Toronto

Toronto officials want Pokemon Go sites moved away from ferry terminal

Toronto city officials are asking the developers of the popular mobile game Pokemon Go to move beacons that draw players to a downtown ferry terminal.

Some players 'charging our gates and running through the crowds,' official says

Players at the terminal have created "significant challenges" for ferry operations, says parks department (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Toronto city officials are asking the developers of the popular mobile game Pokemon Go to move beacons that draw players to a downtown ferry terminal.

The game sends players into the real world to search for digital monsters known as Pokemon, which appear on screen when users hold up their devices in various locations at various times.

A city spokesman said nearly a dozen of the game's digital beacons — called Pokestops and Pokegyms — are located at the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, drawing crowds to the area.

Matthew Cutler of the parks department said that while it's great Pokemon Go has brought more people outside, the huge number of players at the terminal has created "significant challenges" for ferry operations.

Cutler wrote in an email that Pokemon Go players have made it "increasingly difficult" for passengers to exit the terminal, and added to the "existing confusion" in the arrivals area.

"There have also been incidences of players charging our gates and running through the crowds, presumably in search of something in the game," he wrote, though he noted that most players have been "fantastic."

He said some Pokemon players have organized clean-ups of the park and have tried to help mitigate the overcrowding.

"However," he wrote, "no amount of effort can deal with the fact that this facility was designed to manage traffic for the ferry and not hundreds of additional users as well."

He said officials have asked the game developer, Niantic Labs, to "remove or relocate" the stops and gyms near the terminal to "more suitable parks."

Niantic offers an online form to request exclusions, but changes to the game are not automatic.

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