Waterfront Toronto reached an agreement to develop the former Sidewalk Labs space along the city's eastern shores into Canada's largest all-electric, zero-carbon community.

Dream Unlimited Corp. and Great Gulf Group will develop the 12-acre site at Parliament Street and Queens Quay, known as Quayside, into a dense, vibrant community with more than 800 affordable housing units, 3.5 acres of public space, and Canada's largest tall-timber structure.

“This agreement is another step toward Quayside becoming the world-class, complete community that Toronto was promised,” said George Zegarac, Waterfront Toronto CEO. “It codifies the vision for this neighbourhood, and all the hopes that we heard from the public and from our partners in government: Quayside will be a community that is dynamic, inclusive and resilient.” 

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Waterfront Toronto selected the development proposal from Dream and Great Gulf back in February, which, at the time, called for five towers, an urban farm, and two acres of forested green space. It also laid out plans to pay homage to the Indigenous significance of the site, with performing arts, cultural celebration, and education spaces.

“The discussions with Waterfront Toronto that led to this agreement reaffirmed that we share the same values and priorities when it comes to this incredible opportunity,” said Michael Cooper, founder of the Dream Group of Companies. 

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The redeveloped space will also have a "car-free green oasis" extending from Parliament Street to Bonnycastle Street, Waterfront Toronto says, which will connect with ongoing projects further west towards Jarvis Street.

None of the buildings constructed at Quayside will use fossil fuels for heating, instead employing geothermal wells. There will also be solar panels built into the south facades of the towers and mounted onto rooftops to generate electricity.

Of the 800+ affordable units planned, more than half will have two or more bedrooms. And in an attempt to deliver the units faster, affordable housing will be built during each phase of the development process.

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The waterfront site was originally slated to be developed by Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Google Inc. and parent Alphabet Inc., but the plan stirred up controversy after it was revealed that the tech company planned to collect the personal data of residents to make it a "smart city." Sidewalk Labs eventually pulled out of the development in May 2020, citing pandemic-induced economic uncertainty.