The Golden Horseshoe: WikiProject Toronto
In the WikiProject Report's four years of existence, the Signpost has never interviewed a Canadian project. This week we end that drought. WikiProject Toronto covers Canada's largest city and the surrounding areas of Ontario. Started in January 2003 using WikiProject London as a template, WikiProject Toronto has grown to include 20 pieces of Featured material and 39 Good Articles. WikiProject Toronto is the parent project for WikiProject Toronto Blue Jays and a child of WikiProject Cities and WikiProject Canadian Communities. The project maintains a to-do list, items for recognizing valuable contributors, and a watchlist. This week we interviewed Eelamstylez77.
What motivated you to join WikiProject Toronto? Are you a Maple Leafs fan? Do you contribute to any other WikiProjects related to Ontario or Canada?
- The fact that I live in and admire the city of Toronto motivated me to join WikiProject Toronto. I certainly am a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs. I have contributed to various articles relating to Ontario and Canada.
In general, projects covering Canadian cities, provinces, and infrastructure do not appear to be as active as those in Britain and the United States. Why have WikiProjects had such difficulty thriving in Canada? Do you feel Canadian Wikipedians focus more on other topics?
- I think that is because news outlets and users of social media in general seem to shift most of their interest to news events in the United States, which clearly is a more internationally prominent country; same goes for the United Kingdom. One can probably find more sources and detail online about the latest US presidential election compared to the latest federal election in Canada. As a result, most editors spend time editing and caring for articles and projects related to the United States and Britain. I, however, do not feel that Canadian Wikipedians focus more on other topics compare to topics relating to Canada. I feel there is a growing interest among Canadian editors in Canadian topics. Then again, I do hope to see more international interest in Canadian topics rather than just a Canadian interest.
WikiProject Toronto is home to 12 Featured Articles, 8 Featured Lists, and 39 Good Articles. Have you contributed to any of these articles? What are some challenges facing editors as they try to improve articles about Toronto?
- I have contributed to a few of the aforementioned kinds of articles. I have majorly written 2 two articles relating to WikiProject Toronto which I later nominated for good article status and were successful getting there. I feel that editors face small challenges while trying to improve articles. One important challenge that comes to my mind is the fact that some topics, including topics that most Canadians may consider important, lack sources on the Internet. Without reliable sources it can be difficult to improve articles about Toronto.
With Toronto serving as Canada's business and financial hub, does the project deal with many articles about Canadian businesses based in Toronto? Are there any challenges to maintaining and keeping promotional language out of these business articles?
- Yes, the project does deal with businesses based in Toronto. There are some challenges in keeping promotional language out of these articles. I think editors who seem to contribute inappropriate edits as such are mostly the newcomers. Removing these edits and sending friendly reminders to these editors seem to be enough in keeping these articles clean.
Toronto is represented in seven major league sports, including the only Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association teams in Canada. How well are Toronto's sports teams covered on Wikipedia?
- Toronto's sports teams are covered quite well on Wikipedia, especially teams that are affiliated with the major associations, such as the NHL, NBA, and MLB.
With a variety of educational institutions located in Toronto, including the University of Toronto and the Royal Conservatory of Music, have there been any efforts to recruit college and university students to improve Wikipedia's articles on Toronto? Could the GLAM project do more to attract contributions from Toronto galleries, libraries, archives, and museums?
- To my knowledge, there have not been any direct efforts to recruit college and university students to improve articles about Toronto. I do believe the GLAM project could significantly help attract contributions from galleries, libraries, archives, and museums in Toronto.
What are WikiProject Toronto's most urgent needs? How can a new contributor help today?
- I think WikiProject Toronto's most urgent needs are to clean up and improve essential articles about Toronto, such as the Toronto Transit Commission or Amalgamation of Toronto. A new contributor can help today by cleaning these articles up and have them follow Wikipedia's guidelines, improve spelling/grammar, enrich with reliable sources, and have them follow a proper format.
Anything else you'd like to add?
- I hope to see more international interest in Toronto-related articles. A worldwide contribution to Toronto can give it a better world-class standard.
Next week's interview will be prehistoric. Until then, search for the records of extinct species in the archive.
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