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A "Pidgey" Pokemon is seen on the screen of the Pokemon Go mobile app in a photo illustration taken on Toronto July 11.CHRIS HELGREN/Reuters

You might have not noticed, but for the past few weeks, Toronto has been experiencing a quiet transformation.

Its once-idyllic green spaces, from High Park in the west to the Beaches in the east, are now brimming with strange creatures, and its many landmarks, including the CN Tower, have become battlegrounds for aspiring Pokemon masters wishing to test their mettle.

The hit game Pokemon Go lets players comb the real world in search for fantastical monsters known as Pokemon.

Using a smartphone camera and its location-tracking system, the game app creates virtual Pokemon on your screen when approaching specific locations.

Since its release in the United States at the beginning of July, millions around the world have downloaded the app. While there is no word yet of an official Canadian release, Toronto has not been spared from the game's massive popularity.

Toronto fans have taken to social media to share tips, and on the popular website Reddit, users have created a digital map of Toronto that includes the location of some of the most-sought after Pokemon.

Ready to play? Read this guide first.

How can I get the game?

For iPhone users, the process is straightforward. Go to the phone's settings and change your location to the United States. Then search for the game in the App Store. Once there, you should be prompted to create a new account. Since the game is free, there's no need to include your credit card information. You'll be required to enter a U.S. address, however.

Android users must download a special application package to play the game. But be warned, these packages sometimes contain malware.

What should I do when I start?

"Gotta catch 'em all" is the franchise's motto. Incidentally, it's also terrific advice for new players. When starting a new game, it's a good idea to catch every Pokemon you encounter – even those you've already caught. Capturing a Pokemon gives you experience points which, in the long run, will allow you to find rarer and stronger Pokemon. It also gives players candies and stardust, which you can then use to evolve and upgrade your Pokemon, giving them new and more powerful abilities. New players are often tempted to spend their hard-earned stardust on some of the first Pokemon they've caught, but this is usually a bad idea. As you progress through the game, you'll encounter Pokemon with higher combat points (CP), which is the most important indicator of your Pokemon's overall strength. Stronger Pokemon are usually worth spending your stardust on. Once you've caught enough Pokemon in your neighbourhood and during your morning commute, it's time to grab a city map and seek out rarer ones.

Where is the best spot?

Players can catch more Pokemon by riding the streetcar to work. All of the city's streetcar lines pass through at least a dozen Pokestops –that means you'll be able to enjoy the game without worrying about running out of Pokeballs (which are used to capture the creatures). If you're looking to catch Pokemon more quickly, head to an area with several Pokestops. For example, there are at least three Pokestops right next to Gwendolyn MacEwen Park in the Annex. It's a great place because more experienced users will usually drop "lures" to draw Pokemon to Pokestops around the park. There are also almost always lures near the five Pokestops near the Toronto Island ferry docks. It's one of the most popular spots for Pokemon masters in the city.

What are some of the benefits of playing the game?

As the game grows in popularity, some restaurants and stores have started offering special deals to players. Last week, Waffle U, a pastry shop in Vaughan, was offering a 50 per cent discount to members of Team Valor, one of three teams players can choose once they've reached Level 5. And on Friday, Ripley's Believe It or Not offered a $5,000 reward to whoever could catch the rarest Pokemon on any of its premises across North America, the U.K. and Australia.

Insider advice:

  • Reddit users have formed a group dedicated to sharing tips about everything related to Pokemon Go and the city. It’s packed with valuable information about where to find the rarest Pokemon.
  • Fans of the game sometimes organize “lure parties” where more experienced players will drop lures to attract Pokemon. This is a great way of improving your Pokemon collection. Look to social media to see where the next one might be hosted. Also, on Friday, a Reddit user urged other players to place lures near SickKids hospital, which would allow patients to catch Pokemon from the comfort of their room. Ash would be proud.
  • It’s difficult to predict where a specific Pokemon might spawn, and it’s unclear how the game assigns Pokemon to a location. Going out at night might also yield different results than looking for Pokemon during the day. If you’re adamant about finding your favourite Pokemon, the best way might be to simply go online and look for the latest sightings. Water-based Pokemon such as Magikarp will usually appear near bodies of water. So if you’re looking for Poliwag or Staryu, then head to the lake.
  • Toronto is known as the home to a seemingly infinite number of Drowzees. Be thankful they’re not Rattatas.
  • Players can start the game with Pikachu, the franchise’s most adorable and most iconic Pokemon. Simply start a new game and walk away from the three Pokemon that are offered by the Professor Oak character. Once you do this four times, Pikachu should appear on your screen.