Every once in a while, UrbanToronto comes across a project that we love, which we suspect might grab you too. Recently, we were made aware of MapTO, an experimental website featuring artistic and interactive maps of our hometown. Started roughly 4 years ago by friends Tom Weatherburn and William Davis, MapTO is the pair's passion project. Using data visualization and mapping technology, MapTO is a collection of unique maps and infographics related to the Greater Toronto Area. While browsing the website you’ll note a number of interactive articles that serve as a visual representation of some of Toronto’s most interesting statistics.

MapTO'Every Building in the GTHA', image courtesy of MapTO

Davis and Weatherburn consistently visit Twitter, Reddit and similar blogs for the latest in map design to help them develop the unique design aesthetic for each map. That design language is then applied to open source data published by the City of Toronto to make these statistics more visually engaging and accessible to the general public.

'The Fruit Trees of Toronto', shown below, systematically illustrates the 22,124 trees in Toronto that produce edible fruit.

'The Fruit Trees of Toronto', image courtesy of MapTO

Just in time for the Holidays, MapTO has launched an online store, where print versions of a select variety of their maps are available for purchase. A great gift for any Map Enthusiast, the maps are printed in a variety of sizes ranging in price from $28 to $48. 

One of them, the ‘TTC Rail Transit Map’ draws inspiration from Massimo Vignelli, the designer of the original abstract New York MTA subway maps in 1972. Both this map and ‘Boundaries of Toronto’ use a colour palate based off of Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours - a colour matching book published in 1814 that was once used by Charles Darwin as a standard for describing the colours of unfamiliar species.

MapTOA print version of the 'TTC Rail Transit Map', image courtesy of MapTO

Currently 5 maps are sold in the online store on MapTO, however Weatherburn and Davis plan to expand both the scale and scope of the operation in the New Year. 2019 will bring at least two new maps; 'The Building Footprints of the GTHA' and 'The Fruit Trees of Toronto', to the online store. MapTO will soon be reaching out to partner with local retail stores for offline sales.

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