Sidewalk Labs cancels plan to build high-tech neighbourhood in Toronto amid COVID-19

Sidewalk Labs, a Google-affiliated company, is abandoning its plan to build a high-tech neighbourhood on Toronto’s waterfront, citing what it calls unprecedented economic uncertainty.

The project, dubbed Quayside, still didn’t have all of the government approvals it needed to go ahead. Many had raised concerns about the privacy implications of the project and how much of the city’s developing waterfront Sidewalk Labs wanted to control. 

The so-called “smart city” was set to feature a range of cutting-edge technology, from residential towers made of timber to the use of autonomous cars and heated sidewalks. 

“As unprecedented economic uncertainty has set in around the world and in the Toronto real estate market, it has become too difficult to make the 12-acre project financially viable without sacrificing core parts of the plan we had developed,” the company said in a statement.

More to come.

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