sidewalk labs toronto

Torontonians are showing their support and objection to Sidewalk Labs

A prominent group of Torontonians showed their support for Sidewalk Toronto this morning, while others objected the company’s Master Innovation and Development Plan in a meeting last night.

More than two dozen well-known Canadians signed a letter acknowledging that there are "some issues and details [that] must still be resolved" regarding Sidewalk Labs' forthcoming development, listing data governance and rapid transit financing as a couple, but that overall, the proposal is "helping us to build a better city."

Two former mayors of Toronto signed the letter: Barbara Hall and Hon. Art Eggleton. Tim Kocur, the executive director of the Waterfront Business Improvement Area signed his approval.

Mark Cohon, the chair of Toronto Global; Alan Broadbent, the CEO of Avana; Sara Diamond, the president of OCAD University and Anne Sado, the president of George Brown College are a few of the signatories on the letter.

"We also believe there are many exciting ideas in this proposal that can help Toronto tackle some of the major challenges we face," the letter reads. A couple of the positives they acknowledged about Sidewalk included the plans for green construction and affordable housing.

Last night, there was a #BlockSidewalk meeting at Ralph Thornton Community Centre, for Torontonians that object the initiative to come together and unpack the 1,500 page master plan that was released last month.

“It’s like the fox proposing the design of the henhouse, and a fundamental conflict of interest and a massive power grab,” an information sheet from the meeting last night says.

Some of the big issues they tackled included the nature of Sidewalk's business model, the corporation's desire for public land, their track record on jobs, inclusion and equity.

#BlockSidewalk also has a letter for Torontonians to sign, but this one is of protest, urging Waterfront Toronto to say no to Sidewalk's master plan.

Lead photo by

Lilian Radovac


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