Buildings and Housing

We have provided some information below about what is in the MIDP to help inform your feedback. The survey questions follow at the bottom of this page. Once you have filled in your answers, please click “Submit." You can then either click “Next Section” to continue taking the survey or click “Done” to finish.

Waterfront Toronto asked for:

  • Innovative building technologies, systems, materials and design approaches could set the global standard for low energy design and high performance

  • A neighbourhood that could respond to current and future trends, including adaptive and inclusive places that respond to changing needs, while continuing to advance a sustainable built environment that exhibits design excellence

  • Exceed the Waterfront Toronto requirement to set aside sufficient land to accommodate 20% of residential units as Affordable Rental Housing, in perpetuity

  • A viable, replicable, and implementable delivery model and financing strategy for additional mixed-income housing that requires minimal government funding

Sidewalk Labs proposed:

  • A mixed-use neighbourhood constructed with mass timber buildings, which feature highly adaptable loft spaces with moveable walls to enable flexibility and adaptability over time

  • Technologies to enable buildings to be adaptable and flexible, including low-voltage DC power systems, mist-based sprinkler systems, and real-time building performance monitoring

  • 40% below-market housing program with varied occupancy types, including an Affordable Rental Housing component comprised of smaller, efficient units

  • 50/50 split between rental housing and ownership, including: 20% affordable housing rental (with 5% deeply affordable), 15% mid-range rental units, and 5% for a new hybrid ownership/rental occupancy type called “Shared-Equity Housing,” which would allow residents to own a percentage of their unit and pay rent on the balance

Click to enlarge image

Other elements of Sidewalk Labs’ proposals:

  • Investment in a mass timber factory in Ontario if there is sufficient demand

  • Contribution of $77 million CAD to support creating the below-market housing program at Quayside

  • Establishment of a new public-private financing entity to administer below-market housing, called the Waterfront Housing Trust (WHT)

  • Three sources of funding to support affordable housing:

    • A 1% market condo re-sale fee, with the funds going to the WHT

    • Smaller, more efficient housing units, referred to as Affordability by Design. A smaller unit size would allow for a greater number of lower-cost units within the same building footprint

    • A mass timber supply chain and digital management system (that Sidewalk Labs asserts would add value to public land due to a reduction in construction time and higher project certainty for developers)

Sidewalk Labs' proposed approach to constructing mass timber buildings

Waterfront Toronto's Note to Reader Review:

  • Many aspects of Sidewalk Labs’ proposal are consistent with Waterfront Toronto’s existing practices for delivering mixed income neighbourhoods that feature design excellence. This includes a focus on high performance buildings, as well as a commitment to ensuring that buildings are flexible for future uses, as outlined in Waterfront Toronto’s current Minimum Green Building Requirements

  • Sidewalk Labs indicates amendments to existing regulatory standards would be required, such as changes to height restrictions on wood buildings in the Ontario Building Code

  • There is no anticipated privatization of public roles or assets in the Sidewalk Labs proposals for buildings and housing

  • Sidewalk Labs proposes a variety of affordable rental housing options, contributing to Waterfront Toronto’s approach to building complete communities

Waterfront Toronto’s early thinking on risks to consider:

  • Ability to deliver a 30 storey tall timber building and the complexity of obtaining the necessary approvals to do so

  • The viability of new construction methodologies leading to reduced construction times and the mechanism by which this leads to a reduction in the cost of housing

  • Reliance on public funding programs that may not be offered throughout the entirety of the project timelines

Waterfront Toronto’s questions for you about Buildings and Housing

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How receptive are you to exploring this proposal from Sidewalk Labs?

Interested in taking a deeper dive into additional questions about Sidewalk Labs’ proposals for Buildings and Housing? Fill out the survey form below to provide your feedback.

additional questions about Buildings and Housing

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