Spotted, cruising down the Gardiner Expressway on Thursday, by Torontoist Flickr Pool member Jon Lasiuk: Google’s Street View car! Yes, the car that will expose your infidelity, encourage people to steal your stuff, and just in general bring all sorts of misery to your life, simply by showing what the public streets look like, is out and about around the city now. Sort of.
After we saw the photo drop into our Flickr pool on Thursday, Torontoist e-mailed Tamara Micner over at Google, and she told us that she could neither confirm nor deny that the car was theirs. “Street View cars all have a Google logo on them,” she says, “so I can’t tell from the angle in this photo if it is one of ours.” (While Lasiuk didn’t actually see a logo, either—he never pulled up beside the car, only followed it—the equipment does look an awful lot like Google’s European cars.) “Your guess is as good as mine! Without seeing a logo,” Micner told Torontoist, “I can’t tell, and I don’t have access to licence-plate numbers.” (She should maybe Google them?)
But Lasiuk is convinced that what he saw was Google’s car, discernible logo or not. “It looked exactly like the Google camera-equipped cars that people have shots of on photo sites like Flickr….I was on the look-out for it.” Of the car, Lasiuk says, “she was travelling at regular Gardiner speed…seemed like she had instructions to stay in the centre lane. Followed her from Spadina to S. Kingsway westbound, and she kept going west on the Gardiner.” BlogTO, who just wrote about the car, spotted it from the patio at Black Bull on Queen West. And according to a Google press release from March 24, cars were recently dispatched to Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Saint John, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and, of course, Toronto.
Which means that Google is almost certainly out and about, but that, as it’s been capturing our city, no-one seems to have yet been able to truly and verifiably capture it. So if you see the Google car, snap a picture, and send it to [email protected].