Smart City Lessons Toronto can learn from ‘smart city’ that didn’t happen

By | June 25, 2020
toronto smart city project

by Toronto Star Jun 2020

The cited two main reasons for the failure of Toronto Smart City is noted as:

  • Lack of regulatory oversight
  • Lack of citizen input

How data would be captured and used became a sticky point and citizens were not involved. The term emerged “surveillance capitalism” and at the center was Google.

The big question is what do the citizens want. Start with that as a basis and we can see a Smart City in Toronto.


The failure of Toronto’s Quayside smart city project boils down to two “original sins,” according to former Research In Motion co-CEO and Centre for Digital Rights founder Jim Balsillie: a lack of regulatory oversight and a lack of citizen input.

But that doesn’t mean Toronto can’t have a smart city — under the right conditions.

According to Balsillie and York University assistant professor Natasha Tusikov, those original sins point the way forward to ensuring any future smart city projects don’t infringe upon citizens’ digital and privacy rights.

Read full article by Toronto Star Jun 2020