In his book Naming Canada: Stories about Canadian Place Names, Alan Rayburn states that "no place in Canada has as many sobriquets as Toronto."
Among them are the nicknames:
- "Centre of the Universe", as mentioned in the documentary film Let's All Hate Toronto, as the term is used derisively by residents of the rest of Canada in reference to the city. It is also infrequently used by the media. Outside Toronto, it is sometimes said to be used by residents of the city. The moniker "Center of the Universe" was originally a popular nickname for New York City, and more specifically Times Square in Midtown Manhattan. It has since been used to refer to other cities.
- "TO" or "T.O.", from Toronto, Ontario, or from Toronto; pronounced "Tee-Oh". Sometimes used as T-dot.
- "The Megacity", referring to the amalgamation of the former Metropolitan Toronto.
- "The City That Works", first mentioned in a Harper's Magazine article written by The Washington Post correspondent Anthony Astrachan in 1975. It refers to the city's reputation for successful urban planning.
- "The Big Smoke", used by Allan Fotheringham, a writer for Maclean's magazine, who had first heard the term applied by Aboriginal Australians to Australian cities. The Big Smoke was originally a popular nickname for London, England, and is now used to refer to various cities throughout the world.
- "Hogtown", said to be related to the livestock that was processed in Toronto, largely by the city's largest pork processor and packer, the William Davies Company.
- Possibly derived from the Anglo-Saxon word for York, Eoforwic, which literally translates to "wild boar village".
- A by-law which imposed a 10-cent-per-pig fine on anyone allowing pigs to run in the street.
- "Toronto the Good", from its history as a bastion of 19th century Victorian morality and coined by mayor William Holmes Howland. An 1898 book by C.S. Clark was titled Of Toronto the Good. A Social Study. The Queen City of Canada As It Is. The book is a facsimile of an 1898 edition. Today sometimes used ironically to imply a less-than-great or less-than-moral status.
- "Queen City", a reference now most commonly used by French Canadians ("La Ville-Reine") or speakers of Quebec English, other French-language or Franco-Ontarian news media such as Le Droit or in advertising. The second part of the three-part Toronto: City of Dreams documentary about the city was titled The Queen City (1867-1939).
- "Methodist Rome", an analogy identifying the city as a centre for Canadian Methodism.
- "City of Churches".
- "Hollywood North", referring to the film industry.
- "Broadway North", in reference to the Broadway theatre area in Manhattan. Toronto is home to the world's third largest English-speaking theatre district after London and NYC.
- "The 416", referring to the original telephone area code for much of the city (the other area codes are 647 and 437); the surrounding GTA suburbs, now using area codes 905, 289, and 365, are similarly "the 905".
- "The Six" (also written as "The 6" or "The 6ix") popularized in 2015 by Toronto-born musician, Drake, with his mixtape If You're Reading This It's Too Late and 2016 album Views. Drake himself credits Toronto rapper Jimmy Prime with inventing the handle, but it was popularized by early Toronto rappers, in early 2000, in songs like Baby Blue Soundcrew's "Love em all", the usage of the nickname in many of Drake's music has since brought it to global attention. While the meaning of the term was initially unclear, Drake clarified in a 2016 interview on The Tonight Show that it derived from the city's 416 area code and the six municipalities that amalgamated into the modern City of Toronto.
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