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Huricane Juan
Toronto Star
  • Google firm wins competition to build high-tech Quayside neighbourhood in Toronto

    Sidewalk Labs, sister company of Google, is officially confirmed to have won a competition to build a new high-tech neighbourhood called Quayside on the east downtown waterfront.

    Waterfront Toronto, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Premier Kathleen Wynne, Mayor John Tory and Sidewalk Lab officials are making the announcement at Corus Quay today.

    The board of Waterfront Toronto, the federal-provincial-city agency overseeing the so-called Quayside project, is expected to vote at an Oct. 20 meeting whether to confirm the agency’s staff recommendation arising from a rigorous competitive bid process launched in May.

    If confirmed by Waterfront Toronto’s board, the choice of a firm owned by Google holding company Alphabet Inc. would be a big high-tech feather in the cap of the city currently chasing the second headquarters of Amazon and other innovation opportunities.

    Quayside is envisioned by the agency as a testbed for cutting-edge technology as well as a bustling, functioning neighbourhood, with homes, offices, retail and cultural space, near Queens Quay E. and Parliament St.

    Sidewalk Labs is Alphabet’s urban innovation unit, with a stated goal of “reimagining cities from the Internet up.”

    Dan Doctoroff, the company’s chief executive and co-founder, told a conference in New York City last May that his company was “looking into developing a large-scale district” to act as its smart city test bed.

    The community would be universally connected by broadband and could have, Doctoroff said, prefab modular housing, sensors to constantly monitor building performance, and robotic delivery services to cut residential storage space, The Architects’ Newspaper reported in May.

    Improving transportation would be a focus, possibly with self-driving cars and design to encourage biking and walking, he told the conference. World-leading environmental sustainability could include thermal exchange systems to capture wasted building heat, and smart sensors to limit energy use.

    Waterfront Toronto says the 4.9-hectare (12-acre) site will be “a testbed for emerging technologies, materials and processes that will address these challenges and advance solutions that can be replicated in cities worldwide.”

    The agency said the winning bidder must propose plans to foster sustainability, resiliency and urban innovation; complete communities with a range of housing types for families of all sizes and income levels; economic development and prosperity driving innovation that will be rolled out to the rest of the world; and partnership and investment ensuring a solid financial foundation that secures revenue and manages financial risk.

    Development of the three publicly owned blocks at the east end of Queens Quay will eventually include redesign and reconstruction of the intersection of Queens Quay and Parliament St.

    Toronto tech leaders at a Smart Cities event in Toronto last May said the city is on the cusp of a tech boom, noting talk of Google interest in the city and Uber’s decision to make Toronto a hub for driverless car research.

  • Trump warns ?I fight back? after McCain calls out ?half-baked, spurious nationalism?

    WASHINGTON—U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned Sen. John McCain that “I fight back” after McCain questioned “half-baked, spurious nationalism” in America’s foreign policy.

    McCain, a former Navy pilot who spent 5 ½ years in a Vietnam prisoner of war camp and is battling brain cancer, offered a simple response to Trump: “I have faced tougher adversaries.”

    Trump said in a radio interview with WMAL in Washington, “I’m being very, very nice but at some point I fight back and it won’t be pretty.” He bemoaned McCain’s decisive vote this past summer in opposition to a GOP bill to dismantle Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, a move that caused the failure of GOP efforts to repeal and replace “Obamacare.”

    In Philadelphia on Monday night, the six-term Republican senator from Arizona received an award for a lifetime of service and sacrifice to the country. In addition to recalling his more than two decades of military service and his imprisonment during the war, McCain took a moment to go a step further than the night’s other speakers, who lamented what many described as a fractured political climate.

    “To abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems,” he said, “is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.”

    He continued: “We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil.”

    Former Vice-President Joe Biden presented McCain with the Liberty Medal. Though members of opposing parties, the two men worked together during their time in the Senate. Former president Barack Obama, who defeated McCain in his bid for the presidency in 2008, congratulated the senator on the award in a tweet Monday night.

    “I’m grateful to @SenJohnMcCain for his lifetime of service to our country. Congratulations, John, on receiving this year’s Liberty Medal,” Obama wrote.

    Another political foe, 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, said on Twitter: “Ran against him, sometimes disagree, but proud to be a friend of @SenJohnMcCain: hero, champion of character and last night, Lincolnesque.”

    Pressed on Trump’s threat Tuesday morning, McCain told reporters he has had tougher fights, and then smiled.

    Trump said in the radio interview that McCain’s vote against Republican efforts to dismantle the 2010 health care law was a “shocker.”

    McCain and Trump have long been at odds. During the campaign, Trump suggested McCain was not a war hero because he was captured in Vietnam.

  • What is the best Canadian city for a woman? Toronto is ranked 10th

    OTTAWA—A new study suggests Victoria is the best city in Canada to be a woman, despite the wage gap between men and women there worsening slightly in recent years.

    The study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives looks at differences between men’s and women’s access to economic and personal security, education, health and positions of leadership in Canada’s 25 biggest cities.

    The CCPA says Victoria is the only city on the list where more women than men are employed, and they account for nearly half of all senior managers and elected officials.

    But it says the wage gap in the city is on par with the rest of the country, with women earning 73 per cent of what men do — slightly worse than five years ago.

    In Windsor, Ont., which ranked worst in the study, the wage gap is actually smaller than average, with women making about 75 per cent of what men earn.

    But the study says only 23 per cent of elected officials and 34 per cent of senior managers in the region are women, and women are more likely to be living below the poverty line than men.

    The CCPA also says that sexual assault is the only violent crime that’s not on the decline in Canada, and every city still struggles with high rates of sexual and domestic violence.

    “Statistics will never be a substitute for the full experience of lives lived. But as signposts they mark the spot where more attention is needed from our political leaders and policy-makers,” says study author Kate McInturff, a senior researcher at CCPA. “We hope they follow through.”

    Here is the CCPA’s ranking of the cities it studied:

    1. Victoria

    2. Gatineau

    3. Hamilton

    4. Kingston

    5. Vancouver

    6. Quebec City

    7. St. John’s

    8. Sherbrooke

    9. Halifax

    10. Toronto

    11. Ottawa

    12. London

    13. Kelowna

    14. Abbotsford-Mission

    15. Montreal

    16. St. Catharines-Niagara

    17. Winnipeg

    18. Edmonton

    19. Saskatoon

    20. Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo

    21. Regina

    22. Calgary

    23. Barrie

    24. Oshawa

    25. Windsor

Arts & Letters
Trudy
Sunday, 12 August 2007