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INFOGRAPHIC: A revealing, zoomable map of Toronto’s racial distribution

(Image: courtesy of Jeff Clark)

This summer, a dot map showing the race and location of every person living in the U.S. sparked plenty of chatter about enduring racial segregation in American. Now, Toronto has its own version of the infographic du jour. Developer Jeff Clark used the 2011 National Household Survey to create this map, which contains a single point for each of Toronto’s 5,700,628 inhabitants, each positioned at their place of residence and coloured according to ethnicity. From afar, Toronto appears more segregated than expected for a city that gets so much praise for its diversity: Brampton looks largely brown (South Asian), Markham looks red (Asian) and Etobicoke looks nearly entirely blue (white). Thankfully, the first impression is a pointillist illusion: zooming in a few notches reveals that even the densest pockets of colour contain, at the neighbourhood level, a rainbow-hued medley of points. [Neoformix.com]

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Real Estate

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Google Street View cars return to Toronto roadways

(Image: Craig Baerwaldt)

As promised, Google Street View’s hard-to-miss camera-on-tripod-on-car contraptions are back in the city for some much-needed updates to Google databases. The last time they captured images of city roadways was back in 2009, when the skyline was dotted with significantly fewer condos, Christie Pits Park was (a literal) dump, and the current site of Doug Gilmour’s mansion housed a wee bungalow. The indiscriminate lens of Google’s 360-degree camera captures all, so look sharp, Toronto; despite face-blurring technology, it’s very easy to reveal too much. [Toronto Star]

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Check out what the TTC would look like in Mario Bros. 3

Have you ever needed to get from Kipling to York Mills station in 20 minutes and thought, “Damn, I wish I had one of three magic flutes”? No? Well, Dave Delisle likely has, since he’s created this amazing TTC map, inspired by the Mushroom Kingdom world of Mario Bros. 3. There’s no telling how many magic mushrooms were eaten, princesses saved or Tanooki suits worn during the making of this map. Buy prints and posters here.

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Politics

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Toronto drivers take note: Google Maps monitors current traffic conditions

(Image: screenshot from Google Maps)

Google Maps finally rolled out its upgraded traffic features to Toronto earlier this spring, which means those cruising across the city in cars can see estimates of how long their journeys will take based on current traffic conditions. How does it work? Turns out all those drivers using Google Maps on their phones (with the GPS enabled) are automatically sending anonymous data back to Google showing how fast they’re moving. Compiling that data from thousands of users, the company gets an idea of live traffic conditions. When you search for directions, Google Maps will tell you how long it will likely take to get to your destination—and whether it would be faster to take the subway instead.

The Goods

Shopping

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Holiday Gift Guide 2011: the most awesome (and practical) gift for anyone who travels the globe

Sometimes looking like a tourist is unavoidable, but thankfully we’ve found these crumple-able maps ($20) that will at least save us the embarrassment of trying to neatly refold paper on a windy day (it’s not just embarrassing, it also takes a long time). These maps can take some abuse, but just remember that the scrunched-up ball in your pocket is a useful map, not garbage. Click here to see 18 other presents we picked out for the cosmopolitan »

Available at Type Books (427 Spadina Rd., 416-487-8973).

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Holiday Gift Guide 2011: 90 of the best presents money can buy

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Holiday Gift Guide 2011

By Fraser Abe, Karolyne Ellacott, Kevin Naulls and Mark Teo | Photography by Carlo Mendoza

The holiday season is rapidly approaching, and we’ve tackled the ever-difficult task of narrowing down a list of items that would be perfect for the men, women and children in your life. We find it is always a big to-do finding that special something for the wine snob who likes to aerate his or her wine, but we’ve got it covered, and to spare moms, dads, uncles, aunts and friends from waiting in line for this year’s Tickle Me Elmo, we’ve found some cool options for rug rats that won’t break down and send a greedy child into a tantrum.

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The Goods

Shopping

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Holiday Gift Guide 2011: 19 perfect presents for the jet-setting cosmopolitan

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Holiday Gift Guide 2011

By Fraser Abe, Karolyne Ellacott, Kevin Naulls and Mark Teo | Photography by Carlo Mendoza

We can’t all be glamorous jet-setters and playboys, skipping across the globe to test the slopes of Whistler, Kitzbühel and Les Arcs all in a single week. But for the trips your loved ones can take, they can do it in style with a high-performance pair of electric blue Salomon skis, a quality Olympus E-P3 camera and a sharp—and pocket-friendly—travel toothbrush. We even found some great maps that never crease no matter how much you abuse them (seriously).

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Holiday Gift Guide 2011: 32 great gifts under $30

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Holiday Gift Guide 2011

By Fraser Abe, Karolyne Ellacott, Kevin Naulls and Mark Teo | Photography by Carlo Mendoza

Little treats are perfect for host and hostess gifts and stocking stuffers, so we’ve picked some presents under $30 to help with the stress of sticking to a holiday budget (and, really, there are always obligatory presents to buy for people we know nothing about). We have everything from a space-age travel toothbrush for that friend you used to have eight years ago who just came home from teaching in Korea (and is likely to depart again) to a baguette carrier for when someone chooses bread as their item for a potluck (it doubles as a wine carrier, if that’s more their style) to various smile-building knick-knacks.

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People

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The Toronto Kiss Map—funded by the awesome Awesome Foundation—shares stories of the city’s sweet embraces

A screen shot of the Kiss Map (Image: Firefly Creative Writing)

We enjoy a good interactive map, and we suspect you probably do too. So, just for fun, we think you should check out the brand-spanking-new, cheesy-but-still-cool Toronto Kiss Map. The brainchild of Firefly Creative Writing’s Chris Kay Fraser, the Kiss Map tells Toronto’s smooching stories by having users plot their most memorable make-outs on an interactive map, accompanied by a brief (and usually entertaining) summary. Again, just for fun, two of our favourites include: “At Pape and Withrow. Drunken. Sloppy. Delicious” and “At Avenue and St. Clair: I had the hiccups. You cured them.” While currently operating on a Google Maps interface, the Kiss Map will soon have a home of its own at torontokissmap.com, thanks to the appropriately titled Awesome Foundation, which awards monthly grants to people with great ideas—like this one. Finally, Torontonians can be more like Vancouverites (we kid!) and document their public displays of affection in a very public way.

Toronto Kiss Map [Firefly Creative Writing]

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Random Stuff

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New interactive map shows which baby names are popular in all of Toronto’s neighbourhoods

Click on the map to visit the interactive version

What’s in a name? Apparently, quite a bit.

A new interactive map by Toronto’s master of geo-data, Patrick Cain—he’s the guy who created the map showing a suburban-downtown division after Rob Ford’s election—reveals the top baby names in most postal codes in the GTA. The names speak to the cultural and religious enclaves that make up the city. The most popular boy’s name around Forest Hill (postal codes starting with M4V)? William. At McCowan and Steeles (L36)? Muhammad. In Parkdale (M6K)? Tenzin—a traditional name for Buddhists and Tibetans, as it was the name of the first Dalai Lama. Wildly popular names for girls that seem to know no postal boundaries: Sophia, Chloe, Emma, Ava and Emily.

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Politics

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Bike lanes may not be coming to Toronto streets, but they are coming to Google Maps

Bike lanes in New York City on Google Maps

Torontonians will soon find a new bike feature added to the popular Google Maps site, which will allow users to plan out bike-friendly routes with the service’s trademark take-it-with-a-grain-of-salt reliability. Users in most major Canadian cities—namely, Ottawa, Gatineau, Waterloo, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna and, of course, Toronto (no Montreal, apparently)—will be able to select routes of bike trails and bike lane-equipped roads. Canadian cyclists who do not live in those cities will have to settle for highlighting of routes with low traffic volume instead.

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Real Estate

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Lest we forget: interactive map shows where Toronto’s fallen soldiers once lived

Click on map for full version

Earlier this week, OpenFile introduced its Poppy File, rolling out an impressive interactive map by Patrick Cain, the same guru who produced some of the most detailed maps of Toronto’s mayoral results. This latest cartographical contribution shows the home addresses of more than 3,200 people who died in World War II and listed a next-of-kin address in Toronto (click here for the interactive version).

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The Informer

Politics

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TTC leaps into 2008 with new Google Maps deal

A screen shot from the new Toronto transit search tool on Google Maps

Yesterday, Google rolled out a new service that will surely be of interest to Torontonians. Not Google TV—that’s not coming to Canada yet—and not some time-travelling robot butler army (we assume that’s the kind of thing Google staffers work on in their spare time), but something a bit more immediately useful: Google Maps Transit, a new way to plan TTC trips through the city. After rolling out the tool yesterday, Toronto’s digiterati immediately started testing it, and the reviews are the best the TTC has had in a while (that is to say, they didn’t utterly eviscerate the thing).

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TIFF Talk

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The 75 must-know TIFF hot spots

From Yorkville to West Queen West, here are the 75 restaurants, bars, clubs, cinemas and party venues that every festival-goer should know. Be sure to check back throughout the Toronto International Film Festival as we plot new celebrity sightings, event locations and more.

See the full-sized map »

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