In just the past few months, two new sites have launched, collecting & mapping info on locations of free wifi locations in Toronto.
“FWIT” offers short writeups on many spots:
TOwifi.info intends to map a user-gen list of hotspots, the WT hotspots, the TPL hotspots, and paid hotspots:
The original (as far as I know) in Toronto was Wireless Bandit, which was active from 2003-2005:
I really liked the Seattle/Vancouver Wifi Mug, but the wiki’s filling up with spam and the Google Map is broken:
hotspotr.com is attempting a global wifi map:
There are a bunch of important challenges to successfully running a site like this:
1) Collecting the information, either through legwork or by encouraging contributions from others.
2) Presenting the information in a helpful way, recognizing that different people will have different needs. (Is the captive portal mobile-friendly? Are there lots of power outlets? etc.)
3) Surely the hardest: keeping it up-to-date.
People often (very often) mistake wirelesstoronto.ca as a website which maps free hotspots in Toronto (while in reality we set up free hotspots) — clearly people are looking for this kind of info. While we’d love to also map out others’ free wifi hotspots, we’ve got our hands full running and expanding our network… I hope that one (or more!) of these sites are successful!