5 Must-have Apps Toronto Edition
We’re not entirely sure what makes someone a “true Torontonian”. A survey of Canadian stereotypes suggests that its a disposition towards impatience driven by a mixture of workaholism and an omnipresent hangover. But we all know how limiting stereotypes can be. Here’s five must-have apps Toronto residents should download.
At the very least, we can piece together some structural and cultural aspects of Toronto and understand that they shape our experience of the city– e.g. TTC delays, sporadic summertime thunderstorms, and a constantly evolving skyline.
We’ve put together this guide to essential apps for any Torontonian. Download these on your smartphone to unlock some of the best this city has to offer.
I’m not the man they think I am at home, oh no no no. I’m a Rocket Mannnnn. Rocket man! Burning out his fuse up here alone. We actually have no idea if this app’s namesake is the Elton John song, but we can’t help humming along regardless.
The RocketMan app provides you with realtime information on when your next bus will arrive and allows you to schedule multiple reminders to tell you when your bus actually pulls in. Plus, you can see the location of all available transit vehicles, so if you have the best information available to plan your route. It’ll help you navigate the TTC, GO Transit, and even Toronto-adjacent systems like Mississauga’s MiWay, Hamilton’s Street Railway, and the city of Guelph’s transit line.
This app is a bit of a star on it’s own. IFTTT enables you to create recipes that follow the basic structure of if this then that, so that you can set up actions based on triggers that you choose. For example, you can set up a recipe so that if you’re tagged in a photo on Facebook, then IFTTT will post the photo on your Twitter account.
The possibilities are basically endless, but here is an especially useful recipe for Torontonians: use IFTTT so that if it’s about to rain, then you’ll get a notification on your phone. Obviously a little bit of rain never hurt anyone, but Toronto is pretty notorious for its torrential downpours. We’ll probably be telling our children about the Rainstorm of 2013. So next time — and there will be a next time — you can avoid trudging home in the rain altogether.
BlogTO’s Patio Guide and Toronto Bars, Pubs & Late Night Eats
Its probably no surprise that BlogTO’s app offerings have a place on this list. Both of these apps are devoted to finding the best restaurants and bars in Toronto, mirroring BlogTO’s well-loved web based guides to the city’s food and bar scenes.
First up is BlogTO’s Patio Guide. Toronto’s patio culture is something fairly central to this city’s personality and there is a real breadth of establishments that have patio seating. From intimately lit small backyard patio to extravagant rooftop terraces, there is really something out there for everyone. Download BlogTO’s Patio Guide app to help you find your perfect summertime spot.
The second must-have BlogTO app is their Toronto Bars, Pubs & Late Night Eats guide. You can find open bars nearby at the touch of a button and filter them by which bars have a kitchen, live music, or beer on tap. This is pretty ideal for anyone in an unfamiliar neighbourhood or if you’re just interested in exploring the untapped resources around your house.
WhatWasThere is basically a portable portal into Toronto’s past. It’s goal is deceptively simple: create a virtual time machine. By combining Google Street View technology and user uploaded historical photos, WhatWasThere enables visitors to view a nostalgia-inducing record of the city as it used to be. Toronto has a pretty rich heritage, which is often neglected by those of us distracted by condo construction and gentrification.
As an aside, local history enthusiasts should note that Toronto In Time is also worthwhile iOS apps to enrich your experience of the city.