In our Urban Innovation Café, we are pleased to bring you a morning discussion series focusing on innovative approaches to critical urban issues…with coffee. Join us for solutions-based conversation with industry thought leaders, academics, practitioners and policy makers.

Coming Soon

Ryerson Talks Sidewalk

Sidewalk Labs has ambitious plans for TO’s waterfront. Ryerson experts weigh in on the challenges and opportunities presented for our city.

POSTPONED — New date to be announced
9 to 10:30 AM, 245 Church Street (3rd Floor)


Sidewalk Labs has ambitious plans for a section of Toronto’s waterfront. In a 2019 document dubbed “Toronto Tomorrow,” it put forth a multi-faceted proposal to transform a site at the foot of Parliament Street into a high-tech future neighbourhood that leverages several livability and sustainability innovations at scale. 

When first presented, the Alphabet-owned company’s Master Innovation and Development Plan proposed to develop 77 hectares on the waterfront. In October 2019, Waterfront Toronto scaled this geography down to 4.9 hectares–the size of Quayside district. Torontonians now wait while Waterfront Toronto decides by May 20 whether to proceed in the partnership. 

Do Sidewalk Labs’ proposed innovations create a blueprint for a sustainable, livable and more affordable smart community? Can the intended impacts be achieved within a relatively small area? Are data governance and privacy concerns still at issue within the plan’s reduced scope? 

Presented by the Ryerson City Building Institute, Ryerson Talks Sidewalk will bring top Ryerson faculty experts together to discuss the features of Sidewalk Labs’ plan–from tall timber construction to data governance–and evaluate their potential in Toronto and beyond.


Dr. Murtaza Haider, Professor, Ted Rogers School of Management, and Director, Regionomics Inc.

Dr. Miljana Horvat, Associate Professor, Department of Architectural Science

Dr. Ali Miri, Professor, Computer Science, and Research Director of the Privacy and Big Data Institute

Dr. Zhixi Zhuang, Associate Professor, School of Urban and Regional Planning

Moderated by Martin Regg Cohn, Political columnist, Toronto Star

Opening remarks by Steven Liss, Vice President, Research and Innovation, Ryerson University.

Register Now

Past events in this series

September 26, 2019 in CBI Events, Transportation/Transit

Dec 3: Ride-hailing and on-demand transit event “Taken for a Ride”

Our Urban Innovation Café event series showcases the city-building insights of academics, thought leaders and practitioners. We’re pleased to announce the third event in this popular series of morning talks:…
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August 13, 2019 in CBI Events, Transportation/Transit

Improving Surface Transit in Toronto: Expert Hacks

On July 30, we hosted the second in our Urban Innovation Café event series, “Hacking Surface Transit in Toronto.” Over 140 people attended to hear our panelists answer the question,…
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June 11, 2019 in CBI Events, Transportation/Transit

July 30: Hacking Surface Transit in Toronto

CBI is pleased to announce the second event in the Urban Innovation Cafe series: Hacking Surface Transit in Toronto. Across Toronto, communities and neighbourhoods are facing transit challenges. Whether it’s…
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April 8, 2019 in CBI Events, City Building

May 7: Innovations in Housing Affordability

Today, we are pleased to announce a new morning discussion series focusing on innovative approaches to critical urban issues...with coffee. Our Urban Innovation Café events will showcase industry thought leaders and Ryerson…
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