The IDEA District

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.

Sidewalk Labs’ Proposal:

The Public Administrator:

Sidewalk Labs proposes roles for the public sector in establishing and operating the IDEA District, as follows:

  • Set Innovation and Development Objectives for the IDEA District

  • Consistent with those objectives, impose additional requirements on developments within the IDEA District

  • Determine whether new developments can access the regulatory relief

  • Perform precinct and infrastructure planning for waterfront development

  • Certify development and construction permit applications before submission to City agencies

  • Develop a master transportation and infrastructure plan for approval by relevant City authorities, in phases, and give final approval before construction

  • Receive and direct infrastructure charges for the infrastructure proposed for, or built in, the IDEA District

  • Enter into and oversee agreements with developers, vendors, and partners, including Sidewalk Labs as Innovation and Funding Partner

Sidewalk Labs has also proposed several new entities that would be established within the purview of the Public Administrator:

  • Waterfront Transportation Management Association: Thisdivision of the Public Administrator would be responsible for coordinating mobility systems within the IDEA District

  • Waterfront Sustainability Association:This division of the Public Administrator would be responsible for administering private delivery entities and reporting on sustainability performance and GHG emissions

  • Waterfront Housing Trust:With the Public Administrator as the sole trustee, this new entity would collect revenues from the 1% Condo Resale Fee and allocate it towards new affordable housing initiatives

Questions to Consider – Public Administrator

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Innovation Framework:

The Innovation Framework is proposed as a package of targeted regulatory adjustments and enhanced requirements on development (the Innovation Design Standards and Guidelines) that would apply in the IDEA District. Requiring more than business-as-usual from private sector developers is a common practice for Waterfront Toronto. However, the concept of certain adjustments to regulatory requirements necessary to implement the MIDP, depending on the specific details, may be beyond Waterfront Toronto’s standard practices and authority.

Questions to Consider – Innovation Framework

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Financing Mechanisms:

Several of the financing tools proposed by Sidewalk Labs align with existing practices, including city fee and development charge credits, and the reinvestment of land proceeds into continued revitalization in the waterfront. However, the proposed municipal and local infrastructure contributions, and the potential use of tax increment financing is beyond the authority and typical practices of Waterfront Toronto. Tax-increment financing is rarely used in Canada. 

Additionally, Sidewalk Labs proposes that the IDEA District could be established through existing legislative tools, including the use of Section 28 of the Planning Act to establish a Community Improvement Project Area.

Questions to Consider – Financing Mechanisms

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