Credit: Picture Plane for Heatherwick Studio c/o Sidewalk Labs

Sidewalk Toronto

BBB is collaborating with Sidewalk Labs on the master plan for an innovative mixed-use community advancing urban quality of life and leading the revival of Toronto's Eastern Waterfront.

Sidewalk Toronto is a partnership between Waterfront Toronto and Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs to create a new kind of mixed-use, complete community on Toronto's Eastern Waterfront. The development will combine forward-thinking urban design with new physical and digital innovations to create people-centered neighborhoods that achieve precedent-setting levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity. The 12-acre Quayside development is the first phase of the proposed Innovative Design and Economic Acceleration (IDEA) District, where new models of development partnership and urban innovation for Toronto's urban growth can be replicable elsewhere in Canada and around the world.

Planning leverages the physical, digital, and policy conditions for innovation upon which an array of third parties can build and explore new solutions to urban challenges, with the goal of achieving long-term quality-of-life. The approach identifies the building blocks of a neighborhood – mobility, public realm, buildings and housing, sustainability, and social infrastructure – and explores how urban innovations within these areas could support a new kind of community with flexibility in the built environment.

Planning for Quayside and the IDEA District integrates multiple innovations that together achieve benefits not possible in conventional developments. Some examples include flexible streets designed to favor pedestrians and enable new mobility technologies including shared autonomous vehicles (AV's), heated bike lanes, modular dynamic pavement, outdoor comfort systems to increase the time spent outdoors, flexible ground floor "stoa" spaces to accommodate a wide range of uses beyond traditional retail, a thermal grid district energy system, and underground package delivery and pneumatic waste networks. Quayside would also be the first neighborhood built entirely of mass timber construction, which is far more sustainable than concrete or steel and would help catalyze a new industry for Ontario.

BBB collaborated with the Sidewalk Labs team on master planning and urban design, working with a multi-disciplinary team of engineers, landscape architects, architects, environmental planners, and cost estimators to create the Quayside development plan and the River District concept plan within the draft Master Innovation and Development Plan (MIDP) – a comprehensive proposal for Toronto informed by more than 18 months of public consultation. BBB collaborated with parallel architectural explorations by Heatherwick Studio, Snøhetta, and Michael Green Architecture.



Partner, Director of Planning & Urban Design
Associate, Architect/Urban Designer
Associate, Urban Designer
Associate, Urban Designer