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The Port Lands area is seen from Cherry St., the future home of Sidewalk Labs in Toronto on June 25, 2019. Waterfront Toronto's board says it is extending the date by which it will make a decision on whether to move forward with Google affiliate Sidewalk's proposal to build a smart city.

Andrew Lahodynskyj/The Canadian Press

Waterfront Toronto’s board will have more time to make a decision on whether to move forward with Sidewalk Lab’s proposal to build a smart city.

The agency and Sidewalk have agreed to extend the deadline by which Waterfront Toronto must make a decision about the controversial Quayside project pitched for a swath of Toronto’s lakefront to May 20, from March 31.

Waterfront and Sidewalk Labs, owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, previously extended the deadline to make a decision on the proposal from Sept. 30, 2019, to the March date.

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Waterfront says the new extension would give locals more time to offer input on its evaluation of Sidewalk’s proposal.

Sidewalk’s proposal involves building a tech-savvy neighbourhood featuring “raincoats for buildings,” heated and illuminated sidewalks, affordable housing, tall timber structures and innovations to support sustainability and environmentalism.

It has been met with criticism from tech, privacy and business experts across the country over its potential use of data and the demands it could place on the city and government.

If Waterfront decides to pursue Sidewalk’s proposal, the project will still require the approval of the municipal, provincial and federal governments.

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