Toronto is called the “six” because of the inclusion of the number in the city’s two area codes 416 and 647.
In July 2014, the rapper Drake announced the title of his newest album Views from the 6, and this started a huge speculation behind the meaning of the name and his influence. This quickly led to the discovery of the term’s connection to his hometown Toronto, and so everyone assumed this was Drake’s attempt at creating a new nickname. At first, a lot of native residents of Toronto rejected being called the six, especially dissing the term on social media like Twitter.
Now a year after Drake’s announcement of his new album, the term six is more widely used and even found plastered on buildings in the city with graffiti. The poet laureate of Toronto, George Elliot Clarke, sees the popularity of this nickname as the city’s way of looking to find itself again and rebrand their image. Drake has taken up part of the responsibility for this through him popularizing the phrase in world culture, and he’s seen as a poster child of sorts for his birth city as one of the most famous rappers in modern music. Even his personal clothing line features many items branded with a stylized “6” that represents his hometown, which puts the nickname into even broader circulation. Many of his songs feature nods to Toronto, and this new album will only increase the popularity of Toronto being renamed the six.