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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Google Street View is in Town

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Reader Kyle MacDonald wrote in to say he’s spotted the Google Street View car slumbering on Hotel de Ville between Rachel and Duluth last night.

“If one wanted to tail the car to put themselves in pictures etc, I’d say this would be a great place to start your day,” he wrote.

But those who do end up in front of the camera will, by Google’s account, be unidentifiable by the time the images are uploaded to the net. Google assuaged fears about privacy violation by agreeing to blur all faces and licence plates photographed in Canada. (I wonder if I’m violating the Google car’s privacy by posting its address? But, hey, at least you can’t see its licence plate number.)

Photo by Kylemac.



  1. I love that google street view thing!
    Honest i dont know what is the unspoken goal google acheives with this but i sure love it!

    You really get to “visit the world” with this. I’m definitely not saying it replaces a trip but this is good fun really!

  2. It is parked every night on Hotel de Ville. I have friends who live there and they say it’s parked there for over a week now. I took this picture of it:

    It’s kind of interesting that the car hasn’t been stolen yet. There is a lot of expensive equipment in there and Montreal is the car theft capital of North America, isn’t it?

  3. “Montreal is the car theft capital of North America, isn’t it?”

    You’re confusing it with Winnipeg.

    I suppose they must have someone watching it constantly or an awesome alarm system.

  4. So anyone has a moped and a t-shirt saying “Google is violating my privacy” ? :P

  5. Google has been taking our street views for a while now (read several months).

  6. I can’t imagine why anyone wants to be unidentified when out in public.
    What’s to hide?
    There’s obviously a great difference between private and ‘public’ places.
    Today’s ‘privacy’ concerns are a dangerous exaggeration and create only unnecessary fear!

  7. Saw it twice in St-Léonard on the 11th of May. Second time I waved!

  8. Steal equipment from Google! Yeah, right. That’s like heisting a mafia joint. Not a good idea. They probably can follow you on google maps right to your hideout.

  9. Anybody who doesn’t want their picture taken by Google should also avoid:

    – ATMs / banks.
    – depanneurs.
    – gas stations.
    – malls.
    – government buildings.
    – virtually every bridge and highway around the island.
    – etc…

    Since they all have cameras pointed at you.

    If you take a look at Google street view in Paris, you’ll see that they are pretty good at blurring faces and license plates. Nice student job, blurring all those millions of faces. :-)

    The real problem for Google (in Quebec at least) isn’t the right to privacy, but the “droit à l’image”. Google (!) “affaire Duclos” if you are curious.


  10. The person who drives this car for google is staying in St.Leonard on Candiac street. I see the car parked there every night for the last month or two. They must have rented an appartment cause there are no motels/hotels around there. Would have thought they would have gotten a place more in the centre of the city.

  11. Oh, ya, I walked by this car last week. I was fairly sure that it was Google’s, looked for their name on a bumper sticker, but didn’t see one.

    It’d be great to see Montreal streets soon.


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