50 Essential Toronto Facebook Groups
One of the great things about Facebook is how the platform easily allows individuals, organizations and teams to self-organize around a theme, cause or common interest. The mechanism for this is Facebook's Groups feature and to date there are literally thousands of these groups that have been started and joined by Torontonians.
In an effort to help you navigate among the good, great and the not-so-great, we hereby present our inaugural Facebook 50 - the 50 Essential Toronto Facebook Groups. Our criteria? It's pretty simple. All the groups selected have something to do with Toronto. We've divided them into categories like Music, Arts and Film, Food, Fashion, City and Politics, The Environment, Technology, Sports, Business and Just for Fun. They're not necessarily the most popular - just ones we personally think are interesting, relevant, dynamic or for some strange reason we just can't live without.
Promise Cherry Beach Sundays - Summer may be over but the Promise crew still keeps their popular Facebook group humming with announcements for their warehouse parties and photos.
Toronto Indie - The Facebook group for indie music fans in Toronto. The admin updates the group page with a list of upcoming concerts. An active group wall with members posting links to shows and trying to sell tickets.
I Raved in Toronto anytime between 1995-2003 - More than 4,000 nostalgic ravers have joined this group which means an active group wall with member announcements of shows, parties and DJ mixes.
Wavelength Music Arts Projects - The Facebook home for Wavelength Music Arts Projects. The group page is updated regularly with the latest Wavelength show information.
CiRCA Toronto - Plenty of Toronto clubs have their own Facebook group. So why include this one? CiRCA isn't a month old and already this group has over 3,000 members posting photos, videos, comments, questions and nostalgia about all things CiRCA.
Samba Elegua - The home of Toronto's well-loved percussion ensemble. The group page is updated regularly with their upcoming gigs, photos and links.
Arts and Film
Emerging Arts Professional Network - The Facebook group for the Emerging Arts Professional Network which offers access to a range of professional development opportunities in the arts. Members (now approaching 1,600) post links to upcoming arts and film events, links to artist web sites and notices about available studio space.
Toronto Craft Alert - Find out about local craft gossip, events, projects and up and coming Toronto craft makers .
The Movement Movement - If you want to run through the ROM or MOCCA then, um, it's already too late. But if you tune into the Movement Movement's Facebook Group they'll let you know where they're going to run next.
Toronto Photography Enthusiasts - Watch out Flickr. Facebook is the new photo sharing site. This Facebook group has more than 1,000 members, 3,100 posted photos and an active discussion board sharing photography tips and items for sale.
Newmindspace - This Facebook group administered by the Newmindspace team of Kevin Bracken and Lori Kufner has almost 500 photos posted of Newmindspace events like Capture the Flag, and ongoing discussion of previous events and upcoming ones.
Magic Pony - Toronto's favourite gallery, studio and retail space dedicated to illustration, design, fashion and street culture, Magic Pony uses their Facebook group to keep their fans up to date on the latest happenings.
Instant Coffee - Instant Coffee hasn't yet found a way to translate their popular event email into a dynamic Facebook group, but there's 700 members waiting on standby for when they do.
Toronto International Film Festival Group - TIFF may only happen once a year, but the TIFF Group is busy with year-round film programming. The group wall includes questions about film screenings and tips about what to see.
Toronto Independent Film and Television Professionals - A networking space for Toronto film and television professionals to post film news, job listings and job wanted messages.
Cheap Eats Toronto - The Facebook Group companion to the Cheap Eats Toronto restaurant guide. Administrator Alexa Clark keeps members up to date with links to Toronto food news and events.
Toronto Fine Dining Club - Did we say cheap? How about expensive? The Toronto Fine Dining Club picks their favourite spots (Susur and Scaramouche are tops if money is no object). Members post reviews of their excellent and not so-excellent fine dining adventures.
Toronto Vegan/Vegetarian Group - More than 600 members muse about veggie hot dogs, tofurkey and honey. There's also vegetarian recipes and member tips for going veggie. See also The Toronto Vegetarian Association Facebook Group.
Local & Organic - This Facebook group has a list of Toronto Farmer's Markets and ongoing discussions about eating local and organic.
Wine Toronto - Administered by blogTO's Jerrold Litwinenko, the Wine Toronto Facebook group has regular posts about wine events and producers.
Proud Supporters of Ontario Craft Beer - Discover brewers in the local Toronto area and debate the merits of Steam Whistle versus Cameron's.
Toronto Fashion Industry - This active Facebook group is a good source for Toronto fashion news, job postings, model searches, videos, photos and links to events.
City and Politics
You Know You Take the TTC When - It's no surprise that there's a bunch of TTC related Facebook groups but this one takes top prize with almost 14,000 members. There's more than 300 photos and a lively wall and discussion board. Participate in such discussion topics as "is it just me or has the ttc gone crazy".
Toronto Public Space Committee - The official unofficial group for all of those interested in the activities of the Toronto Public Space Committee.
Spacing Magazine - Our friends at Spacing post updates about the magazine but the main action here is the discussion boards and wall covering a range of Toronto public space and advocacy issues.
Open Cities - One of the smallest groups to make our list (only 130 members at the time of this writing), the Open Cities Facebook group is nevertheless an important one. Join the ongoing conversation that seeks to understand how do we as Torontonians work collaboratively and openly to make our city better.
The Annex - All about the Annex. UofT students, alumni and other Annex residents debate the best sushi restaurants, brunch spots and book stores.
Ban The Plastic Bag in Toronto - San Francisco has already banned plastic bags from their city. Why not Toronto? This Facebook group aims to make that a reality. So far more than 2,000 members agree.
Zerofootprint - The official Facebook group for Zerofootprint, a not-for-profit dedicated to helping people and organizations reduce their environmental impact. While there's not a whole lot of discussion going on here, there's still some useful tips and links to related news.
Biking Toronto - Includes photos and links to the Biking Toronto web site. Good for upcoming cycling events and eavesdropping on discussion topics like why McDonald's doesn't have a drive through for cyclists. See also the I Bike TO group.
Ultrasound - Toronto Cyclists Union - The Facebook group for Toronto's first membership-driven bicycle advocacy group. The Toronto Cyclists Union was only founded in late September so it's interesting to see them use the group to share ideas and complain about the lack of bike lanes in Toronto.
PS Kensington - Learn how to host a Parking Meter Party. Or just join the group to stay up to date on the latest Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market, Mirvish Village or in a neighbourhood near you.
CommandN Fans - Will Pate and Amber MacArthur's fan site for their widely popular weekly CommandN videocast. Get links to their latest videos or use the discussion boards to send them a story idea.
WebNation - The Facebook group for Amber Mac's more polished but somehow less fun web show for CityTV/CP24.
TorCamp - TorCamp is ground zero for Toronto's technology community. Participate in discussion topics like "Have you mastered marketing on Facebook?"
FacebookCamp - Somehow it wouldn't feel right to exclude this one from our list of essential Toronto Facebook groups. Members discuss Facebook apps and what they want to hear about at the next FacebookCamp.
DemoCamp Toronto - DemoCamp is one of the original "un-conferences" where developers get together to share what they've been working on, demo their products and meet others.
Toronto FC - We don't need to tell you what this Facebook Group is for. Toronto FC has more than 3,000 members, almost 2,000 posted photos, videos and a complete run-down of all the losses incurred by Toronto's favourite soccer team.
Official Toronto Raptors Fan Club - More than 9,000 members post photos, video and debate whether the Raptors should keep Juan Dixon.
I Bleed Blue, Toronto Maple Leafs for Life - If there's any doubt what team is still the most popular in Toronto, just take a look at the many Toronto Maple Leaf related groups. This one with almost 20,000 members is the largest of the bunch.
Baseball North (Toronto Blue Jays) - At less that 5,000 members this just goes to show Toronto is a hockey town. But Baseball North is a hotbed for Blue Jays and general baseball talk. Have your say about the discussion topic "Good God We need a REAL Catcher".
Toronto Central Sport and Social Club - The Facebook home to the Toronto Sport and Social Club. If that's not your thing just hunt around and you'll probably find another group for Kickball, Beach Volleyball, Ultimate or your favourite Toronto activity.
Toronto Entrepreneurs - A space for 300 and growing entrepreneurs to get together for networking, pitch business ideas and share links from around the web.
Advertising Club of Toronto - The Facebook Group for the Advertising Club of Toronto is a source for job leads and information about advertising industry events. See also. Toronto Advertising Community and Media Buyers/Planners of Toronto
Just For Fun
Fun Toronto and Fun Toronto 2 - Two Facebook groups as the admins try to find ways around Facebook's restrictions on messaging groups with more than 1,000 members. This group has suggestions for fun things to do every day of the week and links to a whole range of web sites for free and fun activities.
What To Do in Toronto - This group has a list of some Toronto festivals and events. Members help newcomers answer questions like "What street is Chinatown on?"
Actually, I Like Toronto - Administrator Kevin Beaulieu gives plenty of reasons to like Toronto. The discussion board and wall act mainly as a forum for links to Toronto events.
Take More Photos - blogTO contributor Zach Slootsky's Facebook home to his ongoing series of Toronto party photos.
The "Official" Zanta The Man Fanclub....YesYesYes!!! - Everyone's favourite shirtless muscle guy in a Santa outfit has his own Facebook group. Tune in for Dave Zancai's latest musing, photos and YesYesYes!!!
When I was Your Age the Rogers Centre was Called Skydome - Facebook is good for group counseling too. Who can argue with statements like "My dad helped build the SKY DOME. and forever it shall remain just that."
In the spirit of shameless self-promotion just thought I'd throw in a 51st pick and mention our own Facebook group which we use to post site updates, news and contest information; as well as announcements about our Toronto Faves Facebook application.