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Anyone who has ever wondered how people got around without smartphones will both understand and appreciate the role apps play in our lives. Since Torontonians love their smartphones almost as much as their Canada Goose jackets, here is a list of ten iOS and Android apps any visitor or resident of the 6ix must have.
Any TTC rider knows the perils of riding the TTC: whether it’s unannounced, out-of-service streetcars or simply long wait times, a simple trip across town can take longer than expected. Enter: Transit App, a must-have for all loyal TTC riders. Each bus and streetcar stop is monitored with accurate time updates; with stops based on GPS, it is easy to find relevant routes nearby instead of scrolling through a list of all the routes the TTC uses. Swiping on a bus or streetcar prediction shows alternative routes and arrival times. By navigating the map, the app quickly updates the nearest stops without needing you to type in an address.
The only thing worse than driving in Toronto is parking in Toronto. The Toronto Parking Finder displays the nearest free or paid parking spaces. Everyone has had the experience of forgetting how much time is left on the parking meter, which usually leads to frantic rushing; the Toronto Parking Finder app has a timer that displays the time remaining on your parking meter to help you avoid pesky parking tickets. Searching for a parking spot is quick and painless, as it searches based on location and lists the nearest available parking spots and streets around you. Unfortunately this app is Android only; for an iPhone alternative, check out BestParking.
Have a quick break in the day and need something fast to energize? Street Food Toronto has you covered. Searching through the list of street vendors is easy; you can sort by popularity, favorites, distance, or alphabetically. Tapping on a street vendor brings up a quick description, along with a schedule of where and when it is open. To easily find favorite street food vendors with just a tap, adding a food truck to the favorites list is fast and easy. Walking around the street to find a food truck is a thing of the past with Street Food Toronto.
Re-usable water bottle users, this one’s for you. Constantly on the hunt for nearby water bottle refill stations to quench your thirst? Luckily, there’s Quench for that. Quench makes hydrating both environmentally friendly, easy, and cost-efficient. Open the app, and you’ll find a map based on your location with the closest refill centre or fountain. The app allows users to add locations and rate cleanliness and temperature with a three-star rating system. Especially useful in the summer during events or exercise, Quench will help you stay hydrated in the heat.
Long morning coffee queue getting you down? The Ritual app searches nearby food joints (based on what you’re looking for, whether it’s a latte or a burrito) and allows you to place your order directly in-app. Ritual notifies you when your coffee or food is ready to be picked up. It gets even better; there’s no need to line-up or have cash on hand. Payment is done through credit card in-app, and everything is ready to go when you arrive at the restaurant or coffee shop. Simply find the ‘Ritual Pick-up spot’ in the restaurant, and the food is ready to go.
Sponsored by the City of Toronto, Toronto Cycling helps keep Toronto green by tracking biking sessions. Through GPS, the app helps with navigation routes and displays information on the current biking path. Speed, distance, calories burned, and greenhouse gas offset are all shown during an active biking session. Don’t have a bike? The app displays the nearest bike share locations and the number of bikes docked. If you’ve made it a goal to live greener and get active, Toronto Cycling is a must-have app.
Looking to save a few pennies? Flipp finds all flyers in your area based on location, and shows you all of them at once for whatever is on your shopping list. Upon finding the product, Flipp displays all results from each retailer’s flyer, making comparison shopping easy. Flipp makes it simple to find which of over 800 retailers sells the bulk of your shopping list.
Toronto’s music scene is big, and Jukely offers the best last-minute tickets. Through a monthly subscription (with no additional ticketing cost), Jukely lets you put your name on the last-minute guest list with just a tap. Simply head to the venue, check in on your Jukely app, and enjoy live music. There is an option to add a ticket to bring a friend for an additional monthly fee, so pair up and experience some live music each week. A 14-day trial is available for free to view available performances, so there is no harm in trying out Jukely. Music lovers will love this app, which is guaranteed to expose users to new musical talent gracing Toronto.
Getting dressed in Toronto is no easy feat: first, you have the ever-changing weather, and then you have the ever-changing trends. Blynk Style makes the daily task of choosing your clothes less of an issue. Developed by a local Torontonian, Blynk Style shows the perfect styling choices using photos. Want to wear plaid? Search plaid. Need a quick summer look suggestion? No problem. If there’s a recommended style you dislike, swipe left, and the app will take a note of your style choice for future recommendations. Likewise, swiping right will give the app a better idea of what your ideal style is. It’s like Tinder, but for fashion! No more wasting time in front of the mirror wondering if the outfit you’ve chosen looks good. Open up the app, search for a style, and keep your style game on point.
Shameless plug time: there’s a Culture Trip app! Users can explore articles spotlighting countries across the globe, with a filter to view specific cities (such as Toronto). Find everything you need to know about about food, events, and art in the city of your choice. Whether you’re looking for a weekend activity in the 6ix, the quirkiest museums in Paris, or the most outrageous desserts in New York, The Culture Trip has you covered. Currently available in the Google Play store, iPhone users should keep their eyes peeled for an iOS version.