As fans of things that are both free and internet-y, Torontoist was excited when Evan Bender told us about his website, a massive collection and map of free Wi-Fi spots across Toronto.
Bender was leaning on Wi-Fi access in coffee shops when he had the idea to start his site. “To help me keep track of the places I had been recently and to make job hunting a little more interesting, I decided to make a bit of a challenge of walking around with my phone and trying to find new places and networks.”
Some of the locations on the map are tips Bender has received and still need to be confirmed. But the places he has visited and verified so far are accompanied on the map by useful details. Orange Alert, an espresso bar on the corner of Dundas and McCaul that offers fair trade and organic coffee, provides a password upon purchase. The James Joyce, an Irish pub on Bloor in the Annex, has open Wi-Fi access (no password needed) and 7.22 Mbps download speed. (Who knew?)
“The best thing I’ve noticed is having Wi-Fi open at an environment where the staff can see customers with devices, and inform them about the access details, like upon purchase,” says Bender. “It keeps it honest and still comfortable.” He cites Wireless Toronto as an example of initiatives being taken with Wi-Fi access. “That is innovative…Really setting a good local example for Toronto, and corporations with franchises attempting Wi-Fi solutions.”