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Aug 10, 2020

Sidewalk Labs Toronto office up for lease after layoffs, abandoning smart city

A pedestrian walks past Sidewalk Labs headquarters near the proposed site of 'Quayside' in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday, May 7, 2020. Sidewalk Labs LLC, Alphabet’s urban innovation unit and sister to Google, is shelving its plan to build an urban digital neighborhood due to unprecedented economic uncertainty globally and in the Toronto real estate market, Chief Executive Officer Dan Doctoroff said in a blog post Thursday.

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TORONTO - Sidewalk Labs' Toronto office space is available for lease months after the company walked away from building a tech-savvy neighbourhood in the city.

An online property listing shows both floors of the Lakeshore Boulevard East building the Manhattan-based Google affiliate occupied are available for $35 per square foot per year for a total of about $155,000 annually.

The first floor covers about 13,128 square feet (1,220 square metres) and the second covers 4,056 square feet (377 square metres), but the listing says both can be leased together.

The listing comes just over a month after Sidewalk told The Canadian Press it had laid off about 20 workers, including several in Canada, but stressed that it was not abandoning the country and would still keep staff there.

A spokesman for Sidewalk now says the company is still committed to maintaining a presence in Toronto, but did not say where staff in the city will work from.

The Sidewalk building served as a spot for the company to show off its prototypes of heated, illuminated sidewalks and raincoats for buildings that it hoped to use in its smart city project, which it cancelled in May.