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Google Parent Alphabet Considers Toronto Waterfront For Demo Smart City

Google parent company Alphabet is considering a high-tech hub for Toronto's waterfront.

Toronto’s eastern waterfront could soon become a reimagined "digital city" created by Alphabet subsidiary Sidewalk Labs, the Wall Street Journal reports

Sidewalk Labs is looking to build a 3M SF smart city high-tech hub, a project that would likely cost more than $1B. Sources report a Toronto decision is expected this month.

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, initially applied to develop a 12-acre piece of land in the GTA’s downtown in May. 

Sidewalk Labs has been hunting for over a year for a suitable location to demonstrate how smart cities could work. Past sites considered have included Detroit and Denver. 

Sidewalk CEO Dan Doctoroff has described the company's efforts as a way to demonstrate how connected technologies can improve modern life.

“I’m sure many of you are thinking this is a crazy idea: building a city new — the most innovative, urban district in the world, something at scale that can actually have the catalytic impact among cities around the world,” Doctoroff said in a May speech at the Smart Cities NYC conference, according to StateScoop.  

“We don’t think it’s crazy at all. People thought it was crazy when Google decided to connect the entire world’s information. People thought it was crazy to think about the concept of a self-driving car," he said. 

Under the deal, city agency Waterfront Toronto would still need to work with Sidewalk to get approval from federal, provincial and municipal government on various aspects of the project. If successful, it would have the potential to grow into a larger district in coming years across 750 nearby acres.