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Alphabet unit reportedly near deal for digital city in Toronto

A division of Google's parent company is negotiating to build a digital-city project on 12 acres of waterfront land, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs is reportedly negotiating to build a digital-city project along 12 acres of Toronto waterfront property,
Geoff Robins/Getty Images

A unit of Google parent company Alphabet is nearing a deal to develop a high-tech urban space on Toronto's waterfront, according to a report Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal.

Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs would direct development of the so-called digital-city project, which would be located on a 12-acre section of Toronto's eastern waterfront, the Journal reported. Specific plans and cost weren't available, but the project is expected to win approval this month from the board of Waterfront Toronto, the agency that oversees city development along the shore of Lake Ontario, according to the report.

Google declined to a comment on the report.

Alphabet created Sidewalk Labs in 2015 with the goal of making cities function better. The startup is focused on developing technology around urban living, like how to make transportation more efficient and how to reduce energy use.

The startup is led by Dan Doctoroff, former CEO of Bloomberg and deputy mayor of economic development and rebuilding for the City of New York.

Google has become increasingly ambitious about expanding its scope of products beyond its juggernaut search engine. Its search and advertising business is still the most dominant in the world, making more than $50 billion a year. But as the Internet evolves, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have been looking to where future revenue streams will come from. The company has made big bets on everything from smartphones to wearable devices to driverless cars.

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