Out with the old and in with the new. Is the popular moniker The6 the new handle for Toronto? July 14, 2014 marks the day that rapper Drake declared this new nickname for his hometown through his yet-to-be-released album entitled Views from the 6. As people began to talk, and as the title began to blow up in inner circles and all over social media, people asked the question “what is the 6?” Cue a long log of skepticism and sarcasm from Torontonians, brushing off the name, denouncing it, saying that it will “never stick,” further fueling the big overall question does Toronto call it's city The6? Many believe that "The6" refers to both area codes of Toronto (416 and 647), but I guess all we can do is speculate, until someone (Drake) officially says so.  

Fast forward to 2015—do Torontonians rep their city as The6 or will it always be TDOT? Is Drake doing Drake, capitalizing off his celebrity to coin a new term for his city, or are we in the middle of a Toronto re-brand? Here lies The Great Debate. A lot has changed since July, 2014—it seems as though The6, often written The 6ix and The Six—is here to stay. Torontonians can thank enthusiastic endorsements from celebrities, athletes and Toronto residents alike. The6 has steadily become one of the most famous and fastest growing Toronto handles and it's residents seem proud to represent. Let's take things back a bit and speak on the original nickname of Toronto–TDOT. TDOT allegedly was first coined by Toronto’s K-4CE and later popularized by the Toronto rap anthem Northern Touch by the Rascalz in 1997. 

“Yes from me Northwest and the TDOT, o-dizot check...TDOT represent” - The RASCALZ

Both The6 and TDOT represent Toronto—but sometimes a nickname sticks and becomes a fixture in our vocab, and sometimes it doesn’t. Now the big question is—which nickname resonates more with Torontonians?

Let's look to Drake’s growing pop-culture presence. As his fame continues to rise around the world so does his influence. Toronto bleeds through all of his music and he reps his city with pride wherever he goes “Toronto is the reason I do this” he says, “all I did was find a way to make people proud of their city.” So, when the self-proclaimed “6 God” goes to his Twitter or Instagram to post, you can be sure his millions of followers are paying close attention. If you do a quick search on social media for The6, plenty of results will come up. Drake can give thanks to his fellow celebrities for backing him—everyone from Will Smith to Chloe Sevigny has helped popularize the term through social media.

"Born in #The6. Raised in #The6. Live anywhere in the world, but home will always be #The6" - Toronto's Richard Picart

In the 6 @champagnepapi

A photo posted by Chloe Sevigny (@chloessevigny) on

Whole city showing out tmrw. 6⃣ A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on


6ix Side...

A photo posted by DeMar DeRozan (@demar_derozan) on


A photo posted by Cory Joseph (@coryjoseph) on

One can surely see that the city remains in flux, with many people adopting the new name, while others hold on to the “original” nickname. Can TDOT and The6 peacefully coexist? Drake is no doubt doing his best to solidify his beloved moniker. As the Global Ambassador for the Toronto Raptors, he has been given an even greater platform to connect and influence people. You can see The6 displayed all over Drake’s OVO clothing, and listen to him rep it all through his music, You & The 6, and his crowd pleasing track Know Yourself where the infamous lines “running through The 6 with my woes/You know how that goes” are immortalized.

But let's go back to the origins of The6, which started not with Drake, but with fellow Toronto rapper Jimmy Prime. We can first hear him coin the popular term in his lyrics: “As I view The 6 from my balcony, I pray to God She’ll look out for me.”

“#JimmyPrimeNamedIt #The6”

I miss the 6!!! #Toronto #JimmyPrimeNamedIt #The6 #Home #SummerInToronto #Paradise

A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

So ready for Sydney that I came 3 hours early. ✌️??

A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

While we can give credit to Jimmy Prime, Drake certainly gets the credit for popularizing it. Drake immortalizes The6 in his music and daily life, making it so much more than regular slang.

“I actually think it will have a bigger impact than ever before. I’d go so far as to say that maybe it’s the post-millennial TDOT.” - Eric Dingus

Drake's rebrand is making an already hot city sexier —

“Because of his music background and his connections through various networks, he begins to get Toronto poppin' up just a little bit more than it used to be, so it gives the city sex appeal” - Alan Middleton, Professor of Marketing, York University

So Toronto, how do you rep your city? Are you about TDOT or The6? Be sure to cast your vote using the hashtags #SHOEStdot and #SHOESthe6 and be entered to WIN SHOES FOR A YEAR!


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