Court challenge to Waterfront Toronto/Sidewalk Lab’s smart city continues

October 31, 2019

– For Immediate Release –

(Toronto – October 31, 2019)

Waterfront Toronto and the three levels of government who are parties to CCLA’s application to the Ontario Divisional Court ought to immediately comply with their obligations to respond to the application served and filed months ago. There is no reason to further delay the hearing of this matter.   

 The news from Waterfront Toronto and Sidewalk Labs this week has not changed CCLA’s legal application to reset the Quayside project.  Today’s announcement from Waterfront Toronto addressed the matter of whether the project should be on 12 acres or 190, and whether there should be a guarantee of transit to the precinct or not, and who controls data misappropriated from the streets, buildings and homes of the neighborhood. The question is whether any version of this particular smart city project between these two partners should continue. We obviously disagree with the decision this week that the project ought to continue.  

 The decision by Waterfront Toronto to continue considering and consulting on partnering with Google-sibling Sidewalk Labs to build 12 acres of infrastructure embedded with sensors to collect data from the public simply takes us back to where we began with the proposal two years ago. In our litigation, we argue that Waterfront Toronto simply never had the jurisdiction to embark upon an electronic and data surveillance project with the biggest data collector on the planet. We further seek a judicial declaration of the respondents’ violation of Charter-protected rights to privacy, liberty and free association, in a sensor-laden, intensively surveilled landscape that is planned to extend into streets, shops and even homes.   




Michael Bryant 

Executive Director & General Counsel 



Brenda McPhail 

CCLA Privacy, Technology and Surveillance Project Director 



Please click here to see our application documents.