

Through partnerships with other levels of government, Waterfront Toronto has been able to achieve increased levels of affordability at or below 80% of AMR. In addition to the provision of 20% affordable rental housing, 5% of units are allocated to low end of market on all lands within our control.

Is Quayside is going to be a “surveillance city” and will anyone who enters have to surrender their personal data and privacy rights?

No. Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs have both committed to adhering to the principles of Privacy by Design in regard to any and all data that may be collected should the MIDP, in whole or in part, be implemented.

Are the Quayside lands really valued at as much as CAD$675 million?

Not necessarily. It is Waterfront Toronto’s standard practice to commission an appraisal immediately prior to undertaking any potential transaction to ensure the most current land valuation. The CAD$675 million land value attributed to Quayside is very high and doesn’t reflect all of the realities of the site. Land values are constantly changing based on market conditions and—in addition to location—there are a variety of factors that can impact its value.

For example, in the case of Quayside, other factors to consider include the cost to implement infrastructure to service large areas of the site, soil conditions and the costs to remediate, costs related to affordable housing requirements, and challenges presented by building on infill land, to name a few.  It’s not always easy, or appropriate, to compare a site on the waterfront with other sites across the city of Toronto.

Has Waterfront Toronto given up its ownership of the Quayside lands to Sidewalk Labs?

No. No lands have changed hands in either title or value. The Quayside lands are still owned almost entirely by Waterfront Toronto, with small portions belonging to the City of Toronto and private owners.

Will Quayside be a place where normal municipal by-laws and planning rules do not apply?

If Waterfront Toronto’s evaluation of the MIDP proposal results in a decision by our Board of Directors to continue to next steps, it’s just an endorsement of the proposal or elements of the proposal.

Waterfront Toronto does not have planning approval authority, which means that the municipal approval process still applies. Should the MIDP be endorsed in whole or in part, it will be subject to all municipal by-law and zoning regulations, and will have to also comply with all provincial and federal laws and standards. There may be certain elements of the plan that require working with governments on changes or modifications to existing regulatory frameworks, such as the Ontario Building Code as it relates to tall timber.