While Toronto isn’t the first city to give a part of its community free Wi-Fi (see London, Ontario and New York City), an attempt is finally being made here in Toronto, via the people at technology charity reBOOT Canada.
The one-year pilot project is giving the area from Sorauren to Dufferin free Wi-Fi access through host locations the Parkdale Activity & Recreation Centre and Parkdale Community Legal Services. ReBOOT Canada has provided them with a small grant to pay for the Wi-Fi hotspot monthly fees.
While it is set for just the one-year trial in Parkdale at this time, the reBOOT team hopes the idea of community agencies partnering with nonprofit organizations for the benefit of the community will catch on, and spread across the city.
“The hot spots are intended to provide Internet access to individuals for whom data plans and cable at home are not affordable and to create awareness of the organizations we have partnered with to provide the service,” reBOOT’s executive director Francisco Rota told The Huffington Post.
The reBOOT reLAY Neighbourhood Network, as it is officially known, is up and running now in the Parkdale community. Once this year is over, they will be able to compile relevant data to show the city how this access has created a positive benefit, with hopes that it might encourage city hall to make public internet access a priority in the city.
While libraries have offered free Wi-Fi to those who otherwise can’t access it for many years, the limited hours cause difficulties for certain segments of the population. With the internet being vital to the modern work environment and job searching, making it free and accessible city-wide is a goal we should all be working toward making a reality.
Also, it’ll mean you can play Pokemon GO without completely destroying your data plan.
What other neighbourhoods would you like to see free WiFi in? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.