Google Sidewalk Labs: a smart city made entirely out of mass timber.

Mass timber is the building material of choice for the Google-backed smart city design Sidewalk Labs has proposed for Toronto’s eastern waterfront neighborhood development called Quayside.

The master plan for a futuristic smart city includes an entire neighborhood made of wood, with 10 mixed-use building up to 35 stories. The project will include two types of engineered wood would be used, including cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated timber.

Toronto’s eastern waterfront presents an extraordinary opportunity to shape the city’s future and provide a global model for inclusive urban growth.



A New Economic Engine That Drives Outsized, Accelerated Job Growth.

Sidewalk Labs’ approach to economic development can help Toronto realize the full potential of the eastern waterfront on a significantly expedited time frame, resulting in more than 44,000 direct jobs (and 93,000 total jobs) stimulated by the IDEA District by 2040, according to an economic analysis conducted by urbanMetrics, a leading Toronto-based firm with extensive experience on the waterfront.


A new standard of sustainability that creates a blueprint for truly climate-positive communities.

Building on concepts from Waterfront Toronto’s existing precinct plans, Sidewalk Labs proposes a six-part pathway to achieve climate-positive development that can only be effective and financially feasible when applied across a broad area and supported by strong cooperation between the public and private sectors.


An affordable, inclusive community with 40% of units at below-market rates.

Sidewalk Labs aims to expand options for lower- and middle-income households, and to create new sources of private funding that can help support ambitious below-market affordability programs.


A transportation system that reduces the need to own a car by providing affordable options for every trip.

Sidewalk Labs has a comprehensive six-part vision to integrate street design and placemaking, innovative policy, and transportation technologies — new and old — to provide a broad menu of affordable choices for every trip, reducing the need to own a car and setting a bold new course for urban mobility.


Enabling an ecosystem where urban innovations can flourish.

At the heart of the IDEA District vision is the ability to create the digital conditions that enable a wide array of third parties to create countless new services designed to improve urban life.

Combining offices, shops and residences, the mixed-used development is illustrated with visuals showing high-rise wooden structures created with, perforated screens, repeating triangular frames, pedestrian-oriented open spaces and heated pavement to ward off slippery winter weather. Structures would be built a from a modular kit of wood and mass timber that could be reconfigured throughout the neighborhood. 

The future is made out of wood.



Scroll to Top