Newmarket first in Canada to expand Soofa solar-powered bench network

Data collected will help the Town make public spaces even better

NEWMARKET, ON, March 20, 2018 /CNW/ - Spring has officially sprung and with warmer weather around the corner, Newmarket residents can get outside and enjoy all that Newmarket has to offer including the Soofa solar-powered benches. The Town of Newmarket is proud to lead the way in innovative technologies by expanding its Soofa network with eight additional units throughout the downtown area. This is a big step forward towards Newmarket being recognized as a smart city by using data-driven technology to improve quality of life. 

Eight Soofa units have been added to Newmarket's downtown to help enrich public spaces through technology

The Soofa Bench is an innovative bench that charges mobile devices using solar power, while creating a social space for neighbours to gather. The Town unveiled its first Soofa bench in 2016 and is now expanding its network for smarter place making.

"We are proud to be the first in Canada to embrace the Soofa technology and use it to enrich our public spaces," says Mayor Tony Van Bynen. "This is a perfect fit for Newmarket because it combines our leadership in innovation with our strong commitment to being an environmentally friendly community," says Mayor Tony Van Bynen.

The expanded Soofa program enables Newmarket to join the Soofa Beta Cities network along with a number of major cities in the US, including New York, Boston, Austin, Los Angeles and more. Newmarket is the first municipality in Canada to be a part of the network.

"Soofa is thrilled to expand into Canada with our data product. Newmarket has been a fantastic partner along the way and understands the impact and insight that technology and data can provide in building a smart, responsive and resourceful community," said Sandra Richter, Soofa's CEO and co-founder.

The new Soofa Pro Benches include sensors that passively listen for wifi enabled devices (like smart phones), allowing the town to gather analytics without infringing on privacy. All data collected is encrypted and remains completely anonymous.

The data collected will allow the Town to better monitor how public spaces are being used, providing valuable analytics that will help inform future plans for the community and could have numerous benefits including increased economic development opportunities and enhanced service delivery.

This initiative is a partnership between the Town of Newmarket, Main Street District Business Improvement Area (BIA) and Buckley Insurance.


About the Town of Newmarket:
The Town of Newmarket is located in southern Ontario and is home to more than 85,000 residents. Newmarket has consistently been named one of the Best Places to Live in Canada by MoneySense Magazine and has garnered a reputation for being one of the country's most dynamic, diverse and desirable towns to live and work in. Newmarket is also widely considered a progressive place committed to collaboration, creativity and innovation.


About Soofa:
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SOURCE Town of Newmarket

For further information: Media Contact: Corporate Communications, Town of Newmarket, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 905-953-5300 ext. 2046


20 Mar 2018