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New map charts Toronto neighbourhoods by stereotype

Posted by Derek Flack / October 15, 2013

Urbane Map TorontoToronto neighbourhood maps are nothing new. Ownership of Ork's Toronto map is virtually compulsory for young urban geeks, while Dave Murray's word cloud versions remain popular with the DIY fans. We even have a more practical set of offerings for those looking to get to know a given area. The new kid on the block, however, distinguishes itself by distilling Toronto's neighbourhood diversity into a set of humorous, if at times controversial, stereotypes.

Created by Urbane, a newish company that has compiled similar versions for New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, the map retails for $19.99 at their online store. "Urbane is visiting our nice 'neighbours' to the North and created a map that attempts to simplify the incredible diversity that The Big T has to offer," the product description reads. "It's a city like no other, and deserves its own map."

Perhaps that should be a warning sign. If you're going to put together a map based on local stereotypes, it would surely help to rely on local knowledge. That said, it's not without a grin that one sees the Annex labeled as "professors in bay and gable housing," Yonge and Dundas as "Times Square, almost" and Roncesvalles as "tripping over toddlers." A number of the descriptors are spot on. While they certainly miss on a few — the western waterfront, for instance, is characterized as "all sorts of fun things" — in any endeavour of this sort a few of the jokes will fall flat. Also noteworthy is that the northern limit of the map is Bloor Street, which might speak to the hyper-downtown urbanite these are targeted at.

What do you think? Do the folks at Urbane get the parts of Toronto that they do map mostly right?



Craig / October 15, 2013 at 08:27 am
sigh, if you're going to make a map of Toronto like this, use local references. The "Le Corbusier Style Towers", would be better off as "Uno Prii Style Towers".
alan / October 15, 2013 at 08:30 am
should be in the dollar store...no wait...the fifty cent store...no maybe the quarter store...i'd pay a nickel...
agafsga / October 15, 2013 at 08:33 am
@craig ...because everyone knows who uno prii is...
Zach / October 15, 2013 at 08:39 am
What about this one?

myto / October 15, 2013 at 08:54 am
My Toronto includes everything north of Bloor...
valerieinto / October 15, 2013 at 09:03 am
"The Big T"???
Me / October 15, 2013 at 09:10 am
Zach you had me until rape station. How about Greeks or something. I get that pape and rape. Rhyme but it's lazy and inaccurate. If you're going to be a 14 year old you should call coxwell cock swell also because it's no longer about the neighborhood it's about wordplay.
Robert / October 15, 2013 at 09:12 am
The 'Super Loud Planes' label is amusing, given the recent debate over the airport
audra / October 15, 2013 at 09:16 am
"Mentally unstable"?
Jerry / October 15, 2013 at 09:29 am
This is horribly lame, created by people with obviously very limited knowledge of the city.
the lemur / October 15, 2013 at 09:29 am
Since the map doesn't show anything north of Bloor, that neighbourhood with the professors is not really the Annex.
J / October 15, 2013 at 09:42 am
Bob / October 15, 2013 at 09:59 am
Also stupid.
K replying to a comment from J / October 15, 2013 at 10:17 am
and designed like crap
East / October 15, 2013 at 10:20 am
This try hard should try harder
McRib / October 15, 2013 at 10:36 am
delete this shit immediately
toronto dude / October 15, 2013 at 10:42 am
urbane you could have saved your effort and not created this ignorant, unfunny and inaccurate garbage. really.
Fee / October 15, 2013 at 10:49 am
HORRIBLE! Lack of imagination. Where's the comedy???
Jacqueline / October 15, 2013 at 10:50 am
What about Leslieville? Even if you had to go for the low-hanging fruit and just label it 'strollerville'. It's a totally hot area but the map cuts off just before it.
tom jones / October 15, 2013 at 10:53 am
Is hipster the only word that blogs have to describe...anything?
Le Artist / October 15, 2013 at 10:56 am
Were these drawn on MSPaint, the aesthetic looks familiar...
Joey / October 15, 2013 at 11:00 am
Hilarious, and accurate, and aesthetically unappealing.
Andre / October 15, 2013 at 11:01 am
Visually terrible. Not even close to capturing TO neighborhoods character and style. Why was this posted?
Matt / October 15, 2013 at 11:07 am
One stereotype is missing. That of downtown hipsters ignoring anything north of Bloor.
hogtowner / October 15, 2013 at 11:16 am
This is shallow depiction of Toronto and insulting for gentrifying parts of the inner city, nor is this poster considered art.This post should be deleted.
C.A. / October 15, 2013 at 11:27 am
This is awful
theMediaman replying to a comment from myto / October 15, 2013 at 11:33 am
Part of the Toronto small-minded stereotype includes that there is nothing north of Bloor.
JA / October 15, 2013 at 11:33 am
OK people, we ALL know this is the most accurate MAP of TORONTO. end of story

SW / October 15, 2013 at 11:36 am
James replying to a comment from Jacqueline / October 15, 2013 at 11:37 am
I agree with your discrepancy about the absence of Leslieville on this map, but calling Leslieville a hot area is on par with describing the G-Square mall as a hub for fashion. Moved there for exactly three years before moving on. For every new business that opened another shut down because they couldn't make a go of it. Property owners in a hurry to cash in on the idea of the neighbourhood being up and coming are stunting this hood's growth. A patient, measured, affordable approach to developing this area would have seen it boom by now. Not hot. Tepid, maybe, but not hot.
jacqueline / October 15, 2013 at 11:38 am
I know quite a few homeowners and real estate agents who would disagree with you. Regardless - it's still a thriving area in TO that was ignored.
Kirsty / October 15, 2013 at 11:43 am
I don't know anything about Toronto but that has to be the ugliest things I've seen in awhile. Who would put that on their wall?
. replying to a comment from hogtowner / October 15, 2013 at 12:21 pm
I completely agree with you. To label the area around camh, as "mentally unstable"? I can't see how anyone would find that humorous.. So discouraging.
kobebeef / October 15, 2013 at 12:35 pm
YOU OF TEE? Pardon me but I find this a touch racist.
Hazel replying to a comment from agafsga / October 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm
Laura / October 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm
Was this made on MS Paint?
Armin Tamzarian / October 15, 2013 at 12:51 pm
steve replying to a comment from Matt / October 15, 2013 at 01:03 pm
What's north of Bloor?
Joseph / October 15, 2013 at 01:04 pm
Ugh, these are really poorly designed maps. They're just not appealing to look at. I can't imagine who would purchase this and display it publicly.
Rita / October 15, 2013 at 01:37 pm
"Mentally unstable"?? Way to stay classy
Squirrel / October 15, 2013 at 01:43 pm
They didn't even reference a real map while making this- King St. merges with Queen at the Don Valley and doesn't continue.

These people are morons.
Dr. Strangelove / October 15, 2013 at 01:49 pm
LOLing at all of the jobless OCAD commenters complaining about the "poor design".

Use your parents allowance to buy something else, then.
Jane N replying to a comment from myto / October 15, 2013 at 01:53 pm
Yes. Author should specify that this charts Toronto "downtown" neighbourhoods by stereotype. Otherwise it just perpetuates the elitest downtowner stereotype that the world ends at Bloor (sorry to say).
P.S. I love south of Bloor myself.
Jane N replying to a comment from Jane N / October 15, 2013 at 01:53 pm
Oops. I meant to write I "live" south of Bloor.
scottd / October 15, 2013 at 02:16 pm
Poorly done.
Downtowner replying to a comment from theMediaman / October 15, 2013 at 02:37 pm
There's a north side to Bloor!?
BillyO / October 15, 2013 at 02:54 pm
Pretty accurate I'd say.
Hazel / October 15, 2013 at 02:59 pm
Get over yourselves.
jay / October 15, 2013 at 03:33 pm
If I were to update this I would just put a big word CONDO across the whole map as that is all Toronto will be within a couple of years. We are destroying the place!
Joshua / October 15, 2013 at 03:36 pm
As if they made a joke of mental health. Seriously?!
the lemur replying to a comment from Jane N / October 15, 2013 at 04:14 pm
Some parts north of Bloor are still downtown.
Pfft / October 15, 2013 at 04:17 pm
The mentally unstable is in poor taste but how about Canada's unfortunate. I actually live in 'hipsters with babies' but Canada's unfortunate is severely offensive and also inaccurate. Plus the thing is boring. Do better.
detrius / October 15, 2013 at 04:17 pm
"Mentally Unstable" "Needle Exchanges" what's funny here?
say what? / October 15, 2013 at 04:35 pm
Making fun of those suffering frome mental health. You deserve a SLAP across your face!
Rafa replying to a comment from detrius / October 15, 2013 at 04:39 pm
Yes, and accurate, you humourless, reality dodging twat
sad / October 15, 2013 at 05:47 pm
This map is just Sad. It's created by a company who obviously doesn't know anything about the city they are making it for.

Sadly though this supports the BlogTO vision of Toronto. I'm sure they went out to buy one of these $20 dollar POS for their office.
iMiiTH / October 15, 2013 at 06:32 pm
Wow the commenters here are a bunch of sour people.

Why don't you guys come up withs something better? ha. No you're torontonians you complain about everything but don't actually get anything done.
kevin / October 15, 2013 at 07:17 pm
Charging $20 for the map is the funny part, right?
Lightenthefuckup / October 15, 2013 at 07:22 pm
They forgot another that goes across the whole map. People who take themselves and this metropolis WAAAAY too seriously. Geezuz inhabitants grow a sense of humour. This is that thing that most humans who like to laugh coz it's good for you, call FUNNY. Somewhere on there you can add Toronto, last outpost fir politically correct hangers on from a looooong time ago. Breath, smile and laugh and take a chill pill. Then post nasty novel sized diatribes on Blogto
nardl blarn / October 15, 2013 at 07:29 pm
this is terrible. ANd on top of not being funny OR interesting it's also geographically incorrect- as downtown has been expanded, and the space west of downtown squashed. Bathurst is shown as equidistant from spadina and dufferin. If you aren't going to be good at least be correct!
Find the problem / October 15, 2013 at 07:30 pm
Toronto people. Are a giant where's Waldo puzzle. Only their puzzle goes like this. Find something about anything, they can botch and whinge about. Like this map. The people bitching about the mentally unstable section, do ya even know the area? Do ya walk through there at night? It's where the CAMH is dudes. Of course it's the mentally unstable area, it's where the mental hospital is. And what's wrong with that, there's nothing wrong with that. It's true. It's through parkdale man. There's nothing wrong with that why do people have to get do riled up over nothing. The people who love there don't have a problem with it so why do you? Maybe this map isn't the problem. Maybe you're the problem. Denying the truth is actually a form of mental illness. If it gets any worse for you, well you know where to go at least with the map. And yes people, there are needle exchanges in Toronto. There's a detox centre on Ossington, or would you feel better about things if we denied that too. Dicks.
kasual / October 15, 2013 at 08:38 pm
what a piece of crap. i'd like to think there are more to toronto's neighbourhoods than some glib statement by some hack, especially considering how negative many of these are. where I live is more than "mentally unstable." back to the drawing board, idiots.
stopitman / October 15, 2013 at 09:32 pm
@lemur - No parts north of Bloor are downtown.

If you go by pre-amalgamation Toronto, Bloor is midtown and Eglinton is uptown. If you go by post-amalgamation Toronto, Bloor is the very northern terminus of what could and should be considered downtown. At that point the density drops off fairly quickly and the structure turns into that of the usual Toronto streetcar suburb with very few mixed uses. Plus, the vast bulk of the jobs are centered around King & Bay and city hall is 2km south of Bloor.
Notlikingyou / October 15, 2013 at 10:11 pm
True to form, 90 percent of people representing Toronto here are boring, too serious, and outright obnoxious self important wankers. Well done dicks, well done.
thisisbrutal / October 15, 2013 at 10:36 pm
this is terrible, who ever did this should be fired- for far too many reasons than i have time to list.
Mar / October 15, 2013 at 10:53 pm
To all the tits on here going on about 'get a sense of humour' it's not about sense of humour; it simply isn't funny. And not in a that offensive not funny way but more of a be a little more creative you vanilla water cooler hacks kind of way. I don't think it's sensitive to say squares like Dane cook and jimmy Fallon aren't funny it's just accurate unlike this called in from an out of touch distance map
MR replying to a comment from Notlikingyou / October 16, 2013 at 12:32 am
LIKE!!!! :)
Boohoohoo / October 16, 2013 at 01:33 am
The immense number of comments here are a great example of how Toronto the perfect is supposed to be the centre of the universe. The people who live in this city are the most ego centric people I've ever met on the whole WITHOUT a self deprecating sense of humour. The difference with NYC is those folks aren't in denial. Unlike Toronto inhabitants. Nothing can be funny here, lots of folks will always take offense. It's not so much that this is actually funny, if not completely accurate (which it is). It's a Map of Stereotypes. A stereotype people. It's not factual Waldo, it's a STEREOTYPE. Do you understand the concept? It's a joke. It's not something carved into a tablet brought down the mountain by Moses for us all to worship. For fuck sakes lighten up you egocentric Waldo's are soooooo wound up its hikarious
infernalmachine / October 16, 2013 at 09:11 am
wow... i thoroughly enjoyed the transit one that appeared on torontoist yesterday but this map is not only ugly / poorly designed, but it's offensive without being funny, inaccurate, and stops short of the truly funny areas of town (i.e. the "Suburbs")

Big Giant Fail.
DanIkens / October 16, 2013 at 09:42 am
It's called Toronto Neighbourhoods by STEREOTYPE!!!!
These are the stereotypes for those hoods...not trying to seriously peg them...the stupidity and callousness is INTENTIONAL...and that being said, it could be funnier..but really nothing is funnier than reading some of these Puritancial finger wagging posts.
Maggie P / October 16, 2013 at 10:33 am
WTF is this? It's horrible!!
Chris / October 16, 2013 at 11:32 am
Typical of BlogTO to feel that Toronto ends at Bloor Street.
Chris / October 16, 2013 at 11:36 am
@stopitman Your description of Toronto Pre- and post amalgamation is hilarious.

How can making a city larger through amalgamation actually shrink the size of downtown and eliminate mid-town and up-town? If anything, amalgamation would make those terms broader, not narrower? Clearly logic is not a big part of your intelligence.
the lemur replying to a comment from stopitman / October 16, 2013 at 11:54 am
BS. Even before amalgamation, between Bloor and St Clair was still downtown, because it sure as hell wasn't (and still isn't) midtown.
DowntownCharlieBrown / October 16, 2013 at 01:43 pm
This map isn't even funny. Try harder next time...Ugh!
Arturo replying to a comment from Craig / October 16, 2013 at 02:29 pm
Sorry, but if you don't realize that many of the old late 50's and 60's rental buildings in this area are absolutely based on Corbusier's theories, then do a bit of research before you carp.
boo hoo to you too replying to a comment from Boohoohoo / October 16, 2013 at 02:37 pm
Get it all out of your system, and then call home to Vancouver or Calgary, or wherever you escaped from to tell everyone how you hate being trapped living here.

NativeTorontonianAl / October 16, 2013 at 03:49 pm
The only thing off about this chart is that there have been changes or lessenings of some stereotypes of areas and districts in Toronto. Other than that, the reality is that these have been what Torontonians have (ie. unwritten law) felt for a long time and what has been fact or a form of "tradition", especially starting during the post-war times when the city and its areas really took shape and settled.
Jack / October 16, 2013 at 09:15 pm
Since you didn't bother stereotyping my area of town (just west of Funky Hippie Stuff), I'll take the liberty: Beer store, and its attendant drunks and crazies.
Lily of the Valley / October 16, 2013 at 11:48 pm
What happened to the Beach the best place in Toronto to live?
Sakari Ellonen / October 17, 2013 at 03:15 am
In case the city of Toronto wants to map the neighborhood profiles more seriously, we at Mapita Inc carry out such research in many towns, at the moment in Helsinki! The profiles are highly usable in strategic city planning. The tools used are interactive web maps combined with traditional questionnaires, see https://demo.mapita.fi/
Alex / October 17, 2013 at 03:56 pm
I don't get You Of Tee, was it just that they couldn't think of anything because they didn't know the area so they wrote the name that way?

There are about 4 or 5 on there that are kind of funny and fairly accurate, but they obviously couldn't think of anything for the rest. Who would pay $20 for that? Any local could make a much funnier one on their own easily. Kind of disappointed blog TO didn't take 5 minutes to create their own to contrast it, that would have made this a much better story.
Notcrazyaboutyoueither replying to a comment from Notlikingyou / October 22, 2013 at 12:28 pm
And true to form 90% of commentators like yourself are boring lecturing wanks who have either moved here from Montreal or are secretly dying to because they are bored stiff at home.
Adam / December 2, 2013 at 10:05 am
Read between the lines this is hilarious
NT / December 18, 2013 at 02:18 pm
That's only half of the city!!
Mary Posie / December 18, 2013 at 02:38 pm
Any city that can produce, encourage and survive under the Mayorship (pl) of the Ford Brothers can certainly live with this!
I no longer live there, but I found the map amusing. I'm just sad there's no mention of Kensington or is that actually gone now?
عدسات الاسنان / February 13, 2014 at 11:49 pm
تجميل وزراعة وتقويم الاسنان,تجميل الاسنان,
تبييض الاسنان,تقويم الاسنان,زراعة الاسنان,تركيبات الاسنان,جراحة الفكين,الخلع الجراحي,عدسات الاسنان,متخصصين واستشاريين,
Muck / March 7, 2014 at 05:11 pm
Its funny because I've never been to Toronto (or Ontario for that matter) and I have have no idea what each community is like. Oh you city folks.
Michelle / May 28, 2014 at 11:39 pm
Terrible, terrible. Terrible representation of Toronto. I don't even know where to start; first of all since when do professors live in the annex ? ( I would try to make a hipster reference to that area) and what about Honest JOnes? ( even though they are closing it, it should be considered a Toronto landmark ) . Also why is UoFT literally the first thing I notice on this map? Meanwhile they completely left out to incorporate the hospitals and Kensington market in that area. Now... Where is city hall, eaton centre , the village , student housing ???
And since when is Queen West 'mentally unstable '?? And where is King west ? (That should totally be described as 'pretentious clubbing' in my opinion...)
And now let me point out the fact that this silly map completely ignored EVERYTHING north of bloor (midtown , the Jewish, the rich Ukrainian and Russians uptown) and what about west of dufferin mall ? ... Umm high park ...bloor west village ... THE BLOODY AIRPORT ? Now EAST of Yonge street... Sure needles and rich and poor were incorporated... Wtf does that even mean ??? Has this person even lived in Toronto ? - I could describe in details everything from "the ghetto" Wellesley and sherbourne , then we have parliament which I would describe as an Eco friendly -farmers market area... And where is Old china town ? The dan forth (Greek town ) leslieville ? The beaches ? I mean for fucks sakes ... They even left out the island... Cherry beach? The nude beach ? YTZ?
Ciera / July 12, 2014 at 11:32 pm
I find it hilarious. Bahahahaha. If you don't like it, make your own.

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