Pokemon Go chauffeurs and tours take hold in Toronto
Pokemon Go? It might be Pokemon No if you're stuck in Toronto's suburbs, especially when some of the biggest Pokemon Go events, lure parties and meet ups happen downtown. But one enterprising pair is making easier for would-be trainers to get to city's best PokeStops with their Poke-a-Tours service.
Irfan Akhtar, 28, and his friend Randy started offering tours this past Sunday. And they're not alone. Both Craigslist and and Kijiji feature numerous listings for Pokemon hunters, drivers and even egg walkers (to hatch an egg, you need to physically walk between 2 and 10 kilometres) - it's one of the side industries spawning alongside this wildly popular smartphone game.
"We're just kind of testing the waters, really," says Akhtar, who works in digital media downtown. When he went out on Sunday, he brought along two friends and one customer, a young woman from Oshawa. They drove around to popular lure areas - like Milliken Park, Woodbine Beach and Harbourfront - for about four or five hours and stopped for lunch along the way.
"It went from having a stranger in the car to just a whole bunch of friends driving around," notes Akhtar. Even outside of these chauffeur services, it's easy to make friends while playing, especially if you frequent popular Pokemon Go hotspots.
That's why Akhtar thinks his service is of particular value to those who live outside of the core and might have a hard time traveling to the best local PokeStops. The city's streetcars and buses are also great places for Poke-hunting - you can jump up multiple levels just by riding routes like the 501.
But if you want to catch 'em all in comfort on a Poke-a-Tour, it'll cost you $15 per hour and you can get picked up nearly anywhere in the GTA. So far, however, Akhtar says he hasn't had any bookings for this weekend.
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