Google Street View in Canada

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Taken on June 5, 2009, a Google Maps Camera Car (Chevrolet Cobalt) in Chinatown, Toronto, Ontario

In Canada, Google Street View is available on streets, roads, and highways in most parts of the country, with coverage in all provinces and territories. The feature is also provided in Whistler Blackcomb Resort, the location of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Background[edit]

Introduction[edit]

Street View in Canada began on October 7, 2009. On this day, Street View was made available for several large Canadian cities, as well as Banff National Park and Whistler, British Columbia (one of the sites from the 2010 Winter Olympics).[1] This was after long anticipation of the feature in the country. Street View cars had been spotted as early as 2007.[2]

On December 2, 2009, nine more Canadian cities were added, from east to west St. John's, Sherbrooke, Sudbury, London, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Victoria.[3]

On February 10, 2010, many more areas of Canada (barring extremely northern and rural areas) were added.[4] Of note, ski runs on Whistler Blackcomb Resort is also covered in this update.[4] As of 2013 the northernmost community imaged is the Arctic island community of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. As of April 2014 the only Canadian urban areas whose images have not been uploaded are the urban areas within the Labrador region of Newfoundland and Labrador.

On October 10, 2012, street view images in many parts of Canada were updated and some new images of parks, trails, university campuses and zoos were added.[5]

Google Trike in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, August 23, 2012

On March 19, 2013, the Nunavut city of Iqaluit was imaged. Rather than shipping a car or using a trike the city will be imaged using backpack mounted cameras over a period of three days. One of the people involved, Chris Kalluk, was responsible for Google mapping Cambridge Bay, his home town.[6] Iqaluit officially appeared on Street View on July 9, 2013, coinciding with Nunavut Day.[7] With the inclusion of Iqaluit all provincial/territorial capitals have been imaged and are available on Street View.

In 2013, Parks Canada began a 2 year collaboration with Google to provide street view images of the most iconic parks and heritage places in Canada.[8] In November 2013, the first set of images were released.[9]

In 2014, Street View imagery of Fort McMurray was uploaded. The northern Alberta city was the last remaining major Canadian urban area to be imaged. However, as of 2014, Street View imagery has yet to be uploaded for any communities in Labrador.

Concerns over legality[edit]

Canada was one of the first countries following the introduction in the United States where the prospect of introducing Street View was known to the public. In 2007, following the debut of Street View in the United States, concern was brought up that the same in Canada may not be legal. Canada's laws regarding privacy differ from those of the United States. Images of the streets in Canada were taken early on by Immersive Media, the contractor used by Google at the time that took most of the early images. But it would be a long time before Street View would be seen in Canada, and Street View in several other countries would predate that of Canada.[10]

Canada's Federal Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart warned Google and Immersive Media that Street View violated the country's Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which prohibits commercial use of personal data without the individual's consent.[10]

Google responded by agreeing to respect privacy laws in Canada and other countries.[11]

Ultimately, Google agreed to blur faces and license plates that appeared in images taken. Google has since done the same in other countries, including the United States, regardless of whether or not it is legally compelled to do so.[12]

Timeline of introductions[edit]

Note: Bold indicates locations available in newer high quality view, and italic bold indicates locations partially available in high quality view. Almost all of Canada can be seen in high quality street view.

Date Major locations added
Wednesday, October 7, 2009[1] Quebec City, Toronto, Brampton, Ottawa, Hamilton, Montreal, Kitchener, Waterloo, Halifax, Mississauga, Calgary, Banff, Metro Vancouver, Abbotsford, Chilliwack
Wednesday, December 2, 2009[3] Edmonton, Victoria, London, Greater Sudbury, Sherbrooke, Saskatoon, St. John's, Winnipeg
Tuesday, February 9, 2010[4] Whistler Blackcomb, Venues of the 2010 Winter Olympics, Yellowknife, Windsor, Sydney, Charlottetown, Prince Albert, Whitehorse, Inuvik, Regina, Chicoutimi, Nanaimo, Courtenay, Powell River, Rouleau, Kelowna, Kamloops, Lethbridge, Lloydminster, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Haines Junction, Amos, Val-d'Or, Trois-Rivières, Woodstock, New Glasgow, Bathurst, Miramichi, Summerside, Collingwood, Manitoulin Island, Englehart, Prince George, Barrie, Owen Sound, Clinton, Leamington, Kingston, Amherstburg, Chatham, Blenheim, Brantford, Cambridge, Guelph, Peterborough, Trenton, Thompson, Grande Prairie, Prince Rupert, Red Deer, Rimbey, Drayton Valley, Whitecourt, Westlock, Camrose, Sainte-Marie, Montmagny, Grand Falls, Moncton, Fredericton, Gander, and road connections
Wednesday, October 10, 2012[5] Updated images in many parts of Canada and new images of some parks, trails, university campuses and zoos
Wednesday, November 28, 2012[13] Cambridge Bay and more locations in Canada
Monday, July 1, 2013[14] Parliament of Canada
Tuesday, July 9, 2013[7] Iqaluit
Wednesday, November 20, 2013[9] Fortress of Louisbourg, Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, and other locations in Canada
Wednesday, December 4, 2013[15] Office of the Canadian Prime Minister
Thursday, February 27, 2014[16] Churchill, Manitoba
Monday, April 21, 2014 More locations and updated images in Canada

Areas included[edit]

Province/Territory Major cities/areas
 Alberta Airdrie, Banff, Banff National Park, Beaumont, Brooks, Calgary, Camrose, Canmore, Chestermere, Cochrane, Cold Lake, Edmonton,[3] Fort McMurray, Fort Saskatchewan, Grande Prairie, High River, Jasper, Jasper National Park, Lacombe, Lake Louise, Leduc, Lethbridge, Lloydminster, Medicine Hat, Okotoks, Red Deer, St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Strathcona County, Strathmore, Sylvan Lake, Wetaskiwin
 British Columbia Abbotsford, Burnaby, Campbell River, Central Saanich, Chilliwack, Coldstream, Colwood, Comox, Coquitlam, Courtenay, Cranbrook, Dawson Creek, Delta, Esquimalt, Fort St. John, Gabriola Island, Kamloops, Kelowna, Lake Country, Langford, City and District of Langley, Maple Ridge, Mission, Nanaimo,[3] Nelson, New Westminster, North Cowichan, North Saanich, North Vancouver (city), North Vancouver (district municipality), Oak Bay, Parksville, Penticton, Pitt Meadows, Port Alberni, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Powell River, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Quesnel, Richmond, Saanich, Salmon Arm, Sidney, Sooke, Squamish, Summerland, Surrey, Terrace, Vancouver, Vernon, Victoria,[3] West Kelowna, West Vancouver, Whistler, White Rock, Williams Lake
 Manitoba Brandon, Churchill, Dauphin, Portage la Prairie, Steinbach, Thompson, Winnipeg[3]
 New Brunswick Bathurst, Campbellton, Fredericton, Miramichi, Moncton, Saint John
 Newfoundland and Labrador Clarenville, Conception Bay South, Corner Brook, Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Mount Pearl, Paradise, St. John's,[3] Torbay
 Northwest Territories Fort McPherson, Inuvik, Yellowknife
 Nova Scotia Halifax, New Glasgow, Sydney, Truro
 Nunavut Cambridge Bay,[17] Iqaluit
 Ontario Ajax, Aurora, Barrie, Brampton, Brantford, Brockville, Burlington, Cambridge, Dundas, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener, Leeds and the Thousand Islands, London,[3] Markham, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara Falls, North Bay, Oakville, Oshawa, Ottawa, Peterborough, Pickering, Point Edward, Richmond Hill, Russell, St. Catharines, Sarnia, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury,[3] Thunder Bay, Timmins, Toronto, Vaughan, Waterloo, Whitby, Windsor
 Prince Edward Island Charlottetown, Summerside
 Quebec Blainville, Boisbriand, Boucherville, Brossard, Charlemagne, Delson, Deux-Montagnes, Drummondville, Gatineau, La Prairie, Laval, L'Île-Perrot area, Longueuil, Lorraine, Montreal, Pointe-Calumet, Quebec City, Repentigny, Rosemère, Saguenay, Saint-Constant, Sainte-Catherine, Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Sainte-Thérèse, Saint-Eustache, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Saint-Lambert, Sherbrooke,[3] Terrebonne, Trois-Rivières, Varennes
 Saskatchewan Battleford, Estevan, Lloydminster, Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon,[3] Swift Current, Yorkton
 Yukon Carcross, Carmacks, Dawson City, Mayo, Ross River, Whitehorse

Privacy concerns[edit]

While Canada, like other jurisdictions, has raised the issue of privacy concerns regarding Google Street View, the presence of Google cameras in one Canadian city in March 2009 gave rise to a different complaint. Les MacPherson, a columnist with the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, complained in a March 28, 2009, column that the timing of the imaging, at the end of a protracted winter season and before the true onset of spring would cast an unfavourable image of Saskatoon and other cities. "What worries me more than any loss of privacy is the prospect of presenting to the world a highly unflattering impression of Canadian cities. With the possible exception of Victoria, they do not show off well in the spring. Google could not have picked a more inauspicious time to do its scanning. Saskatoon is unfortunately typical. For Google to record its images of the city at this most visually unappealing time of year is like photographing a beautiful woman who has just awakened from a six-month coma," he wrote.[18] In early October 2009, the first Canadian cities began to appear on Street View; several, including Saskatoon, were not included in the initial roll-out. One city that was included, Calgary, included images taken in both summer and winter. Images of Saskatoon were rolled out on December 2, 2009.

In October 2010, Stoddart said that Google violated the privacy of thousands of Canadians when the cars inadvertently collected personal data about them while filming Street View in the country. Google apologized for the breach.[19]

More recently[when?], several areas have had their pictures re-taken, for example, Toronto. Toronto's old images appeared to have been taken in late October, but these new images appear to have been taken in late March, April and May, as evidenced by images of school bulletin boards indicating this as the month.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Google Street View goes live in Canadian Cities". CBC. October 8, 2009. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  2. ^ Cacho, Maurice (April 23, 2014). "New Google Street View feature lets you go back in time". CTV News. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Google Street View adds 9 Canadian Cities". CBC. December 2, 2009. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Google Street View expands across Canada". CBC. Feb 9, 2010. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Ballingall, Alex (October 11, 2012). "Google StreetView expands into parks, zoos, campuses, and tourist sties". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  6. ^ Google Maps to put Iqaluit on street view
  7. ^ a b "Google Street View captures Iqaluit". CBC. July 9, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Explore Canada's natural and historic treasures with Street View for Google Maps". Parks Canada. 2014-04-04. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b "Canada's parks and historic sites now on Google Street View". CBC. November 20, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Koman, Richard (September 13, 2007). "Canada Warns Google: Street View May Be Illegal". NewsFactor. 
  11. ^ Rosencrance, Linda (September 25, 2007). "Google says Street View will comply with privacy laws". Computerworld. Retrieved March 6, 2011. 
  12. ^ Mokey, Nick (October 1, 2007). "Google Street View Gets Blurry for Canada". Digital Trends. Retrieved March 6, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Google Street View travels to Canada's Far North". CTV News. November 28, 2012. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Google unveils Street View tour of Parliament Hill". Toronto Star News. July 3, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  15. ^ Bogart, Nicole (December 3, 2013). "Google maps Office of the Prime Minister, Office of the Leader of the Opposition". Global News. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  16. ^ Chung, Emily (February 27, 2014). "Google Street View maps polar bear country". CBC. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  17. ^ DeMara, Bruce (November 28, 2012). "Google Maps team goes to Canada’s Far North". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  18. ^ MacPherson, Les (March 28, 2009). "City not at its best in Google's new photos". Saskatoon Star-Phoenix. Retrieved April 19, 2009 [dead link]
  19. ^ Halliday, Josh (October 20, 2010). "Google Street View broke Canada's privacy law with Wi-Fi capture". The Guardian (United Kingdom). Retrieved March 20, 2011.