Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks on the future of Toronto's Waterfront
Thank you very much. Hello everyone, what a pleasure to be back here a hundred days later after on an equally beautiful day, little chillier though, talking about the future of the waterfront in this great city. It's great to be back in Toronto, I want to thank Waterfront Toronto for putting together this event, and welcoming Sidewalk Labs to Toronto. I especially want to thank some very special guests; Eric Schmidt, and Dan Doctoroff here, making the trip up here, it's great to have you here. Dan, I've been a big fan for a long time of things you've been doing in New York City, and the visionary approach you bring to Sidewalk Labs; and Eric and I have been talking about collaborating on this for a few years now, and seeing it all come together today is extraordinarily exciting.
I also want, of course, to acknowledge my friends, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Mayor John Tory, who are also here as well, who have been strong leaders on this issue; and my good friend Adam Vaughan who has been an extraordinary resource for me and for our government on thinking smart, and thinking responsibly about cities and the future we build for all of our citizens.
Some of you will remember the last time Premier Wynne, Mayor Tory and I were here at the Port Lands, we announced that we'd work together to make the Port LandsFlood Protection Project a reality. Or as Premier Wynne put it, that we would restore paradise by pulling up a parking lot.
Sorry, it was a great line, and I...
On that day, our government committed to providing new funding to help clean up the Toronto Port Lands and protect the area from flooding and other extreme weather events. This is an important first step that we had to take if we wanted to exploit the economic potential of this area, which has been under-utilized for years. These investments, together with those from the province and the city, constitute the foundation that will allow us to transform an industrial sector into a dynamic downtown neighbourhood full of life and activity.
The Port Lands Flood Protection Project and the work that Waterfront Toronto has completed on already revitalized lands is in line with our government's plan to build greener, smarter towns and cities. We want to make sure that Canadians and their families can enjoy everything their community has to offer for generations to come. But to realize that vision, a vision shared by the municipality and the province, Waterfront Toronto needed a strong partner who believed in the potential of this city and its citizens; a partner who is determined to find innovative solutions to make our communities even better places to call home, places to raise our families and make memories.
I'm pleased to announce that Waterfront Toronto has found an extremely promising partner in Sidewalk Labs. A world leader in urban innovation, Sidewalk Labs will create a test bed for new technologies in Quayside. Technologies that will help us build smarter, greener, more inclusive cities, which we hope to see scaled across Toronto's eastern waterfront, and eventually, in other parts of Canada, and around the world.
Today’s announcement also presents unprecedented opportunities for Canadian innovators, who will have the chance to collaborate with Sidewalk Labs or take advantage of the technologies tested at Quayside. Indeed, the team of experts at Sidewalk Labs will be working with academia, government and citizens to test out new ideas, develop technologies that will transform our ways of working, living and having fun. Whether we’re talking about greener infrastructure or more efficient energy systems, innovators and thinkers will be exploring bold new ideas to find creative solutions to the challenges of urban life.
The future that our kids and grandkids are going to inhabit is one where bold, innovative thinking is the norm. Where our complex challenges are solved by innovation and partnership. This announcement today is about promoting and fostering that innovation, and leading the way forward. This partnership will effectively transform Quayside into a thriving hub for innovation, and create the good well-paying jobs that Canadians need.
Today, I'm also pleased that in order to get the development of this area started, Google Canada has committed to relocate its headquarters to the eastern waterfront to anchor this innovation cluster.
This decision on the part of Google shows commitment to the success of this project. My friends, this project will become a model for others, not only in Canada, but around the world. After all, the future, just like this community, will be interconnected. With this partnership, Sidewalk has demonstrated its trust and confidence in Canada, and we're pleased to begin this exciting new chapter and continue to grow together. Sidewalk not only shares Canada's ambition of building an economy centered on innovation, but its values. Values like equality of opportunity, diversity, and the protection of the environment. We know the world is changing and the choice we have is to either resist it and be frightened by it, or to say, we can step up together and shape it, and learn from it, and build it. We can draw on innovative thinkers like Jeff Hinton – where's Jeff? Jeff's here somewhere, one of the... there you are; who's done incredible work on A.I. and deep learning, and is just one of the many extraordinarily innovative thinkers we have across Canada; but mostly our greatest advantage are amazing citizens who are optimistic, hopeful, positive, open to new ideas, open to each other, and aware that if we seize the opportunities of the future, the… it… our potential is unlimited.
That this is a time of worries, a time of anxiety, sure. But it's also at a time of extraordinary opportunity for places like Toronto, like Ontario, like Canada, who are willing to step up and grab it. And I'm very excited to be announcing this great partnership with Sidewalk Labs, with Alphabet and Google, in recognizing that Canada is doing the right things in the right direction, and we're doing it because we have such confidence in our citizens, and in our potential.
Once again, I want to thank my colleagues, Premier Wynne, Mayor Tory, and everyone at Waterfront Toronto for their sustained leadership on this project, and of course, thank you to Sidewalk Labs and Alphabet for dreaming alongside us.
Thank you very much.