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Councillor to recommend free Wi-Fi in Toronto parks, public spaces

File photo of an iPad. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mario Beauregard

Coun. Josh Matlow says he wants to bring free Wi-Fi to Toronto parks and public spaces.

In a letter to the Economic Development Committee dated Aug.30 posted on his website, the Ward 22 councillor suggests they revisit a 2006 initiative between the city and Toronto Hydro to provide free wireless internet to city parks, squares and civic centres — including Nathan Phillips Square — and privately-owned public spaces.

Matlow says the service would bring Toronto up to speed with other cities across Canada as well as New York and Chicago, where he says Wi-Fi coverage is offered through public-private partnerships.

He also states that the free coverage would enable tourists to find their way around the city without having to resort to expensive international roaming fees.

Matlow says he would like the general manager report back to the committee by March 2014 on actions that city council can take and that the service starts in Nathan Phillips Square at the end of next year in a pilot project. He suggests continuing rollout through 2015.

There has been no word on how much this project would cost the city or where funding would come from.

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