Among the reasons Stratford was a finalist is that it has a city-owned hydro utility that built out a 70-km open access fiber network with a WiFi overlay. The University of Waterloo also recently opened a digital media campus in the city.
Toronto is a finalist in part because of its fledgling Waterfront Toronto urban renewal project, which is building a lakeshore community with 40,000 residential units and commercial space served by a 1 Gbps fibre to the premise network.
Some parts are already occupied – such as George Brown College’s waterfront campus for a number of health sciences departments. The first residential high-rise condo building has started to sell units.
The project will be built over 25 years.
There’s global race for communities to become “smart cities” or “intelligent communities,” which has spawned a mini-industry of how-to conferences.
Wednesday’s two-day Smart Cities Canada conference in Toronto, staged by the Strategy Institute, attracted politicians and bureaucrats from a number of municipalities including a three-person delegation from Surry, B.C. led by councillor Bruce Hayne.
A member of the city’s investment and innovation committee, he’d also been at a an international smart cities conference in Barcelona several months ago.
A suburb of Vancouver with a population of 400,000 and growing, Haynes said the intelligent community competition is “certainly something we want to get involved in.”