If you frequent hiking trails, green spaces and woodlands in Toronto for some peace and quiet, someone might have been watching you. Pay close attention and you could find a mysterious photo box strapped to individual trees throughout the woods, taking photos of its surroundings – and it might have taken one of you.
One was spotted among the trees near the Roxborough Parkette in Rosedale, close by to a ravine.
The camera is chained and locked to the tree, and the box is patterned to look like the bark of a tree to blend in.
A horror story in the making? Definitely not. The photo box is also labelled, noting that the equipment belongs to the University of Toronto urban wildlife department. Another label says, “People pictures are deleted.”
The cameras are part of a University of Toronto Mississauga’s Centre for Urban Environments data collection project, which is looking at how urban development shapes the environments around us. According to the university’s website, there are going to be 100 remote wildlife “camera traps” placed across the GTA to collect this data. It’s unclear how many have been placed throughout the city so far or where the locations are.
Post City has reached out to the organizers behind this project to find out how long each photo box has been in operation in Toronto, how many pictures have been taken, where they are and how they guarantee pictures of people are deleted. Check back here for updates on the project!