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Toronto. T.O. T-Dot. Toronto the Good. Hogtown.

Hogtown? Why is Toronto referred to as Hogtown?


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 30th, 2004 05:21 pm (UTC)
I've always thought it was because of hog slaughter/processing at the turn of the century. However, since I am Torontonian by birth only and hence entitled to engage in the national sport that is mocking that fair city, I can think of other reasons ...

I'm rather fond of the "The Big Toe," myself ;)
May. 30th, 2004 05:25 pm (UTC)
Which begs the question of which Canadian cities form the rest of the foot...
May. 30th, 2004 05:23 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm not sure if I believe this site: http://www.virtualtourist.com/m/5d6ef/dc8fa/ , but it claims:

"Toronto was not particulary blessed in terms of physical geography, hence the name HogTown. The reason for this nickname was that Toronto (formerly known as York) was once a muddy swamp that was turned into a little town. It used to flood with mud all the time & pigs from the nearby farms would run around & cause a stir. The living situation was not pleasent back then, especially to the Loyalist migrants from the UK."
May. 30th, 2004 05:40 pm (UTC)
Toronto the Good? Where did that come from? lol
May. 30th, 2004 08:00 pm (UTC)
On Toronto the Good: Today's Annex-dwelling vegeterian socialist was yesterday's devout Presbyterian advocate for temperance and worker's rights. Wyndham Lewis once called Toronto a "sanctimonious icebox." And the city has never quite lost its reputation as being a litte up-tight.

My favorite epithet is "New York Run by the Swiss."
May. 30th, 2004 10:31 pm (UTC)
That one's pretty good. I don't find it all that pejorative, really. We have it fairly good here.
May. 31st, 2004 02:58 am (UTC)
"New York Run by the Swiss."

coined by the late Peter Ustinov
May. 31st, 2004 07:30 am (UTC)
I saw Ustinov as King Lear at Stratford (Ontario) years ago. He was great. I remember that performance fondly (if not terribly well).
May. 31st, 2004 01:23 pm (UTC)
I was fortunate enough to have a drink with him after a college reunion dinner in Durham a few years ago.
Jun. 1st, 2004 01:35 am (UTC)
This doesn't answer your question at all
Don't you know the poem?

Toronto (with apologies to Carl Sandburg)

Hog-butcher to the Greater Toronto Region,
Smog maker, stacker of harbourfront condos,
Player with media, home of Moses Znaimer,
Horny, greedy, bawling,
City of the big shoulderpads...
Jun. 4th, 2004 10:38 am (UTC)
All due to the "Fabulous" Junction
Both "Hog Town" and "Toronto the Good" stem from the Junction Area of the city. The center of the old Junction village is the triangle formed by the railway line and Bloor Street out by Keele Street. The piggy part is from the enormous hog processing plants that used to be out here at the railway junction. Most of the pigs from Manitoba and Ontario were slaughtered here. It's now a "Big Box" set of stores.
The "Good" is more generally applied to Ontario ("Ontario the Good") and was originally due to the provinces leading role in Prohibition. During the debates leading up to the provincial Prohibition the Temperance societies presented petitions with signatures from over a third of the total population. In the rest of the country only about 10% of the populace were card-carrying Temperance Society members. Later on the phrase was revived as a snarky comment on the province's film censorship board.
Toronto was specifically "good" due to the presence of Prohibition's ramrod "Wild" Bill Temple who was prominent in the provincial fights on the subject and who lead a rear-guard retreat of Municipal "Dry" areas after it was repealed.
The last such area was, of course, the Junction: his home base. He left all his money to a trust fund to be used in the fight against the Demon Gin. When the fifth referendum on the subject was underway in the late 90's I was the web-master for the Drys; who were funded by said trust fund. I suspect that the site is still (daftly) up. We lost the Western Junction by 2 votes and City Hall refused to allow a recount despite an obvious campaign of "Vote Early and Vote Often" by the local restaurant guys. This left only the aforementioned triangle dry and this went Wet in the sixth referendum.
Of course, these days Toronto is regarded as a Bitter Hive of Scum and Villainy by the rest of Ontario (the "Good"!) and the rest of Canada.

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )