On Monday, Sidewalk Labs publicly released its Master Innovation Development Plan (MIDP) for the Quayside District in Toronto, which rethinks how infrastructure can be designed in a people-first community. Stantec’s innovative approach to infrastructure features heavily in the MIDP. The plan was submitted to Waterfront Toronto, the government agency overseeing the development, and is now under review.
Sidewalk Labs turned to Stantec to help design the infrastructure for Quayside, a proposed 12-acre community in Toronto’s Port Lands. Anchored by a strong Toronto team, Stantec engaged top planners, engineers, designers, transportation, freight, power grid, and water infrastructure experts from across North America to develop its design.
“We’re thrilled to be involved with this transformative project, and we’re hoping this serves as an inspiration to design communities that put people first,” says Nancy MacDonald, Stantec’s Smart Cities lead and vice president of Community Development. “Smart Cities are about improving peoples’ lives through thoughtful planning and responsible use of technology. We’ve taken a holistic community approach to Quayside, by identifying needs and then applying solutions to make this neighbourhood vibrant, healthy, and resilient.”
Stantec’s people-focused design provides a framework that allows the public realm to flourish. For example, Stantec’s team designed Quayside’s utility system to be adaptable, resilient, and able to adjust to technological change. Underground tunnels include freight, utilities, gas lines, and a pneumatic waste system. This frees up more public space for people and allows maintenance and upgrades without major surface disruption on the street.
“Stantec is helping us develop Quayside as a world-leading sustainable community based on a network of urban innovations,” says Nerissa Moray, Sidewalk Labs’ Associate Director of Planning & Development. “We’re looking forward to building a mixed-use district that spurs economic growth and makes Torontonians proud.”
Stantec’s design also puts people at the heart of sustainable mobility options. At Quayside, every building will have access to a bike share, an e-bike dock, and an e-scooter dock within a five-minute walk or less.
Communities of the future will also need to be climate neutral or climate positive, and this is reflected in numerous features at Quayside. Stantec designed distributed energy systems – advanced rooftop solar and storage technologies – to complement existing city utility feeders, increase resiliency, and lower the load on the central system.
The MIDP will now go through a public review process and evaluation by Waterfront Toronto before a decision on whether to proceed is made by the Waterfront Toronto Board. It will also be subject to a vote by Toronto City Council.
Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That’s why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind.
We care about the communities we serve—because they’re our communities too. This allows us to assess what’s needed and connect our expertise, to appreciate nuances and envision what’s never been considered, to bring together diverse perspectives so we can collaborate toward a shared success.
We’re designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.
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