The City of Markham has announced plans to integrate Bell’s Smart City platform, a collection of interconnected Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and technologies.

Markham will use the platform’s IoT applications to monitor a range of infrastructure functions including equipment tracking, water leak detection, storm/flood monitoring, weather monitoring, and energy management. The data will be used for environmental studies and efficiency improvements, the city said Wednesday.

One such benefit could be early flood warnings. For example, Richmond Hill uses sensors to monitor its stormwater pond and warn its city workers in case of an overflow. Similarly, Seattle flood monitoring stations can send SMS alerts to nearby property owners when it detects dangerous water levels.

Another is preventing water loss from leakage. According to a Bell report, 20 per cent of treated water is lost to leaking pipes. Early detection and repairs could minimize water loss, service discontinuity, and road erosion.

Markham mayor Frank Scarpitti described Markham as the “living lab” and an “incubator for innovation” in the heart of Canada’s innovation corridor that spans the Toronto region and Waterloo.

“By embracing smart city technologies, we will continue to deliver exceptional services to our residents at lower costs and improve the quality of life,” he said in a statement. “This partnership with Bell speaks to Markham’s commitment to leveraging the latest digital tools and assets; keeping us connected in an age of great transformation while reinforcing Markham’s position as a municipal leader in the heart of Canada’s innovation corridor.”

Gary Semplonius, Bell senior vice-president, said the city’s critical infrastructure and services will operate more efficiently through the Bell Smart City platform.

“We’re proud to partner with Markham to extend the City’s technology leadership in the management of municipal operations and enhanced delivery of city services,” he said.

To keep tabs on the sensors and collected data, Bell is working with IBM Canada to create a centralized management solution.

In addition to Markham, Bell is partnering up with the City of Kingston to provide energy management and digital kiosks. The digital kiosks can provide Wi-Fi hotspots and cellphone charging stations in public areas.

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