Toronto, ON – Thursday January 26, 2017: Google Local Guides Toronto recently placed fourth worldwide in Google’s 2016 Local Guides Challenge, followed by Seattle and Milan. The annual competition was launched on the 30th of September and ended on the 28th of October, 2016 with approximately 100, 000 people participating worldwide.  
Created to inspire global participation in the Google Local Guides program, the 2016 challenge centred around taking high resolution pictures, writing quality reviews and uploading them to Google Maps. 
To celebrate this victory for Toronto, an epic event was organized by Google which took place at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Tuesday night (January 24th 2017). The celebration gave guests exclusive access to “Mystical Landscapes” the gallery’s current feature exhibit, that was 10 years in the making to bring to life and features masterpieces from the likes of Monet and Van Gogh to Canadian painting icons like Emily Carr and members of the Group of Seven, depicting the artists’ journey from dark into light. Gallery staff were on hand to educate Google guests about the making of Mystical Landscapes including providing insight into the curatorial process of the exhibit.    
Google invited 300 guests from the Toronto Local Guides team and the winning team members were treated to a diverse sampling cuisine, a photo booth, Google Streetview 360 cameras, a Food Styling Station and additional activations.
In Toronto the Local Guides team has grown from the two founders to nearly 800 active members, to date. Founders and Moderators of the Community, Richard Trus and Sydney Eatz were on hand Tuesday evening to congratulate and celebrate with the winning Toronto team.   
“We are extremely grateful for all the contributions  of all the Local Guides in Toronto have made to Google Maps – having high quality information on Google maps leads to a better experience for people living and visiting in Toronto ” said co-moderator Richard Trus.  
“We are also thankful for all the Seneca College students on our team, who were able to help us build a large group and use social media to place 4th world wide.” said co-moderator Sydney Eatz.
Competition was intense but Toronto was on the leaderboard from the start. “It was too close to call at the end – with several cities neck-and-neck” stated Meg Smith, Google Toronto placed 4th, behind Taipei, Madrid and Berlin.
Toronto Local Guides will be showcasing a premiere of their crowd sourced 65 episode television series “Toronto Local Guides” hosted by “Hottie Eatz” this week at Seneca College’s Sandbox.   
“Hottie Eatz” aka Sydney Eatz is the co-moderator of the Toronto Local Guides Community and a professional eater, who for the past five years has been travelling world wide collaborating with Social Media and television series with Richard Trus.  
Richard Trus is the co-moderator of the Toronto Local Guides community and studied Social Media Marketing at Seneca College (Seneca SoMe). Richard is a Google Trusted Photographer, Streetview Photographer, and the most viewed photographer in Canada with over 150 million views in 2016.
Richard has 20 years experience as a film and television producer, writer, director and visual fx supervisor. He is known for working on some of the largest sci-fi television series in Vancouver and helped build one of the largest Visual FX/Post Production companies in Vancouver. (
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