Why is Toronto called the six?

+35 votes
asked Nov 11, 2018 in Culture & Society by Sloane (880 points)
edited Dec 15, 2018
The rapper Drake announced a new album that references Toronto as the “six,” and now everyone online seems to be talking about this new nickname. Apparently this name has existed for a little while but never really stuck. I don’t understand what it’s supposed to mean or how the city relates to the number, so why is Toronto called the six?

3 Answers

+18 votes
answered Jan 9 by stephan (980 points)
edited Jul 25
Toronto gets its nickname the “six” because the city that is now Toronto was originally broken up into six different cities: Toronto, Scarborough, North York, York, East York, and Etobicoke.

In 1998, the six cities were combined by the government of Ontario as a cost saving measure. After the regrouping of these cities, Toronto has become the 4th largest city in North America behind Mexico City, New York, and Los Angeles. Even though these cities are all formally a part of Toronto, they are still often referred to as their original names. One reason for this is that there are a lot of duplicated street names from when the cities were separate, so your address and location is more identifiable by using the old city names.
commented Nov 30, 2015 by beastmanjosh (100 points)
+8 votes
answered Feb 25 by Hayden (900 points)
edited Jun 2

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.

0 votes
answered Apr 27 by Ryan (620 points)
edited May 26 by Kris

Why is Toronto called the six? Basically, I think there's no such a connection between Toronto and six. People just made up the connection of six to Toronto after Drake announced the title of his album Views from the 6. He’s just trying to follow Jimmy Johnson’s hype and make up a cool, new nickname. I’m from the area and have always lived there, and no one in Toronto actually calls it “The 6.” Other than just calling it Toronto, TDot and The Screwface are popular and common nicknames but not The 6.

commented Feb 7, 2016 by bubbles (100 points)
Its true I live in Toronto and people only started calling it the 6 after Drake's album was released. I've always heard people calling it TDot my whole life.
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