Big Plans By Google For Toronto’s Waterfront – Is A Gold Mine Or A Red Herring?

By July 30, 2019 News
CHI Blog

Big Plans By Google For Toronto's Waterfront - Is A Gold Mine Or A Red Herring?

The vision we have of “the city of the future” has been molded by television, movies, and cartoons like Futurama and The Jetsons. The flying cars, neon lights, and everyday robots walking down the street have always been a far-off idea that was unlikely to be realized in our lifetimes.

Commercial real estate in Toronto’s Waterfront district may soon see drastic changes in their values.

Why is that?

Google’s sibling company Sidewalk Labs is bringing Toronto one step closer to the future with its latest undertaking. The tech giant recently announced a new development in its urban innovation sector: a “Smart City” based in the Toronto Waterfront.

What Is It?

The project will cover 3.3 million square feet of residential, commercial, and retail space and will introduce many data-driven technologies for managing traffic, electricity, air quality, underground package delivery, data collection, and many others.

While initial plans were released back in 2017, we have only recently seen a full layout of the planning documentation that spans hundreds of pages. The neighborhoods up for redecorating include Quayside and Villiers West, alongside a new Innovative Development and Economic Acceleration district.

It’s a novel approach to urban development that sellers in commercial real estate for Toronto should be interested in, even though the announcement has drawn up some controversy as any significant change would

How Would It Help?

Commercial real estate will see massive improvements if the plans come to fruition, as property values will increase substantially. Let’s go through some of the reasons why the Toronto Waterfront should become a lucrative investment opportunity for commercial real estate, such as restaurants for sale in Toronto.

A People-Centric Urban Plan

One of the most significant benefits is the positive impact the new city will have on quality of life. Some of the proposed changes include:

  • Self-driving vehicles, buses, and freight carriers for transportation, garbage collection, and traffic management.
  • Passenger-friendly streets with automatic traffic control and discounted parking for places where transit options are otherwise limited.
  • Modular and flexible building layouts that promote more versatile use of properties, enabling lower cost and more quickly built housing. Expect plenty of commercial real estate for sale.
  • Sensors and cameras for weather forecasting, dynamic signage, and guidance from smartphones to help streamline the flow of pedestrians.

The project aims overall to build a more affordable city that’s easy to travel through and is environmentally stable thanks to reduced energy usage. Plus, the lower prices and addition of quality of life improvements should promote a sense of inclusivity in the community.

An Economic Boom

To accomplish all of this, Sidewalk Labs plans to partner up with various third parties, including the 3C Consortium, the Great Gulf and Dream developers, and many others.

These groups will spend over $38 billion in funding to generate vast acres worth of real estate development, boosting the commercial real estate market in the area. We can expect:

  • The introduction of over 93,000 jobs
  • $4.3 billion in tax revenue
  • $14 billion in annual GDP, a 7-fold increase over traditional city development methods

This project will change the Toronto Waterfront district in huge ways. These changes will make Toronto an attractive city for tech companies looking to increase their Canadian presence.

Real estate investors now have a legitimate opportunity to generate large returns by investing in commercial real estate in this area of the city.

What Are the Concerns?

You can’t launch such a large project without a share of detractors. Many arguments against the project are the privacy concerns stemming from the vast data collection involved.

To provide the environmental benefits and affordable housing promised, the city must use cameras and sensors to gather information about itself. Waterfront Toronto, the government agency collaborating with Google, has expressed these concerns, as well as the citizens who have started the #BlockSidewalk campaign.

Many claim that the new Waterfront would be an attack on democracy and are not comfortable with a government and an organization to “design how we live.”

In response, Sidewalk has established the Civic Data Trust group to handle these digital cameras and sensors and promises not to sell personal information or disclose it to third parties without prior consent.

Plan Your Next Commercial Investment with CHI Real Estate

Are you interested in commercial real estate in Toronto? There’s never been a better opportunity to get into the market.

Google’s smart city has the potential to make Toronto one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world, and smart investors are already lining up to take advantage of this.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact the CHI Real Estate team today to see what commercial real estate is for sale in this area. Whether you want to start a business, make a long-term investment, or benefit from the speculation, our team can help you negotiate and structure the right deal.