Over the course of its 222-year history, Toronto has been known by a variety of nicknames. Originally “Muddy York,” the city was dubbed “Hogtown” in the 19th century, thanks to a booming pork industry, and then “Toronto the Good” by a civic-boosting mayor.
The 20th century brought “The Big Smoke” and “TO,” but these have now been eclipsed by “T-Dot” and “The 6ix.” Mark Kingwell, a professor of philosophy who has written about urbanism, says city monikers tend to fall into two categories – self-celebration (such as “Hollywood North” or “The City That Works”) and self-deprecation.
The 6ix, which was popularized by Toronto rap star Drake, is said to have been inspired by either the city’s two main area codes or the original six municipalities. Either way, it represents an interesting new direction in Toronto nicknames, says Kingwell, because of its connection to hip hop and urban culture. “This is new-century Toronto,” he says, “with the same confident vibe of ‘We the North.’”
U of T’s 196th Birthday Quiz
Test your knowledge of all things U of T in honour of the university’s 196th anniversary on March 15!
Spreading the Gospel
A Juno Award-winning teacher wants all his students to feel there is a place for them in music
Cities Are Driving Evolution
Globally crowdsourced study shows that white clovers are biologically adapting to city life, demonstrating the profound impact of urbanization