Every city has its share of iconic spots and landmarks. Typically, nicknames are given to these places, and they are sometimes used more than the actual names of those places by people in the city!
Toronto has a plethora of places with nicknames. Here are 22 of them that you’ll come across in Toronto:
Key Neighbourhoods and Areas
The Village is a name most Torontonians use to refer to the Church and Wellesley area. Due to the significant LGBTQ community there, some people also refer to it as The Gaybourhood, which is clearly a more provocative code name.
DuWest is a combination of the words Dundas and West, which references one of Toronto’s popular neighbourhoods for nightlife and restaurants.
The Danny is a somewhat cute name some people use for the Danforth. While it does the job, Greektown still seems like a much cooler name for the area.
Scarbz (the “z” is important) is a short version of Scarborough. Over the years, misconceptions of Scarborough’s reputation for crime have led to other controversial slang names among the media and younger people, like Scarberia, Scartown or Scarlem.
Blansdowne is a name used by some to describe the Lansdowne neighbourhood. The first part of the name sounds like “bland” but really it’s just the result of the combination of Bloor and Lansdowne.
Yonge & Eg
Yonge & Eg makes reference to the Yonge and Eglinton area. Due to the high amounts of young professionals living in the area, some people like to substitute the Eg part with the word Eligible.
Av & Dav
Av & Dav is used to refer to the Avenue and Davenport neighbourhood. It is often associated with fresh-cut flowers as a result of the many florist shops in the area.
Roncy is a short form of Roncesvalles, which may be used by some to spare themselves the embarrassment of pronouncing Roncesvalles wrong.
The Peanut is a nickname for a small area within Don Valley Village neighbourhood. The name comes from the fact that the area is shaped like a peanut, due to the characteristic divergence pattern of the surrounding roads.
The Upper Beaches refers to the area that spans between Victoria Park and Woodbine, just north of Kingston Rd. Some sources say the nickname was developed by real estate agents.
Points of Interest
Hooker Harvey’s refers to the branch at the corner of Jarvis & Gerrard, which is known to be common location for sex-trade workers ever since the ’60’s. It’s safe to say that this Harvey’s ain’t your regular Harvey’s…
Jurassic Park is the nickname given to Maple Leaf Square by the ACC, where several Raptors fans often gather to watch playoff basketball games. Technically, raptors existed in the late Cretaceous period and not the Jurassic period, but that’s okay.
The Bird’s Nest refers to Toronto City Hall, where fans often join together to cheer on the Jays while watching the game from the big screen.
Town (or Town Centre) is what some people from Scarborough (and the GTA) call the central shopping mall, Scarborough Town Centre. You’ll hear it particularly from some younger people, who will almost always refer to Scarborough Town Centre using anything else but its full name. STC is another alternative.
The Yellow Staircaise
The Yellow Staircase is the nickname given to a spot in OCAD University that is believed to be frequented by couples for public sex. Though, some Reddit users claim that the very top of the green stairwell and the very bottom of the orange stairwell are better locations for such activities.
The High Track
The High Track refers to the Jarvis & Church area, which is another popular spot for sex-trade workers. According to The Star, workers can make as much as “$300 a trick” in that area.
The ‘Shoe is the short version for The Horseshoe Pub, which is a common watering hole for many Torontonians.
The Maddie refers to The Madison Pub, which is another popular nightlife spot in Toronto (especially UofT students).
Rye High is the insensitive term used to describe Ryerson University. The term may have arisen from the fact that the university’s campus is relatively small, or from the fact that it only became a formal university in 1993.
The 501 is what most Torontonians call the Queen Streetcar – the longest (and arguably, the busiest) streetcar route in North America.
Pope is what most Catholic high school students in Toronto call Pope John Paul II Catholic Secondary School. It is known particularly for its IB program and well-roundedness in all sport. Most other Catholic high schools in Toronto are referred to by their last names (Ward, Newman, Libermann, O’Connor, etc.)
MT is the nickname given to another Catholic high school, Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School. MT is known for its proficiency in basketball.
Guv is the short version of Guvernment, a popular nightclub that closed down in Toronto within the past few years.
The Brunny is a nickname for the Brunswick House, a 140-year-old pub often frequented by UofT students that also closed down recently.
We’ve all had different experiences in Toronto, due to differences in age and generation, location, and social circumstances. So, it’s only expected that some of these nicknames will be familiar to some, and unfamiliar to others. That being said, which ones have you heard of? What other nicknames are missing from this list?
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