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City of Markham teams up with Bell, IBM for smart city research project

The City of Markham, Bell Canada and IBM Canada are teaming up to test a new generation of internet-connected systems for monitoring city infrastructure and detecting problems such as storm flooding.
The City of Markham, Bell Canada and IBM Canada are teaming up to test a new generation of internet-connected systems for monitoring city infrastructure and detecting problems such as storm flooding. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

MARKHAM, Ont. – The City of Markham, Bell Canada and IBM Canada are teaming up to test a new generation of internet-connected systems for monitoring city infrastructure and detecting problems such as storm flooding.

Mayor Frank Scarpitti says Markham will serve as a “living lab” for technologies that will improve the city’s operating efficiency and enhance services for residents.

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The program will combine Bell’s broadband networks, IBM data analytics and data from sensors placed in various parts of the city of 355,000 residents, northeast of Toronto.

They say the system will be designed to detect leaks in water supply pipes, storm flooding, energy usage in city buildings as well as environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity.

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Financial details and other terms of the partnership were not immediately available.

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The announcement comes as Canada’s major telecommunications companies, including Bell, invest billions to expand their capabilities to do widespread data collection through high speed fibre optics and wireless networks.