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.

Does Sidewalk Labs already have approval to build a whole city and everything in it?

Waterfront Toronto has awarded an opportunity to Sidewalk Labs to produce a proposal, known as the Master Innovation Development Plan (MIDP). When complete, the proposal will be submitted to Waterfront Toronto and evaluated against the objectives set out in our RFP using our established criteria.

Should the MIDP, or elements of the MIDP, be endorsed, 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.

When will construction begin?

It’s far too early to say whether or when construction will happen. Right now we’re waiting to receive the final MIDP submission for our evaluation to begin.