Saturday, July 25, 2009

Toronto nicknames

TO or T.O. – from Toronto, Ontario, or from Toronto; pronounced "Tee-Oh". Sometimes used as T-dot, T-dot-O, or T-dot O-dot.

The Megacity – referring to the amalgamation of the former Metropolitan Toronto.

The Big Smoke – originally a nickname for London, England.

The Centre of the Universe – A derogatory term used by other Canadians, but adopted fondly by some Torontonians.

Hogtown – Related to the livestock that was processed in Toronto, largely by the city's largest pork processor and packer, the William Davies Company.

Toronto the Good – from its history as a bastion of 19th century Victorian morality. An 1898 book by C.S. Clark was titled Of Toronto the Good. A Social Study. The Queen City of Canada As It Is. Today sometimes used ironically to imply a less-than-great or less-than-moral status.

Queen City – a reference now most commonly used by francophone Quebecers ("La Ville-Reine")

Methodist Rome – an analogy identifying the city as a centre for Canadian methodism, as Rome is for Catholicism.

City of Churches.

Hollywood North – a nickname shared with Vancouver, referring to the film industry.

The 416 – 416 is the original telephone area code for much of the city (the other area code in Toronto is 647); the surrounding GTA suburbs, now using area codes 905 and 289, are similarly "the 905".


  1. Yes, there's a distinct lack of imagination among Torontonians: pinching other towns' nicknames, for example. Big Smoke and Hollywood north. And confused: never gotten the "TO" business straight as to which it stands for. "Hogtown" is legit.


  2. I agree. A pretty poor showing.


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