Toronto's waterfront has been named as one of the 21 Smart Communities of the Year and selected as semi-finalist for the 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year award.
Presented by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), the Smart21 Community recognition is the first step in the international 2013 Intelligent Community of the Year award process honouring communities or regions with a documented strategy for creating a local prosperity and inclusion using broadband and information technology to attract leading-edge businesses, build skills, generate economic growth, and improve the delivery of government services. This year the ICF is focusing on the relationship between employment and innovation.
"We are honoured that Toronto's new waterfront community has been recognized as a Smart21 Community and pleased to make it onto the next stage of this important international competition," said John Campbell, President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto.
Toronto's designated waterfront was selected largely as the result of the leadership demonstrated by Waterfront Toronto's intelligent community initiative. This program will transform new waterfront neighbourhoods into intelligent communities that revolutionize how residents receive services, promote economic growth and development, and enable innovation through an advanced telecommunications network. Other aspects of the community that were highlighted include the robust post-secondary cluster, the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network and Evergreen.
As part of the Intelligent Community strategy for the area, Waterfront Toronto has partnered with Beanfield Metroconnect to create Canada's first open-access ultra-high speed broadband community network. East Bayfront and West Don Lands, Toronto's new waterfront communities currently under construction, will feature one of the most advanced fibre-optic networks in the world, delivering internet connection speeds up to 500 times faster than typical North American networks.
"The ultra-high speed broadband community network will help establish Toronto's waterfront as the new centre of innovation and stimulate economic growth by helping the city remain competitive," said John Campbell.
The Smart21 award was announced on October 21, 2012 at a ceremony hosted by the Riverside California, the 2012 Intelligent Community of the Year. The Intelligent Community Forum of the Year Award will be announced in New York City in June 2013.