Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs pulls out of Toronto ‘smart city’ project

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Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs pulls out of Toronto 'smart city' project

Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Sidewalk Labs has pulled out of its Toronto “smart city” project due to economic uncertainty, the subsidiary’s chief executive officer said on Thursday.

Sidewalk Labs had developed a proposal for a futuristic, data-driven city development in the heart of Toronto’s business district, and was working with a government-mandated agency who planned to vote whether to approve the final proposal in June.

“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 (5-hectare) project financially viable without sacrificing core parts of the plan we had developed,” Sidewalk’s CEO Dan Doctoroff said in a letter released on Thursday.

Waterfront Toronto, the agency created by the federal, provincial and municipal governments to oversee waterfront developments in Toronto including the project, was informed on Wednesday, Doctoroff said.

Sidewalk Labs first won permission to develop a proposal for the Quayside project in October 2017, and submitted their master plan in June 2019 to Waterfront.

“While this is not the outcome we had hoped for, Waterfront Toronto offers thanks and appreciation to Sidewalk Labs for its vision,” Waterfront Chair Stephen Diamond said in a statement.

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