Toronto Nicknames: Where Did They Come From

Hogtown to the Six

As much as I cannot stand the slow strolling, selfie stick holding, tourists in Dundas Square, I do feel a little bad for them. We have so many of these inside jokes s, I feel like we're back to being elementary schoolers and excluding the kid who didn't have s Tomagatchi to play with. So if you were one of those kids who were always excluded from the inside jokes, we're here to let you in on what we've been blabbing about.

1. The Six/6/6ix

Historically, as Toronto is Canada's largest municipality, 'the Six' refers to the original cities of Toronto, North York, Scarborough, York, Etobicoke, and the former borough of East York. Often shortened further as 'The 6' or 'The 6ix' on the location slot of picture whereabouts, this nickname originated from hiphop. But lets be honest, Drake made it what it is.

2. T.O/T-Dot

'T' as in Toronto, 'O' as in Ontario. Toronto is the capital city of Ontario but it should actually be the capital of Canada tbh.

3. The Big Smoke

Fasten your seat belts for this one folks. The idea of “The Big Smoke” was borrowed from an Australian writer Alan Rayburn, and popularized by Allan Fotheringham (a Canadian journalist). It is a means of describing Toronto as a city with “big reputation, yet little to show for it.” To Fotheringham, any status the city might have as “Toronto the Good” was all smoke and mirrors. But I think it is actually because "wake and bake" is a pretty appropriate adjective for our city.

4. 416

The area code. Also Drake's tattoo...

5. Hogtown

“Hogtown” likely comes from the city’s former reputation as home to some of the British Empire’s most renowned bacon and pork manufacturers, Canada’s answer to Cincinnati’s “Porkopolis.” But we know which one is better.

6. Queen City

Yes, it's not because of Mama Elizabeth. Queen City is a term which is often used to describe a city which is the largest city in a country, state, province, or territory, but which is not the capital. Even if we don't have the full title's with us in spirit.

7. Hollywood North

An ode to our thriving film industry. Not only are we harbouring amazing talent, but we are also home to the biggest international film festivals in the world: TIFF!

8. Little York

In 1793, Toronto was known as York. York was incorporated and renamed Toronto in 1834. The city steadily grew during the 19th century, becoming one of the main destinations for new immigrants. In the second half of the 20th century, Toronto surpassed Montreal as Canada's largest city and became the economic capital of the country which reflects the urban lifestyle of New 'York'. Ergo, Little York.

9. Toronto the Good

"Toronto the Good" is used more like a sarcastic backhand to what could have been in reference to the stiff moral standing of the Victorian era of the city. The term was coined by former mayor William Howland (1886-87) who pretty much wanted to ban alcohol and sex in Toronto. Nice try buddy, we will be 5ever shameless.

10. The Megacity

This name is a reference to the 1998 amalgamation of Metro Toronto and it's constituents into the present City of Toronto. It umbrellas Lake Ontario to the south, Etobicoke Creek and highway 427 to the west, Steels Avenue to the north, and the Rouge River to the east.

Bonus: YYZ

We understand that the first Y is the airport area code generally for used for Canada but why is it not YTO? Ottawa gets YOW! Where is this second Y coming from and why don't we have a T? I bet the real acronym is actually something useless like "Yes, we have Yummy Zucchini".

Know any more nicknames? Think there is potential for new ones? Let us know!