If you live in New York––or any global metropolis––the emergence of a new neighborhood may not seem all that odd to you. As most of us know, it’s usually not a new neighborhood, per se, but an existing area that’s been given a new name to boost real estate opportunities. But the neighborhood coming to Toronto doesn’t exactly fall into this category.
According to Designboom, a group of designers, companies, and city organizers are putting their heads and skills together to create a community on the city’s eastern seafront. The first part of the overall plan has been unveiled and named “Quayside,” which will essentially live as a community of wooden buildings designed by Oslo-based firm Snøhetta and the British architects of Heatherwick Studio.
Sidewalk Toronto is the name of the entire effort and it’s focused on combining “forward-thinking urban design and new digital technology to create people-centred neighborhoods that achieve precedent-setting levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity.”
TVO shares that the plan actually dates back to October 2017, when Waterfront Toronto commissioned Google’s Sidewalk Labs––hence the name, “Sidewalk Toronto”––came up with a plan for developing the area. Originally, the plan was to turn a 12-acre piece of the total 800-acre Port Lands into a smart city of sorts. The actual plan involves the entire sector, which has some officials and locals concerned.
All concern aside, the plan sounds good on paper. Not only would the community focus on sustainability (a timber factory would be built in Ontario to provide the resources for the project), but Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff shared with Designboom that 2,500 units of housing would also be introduced to the area and 40 percent of that would be priced below market.
Quayside is only the first part of this project, so keep an eye out on more news from Sidewalk Toronto.