Canada Announces Winners of Smart Cities Challenge

From: Infrastructure Canada

Ottawa, Ontario, May 14, 2019 – By driving innovation in communities across the country, the Government of Canada is empowering communities to address the most pressing needs of their residents through data and connected technology.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and his Parliamentary Secretary Marco Mendicino, announced the four winners of the country’s first-ever Smart Cities Challenge, a pan-Canadian competition that encourages communities of all sizes to harness the potential of connected technology and data to improve the lives of Canadians.

The winners will receive prizes worth a total of $75 million, which will be used to implement their visions. The winners are:

  • Town of Bridgewater, Nova Scotia – $5 million prize for its proposal to reduce energy poverty.
  • Nunavut Communities, Nunavut – $10 million prize for its proposal to use a life promotion approach to suicide prevention.
  • City of Guelph and Wellington County, Ontario – $10 million prize for its proposal to create a Circular Food Economy.
  • City of Montréal, Quebec – $50 million prize for its proposal to improve mobility and access to food.

When the Challenge was launched in November 2017, communities from across Canada responded in great numbers. From the largest metropolitan areas to some of the smallest towns, to Indigenous communities, communities from across the country demonstrated that innovation and technology-enabled change can improve local realities in meaningful ways.

Over the past year, 20 finalists have been working intensely with their residents and partners to turn their bold ideas into real, practical plans. They have defined the smart city concept in a truly Canadian manner, and have come up with homegrown solutions that will benefit communities across the country as they develop their own visions. All communities that have participated in this Challenge are winners; they have innovated and developed plans and partnerships to further their smart cities visions.

An independent Jury of 13 members assessed and evaluated the final proposals based on detailed criteria.

The four winners will implement their smart cities approaches over the next five years. Updates on their implementation will be posted on Infrastructure Canada’s website, where their proposal summaries are currently posted so they can inspire communities across the country on their own smart cities journeys.

“Congratulations to finalists and winners of Canada’s first-ever Smart Cities Challenge. The work you have put into developing your proposals and to improving the lives of your residents is huge. You are all winners! Your efforts will benefit your communities, and also communities across the country who may be facing similar challenges. You are shining examples of Canadian ingenuity and innovations at its best and I am immensely proud.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Quick facts

  • More than 200 communities, large and small, from across Canada responded to the Smart Cities Challenge, which was launched in November 2017.

  • Of the 130 applications received, 20 were selected as finalists on June 1, 2018, and received grants of $250,000 to develop their proposals into fully-implementable business proposals.

  • These final proposals were submitted on March 5, 2019, and were evaluated and assessed by the independent Smart Cities Canada jury based on the criteria set out in the Smart Cities Challenge Finalist Guide.

  • This was the first of three competitions of the Challenge.

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