A cancelled Pokémon Go tournament didn’t stop Eddie Ruminski from venturing out to entice local Pokémon fans in High Park.
“I live nearby and always go for walks,” Ruminski says. “I figure it would make some kids day to find some free toys and maybe encourage other Pokémon players to come back to the park.”
The Pokémon Go tournament scheduled to take place in High Park on Saturday didn’t move forward due to lack of sponsorship. But warm weather encouraged the public to get outside.
Ruminski runs a website called HighParkPokemon.com. A fan of the game since his youth, he became interested in its after its release in July. He began hiding Pokemon toys around the High Park zoo.
“Usually the Pokémon I hide end up being picked up very quickly as little kids have very good eyes for spotting random Pikachu,” Ruminski says.
Pokémon Go is a free-to-play, location based augmented reality game developed for iOS, Android and Apple Watch devices. While the game has been well received by people of all ages, it is typically used by teens and adults. Hiding real Pokemon toys in the park lets children get involved as well.
“I buy the toys in bulk from a guy in Japan,” Ruminski says. “It doesn’t cost me too much so I don’t mind the investment if it makes some kids happier.”
Players can track future drops by following @highparkpokemon on Twitter. They are encouraged to use the hashtag #HighParkPokemon as well as #HighPark and #HighParkZoo when Pokémon are found.
Pokémon Go made headlines in Toronto recently after reports the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal became overcrowded due to the number of Pokéstops in the area. Mayor John Tory worked with game developer Nutanix to remove the location from the game.