Image: Waterfront Toronto

Known most for developing internet technology, Google’s parent company Alphabet is vying to invest in real estate development in Canada’s biggest city.

Sidewalk Labs, an Alphabet organization centred on improving urban areas using technology, has responded to a Waterfront Toronto request for proposals relating to the redevelopment of Quayside, a 12-acre brownfield site at the foot of Parliament Street, Bloomberg reports.

Some heralded the move as Google aiming to “build a futuristic mini-city.”

But Andrew Hilton, a spokesperson for the tri-level governmental organization Waterfront Toronto, tells BuzzBuzzNews that the successful applicant will be “more like an investor and consultant” than an actual developer, offering “partner” as a more accurate term.

“It’s not a prescriptive [request for proposals]… this is just more like, we have goals, we have aspirations, we have a couple of specific challenges that we would like to address,” he explains.

“We think that this project, this piece of land, would make an excellent testbed to approach some of these challenges, whether it be sustainability or inclusivity or job creation or technology,” Hilton adds.

Waterfront Toronto put out the call for submissions in mid-March with a deadline of April 27th. The successful bidder will be announced in late-June, according to the Quayside request form.

With the help of an “innovation and funding partner,” the organization says in a news release that it wants the Quayside community to become an example of how to overcome hurdles to building “more sustainable, accessible, inclusive and prosperous communities.”

“The aim is to establish Quayside as a testbed for emerging technologies, materials and processes that will address these challenges and advance solutions that can be replicated in cities worldwide,” Waterfront Toronto adds.

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