Toronto launches UPPlift, Canada’s first urban pilot program

January 17, 2018: Toronto is taking another step in cementing its position as a global tech leader with the launch of UPPlift: Toronto. UPPlift is an urban pilot program (UPP) seeking technological innovations aimed at resolving challenges in urban areas and their existing infrastructure. The initiative officially kicked-off at 10:00 a.m. today, January 17, 2018, at Commerce Court West, 199 Bay Street.

With support from major corporations, including Microsoft and QuadReal Property Group, and participation from the City of Toronto, UPPlift: Toronto will operate as a virtual technology accelerator with a goal to help resolve city challenges and increase the city’s livability with the assistance of Internet of Things technologies and other smart innovations.

“We’re seeing a rising trend in the creation of smart cities, but we can’t forget that there is existing infrastructure that needs to move with us into the coming decades,” said Mikele Brack, founder of Urban Living Futures, the company behind UPPlift. “Toronto is a world-class city with wonderful historic and modern features. As urban migration continues and new technologies emerge, we’re looking to make improvements to the built environment that will ultimately benefit the people and communities who live and work within it every day.”

Examples of challenges that QuadReal would like innovators to address include:

  1. Enhancing the tenant or resident experience by harnessing digital technology to facilitate day-to-day interactions such as: riding an elevator or asking a security guard a question; providing traffic analyses or forecasts for retailers, and allowing visitors to access to useful building information or services.
  2. Enhancing energy efficiency and the visibility of energy efficiency programs for tenants and residents by harnessing digital technology to improve and automate sub-meter management and data analysis, and to make energy use more visible to tenants or residents to encourage more sustainable behaviour

The program is now accepting submissions from innovators with working prototypes hoping to have their technologies piloted. Shortlisted applicants will be announced in February. Successful entrants will receive technology, support and expertise from Microsoft and Intel and they will be coached through the development of business plans for their pilots. Selected projects will receive additional in-kind support from Fasken, Toronto Hydro, and Communitech. Ultimately, five to ten outstanding innovators will be selected, with pilots to be run exclusively in QuadReal office buildings in the downtown core and with the City of Toronto.

For more information, or to submit an application, visit

About UPPlift

UPPlift is an urban pilot program (UPP) designed and delivered by Urban Living Futures Inc. The program endeavors to identify innovations and facilitate live demonstrations of technologies aimed at resolving challenges in the built environment, ensuring asset owners and managers achieve cost savings, improved operations and enhanced experiences for their users. The process creates a living lab in the host city, attracting and retaining an innovator ecosystem, and facilitating deployment of “smart” and resource-efficiency technology into the city’s infrastructure & built assets.

About Urban Living Futures Inc.

Urban Living Futures Inc designs and delivers innovation programs creating convergence between urban innovators (supply) and built asset owners/managers (demand) to create efficiencies and enhanced user experience with smart technologies. We bring together private sector companies, city authorities and global technology leaders and harness their support to help innovators pilot and ultimately commercialize emergent technology.


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