List of city nicknames in Canada

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This partial list of city nicknames in Canada compiles the aliases, sobriquets and slogans that cities are known by (or have been known by historically), officially and unofficially, to municipal governments, local people, outsiders or their tourism boards or chambers of commerce.

City nicknames can help in establishing a civic identity, helping outsiders recognize a community or attracting people to a community because of its nickname; promote civic pride; and build community unity.[1] They are also believed to have economic value, but their economic value is difficult to measure.[1]

Some unofficial nicknames are positive, while others are derisive. The unofficial nicknames listed here have been in use for a long time or have gained wide use.

Cities by province[edit]

Alberta[edit]

  • Calgary
    • "C-Town"[3]
    • "Cowtown"[4]
    • "Heart of The New West", derived from the city's former official slogan[5]
    • "The Stampede City"[6]
  • Edmonton
    • "The Big E"[8]
    • "The Chuck"[9] or "Edmonchuck",[10] in reference to Edmonton's large Ukrainian population
    • "The City of Champions",[11] official city slogan
    • "Deadmonton", a disparaging term used by British reporter, Robert Philip, during the 2001 World Championships in Athletics (although the term was coined earlier), painting Edmonton as a boring place,[9] and re-emerging in 2011 due to an increasing amount of homicide[12]
    • "E-Town"[13]
    • "Festival City"[14]
    • "Gateway to the North"[15]
    • "River City"[16]
  • Medicine Hat
    • "The City with All Hell for a Basement", derived from a quote by Rudyard Kipling referring to Medicine Hat's natural gas reserves[25][26]
    • "The City with Energy"[25]
    • "The Gas City"[25]
    • "The Hat"[27]
    • "An Oasis on the Prairies"[25]
    • "Saamis", from which Medicine Hat's name is derived, a Blackfoot word for medicine man's hat[25]

British Columbia[edit]

  • Abbotsford
    • "Berry Capital of Canada"[29]
    • "City in the Country"[30]
    • "Raspberry Capital of Canada",[31] although the neighbourhood of Clearbrook specifically is known for its raspberries[32]
  • Kelowna
    • "Orchard City",[36] named for the prevalent fruit production of the Okanagan Valley
    • "The Four Seasons Playground",[37] named for being worldwide year-round tourist destination
  • Victoria
    • "The Garden City"[49]
    • "City of Newly Weds and Nearly Deads", with larger numbers of seniors or young families as the two major demographics[50]

Manitoba[edit]

  • Churchill
    • "Polar Bear Capital of the World", used as a tourist attraction slogan due to the population of polar bears[52]

New Brunswick[edit]

  • Saint John
    • "Canada's Most Irish City", due to its role as a destination for Irish immigrants during the Great Irish Famine[71]
    • "Canada's Original City",[72] referring to Saint John being the first incorporated city in Canada[73]
    • "Fundy City"[74]
    • "Loyalist City", due to its role as a destination for American British supporters following the American Revolution[71]
    • "Port City", due to its role in the shipbuilding industry in the 19th century[71]

Newfoundland and Labrador[edit]

  • St. John's
    • "City of Legends"[75]
    • "Newfiejohn", a nickname given by American servicemen in World War II [76]
    • "Sin Jawns" [77]
    • "Town", as St. John's is the only major urban area in Newfoundland, going across the island to "town" is heading to St. John's [78]

Nova Scotia[edit]

Ontario[edit]

  • Cambridge
    • "The Tri-City", referring to the adjacent cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge[80]
  • Kitchener
    • "The Tri-City", referring to the adjacent cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge[80]
  • Ottawa
    • "Bytown", the city's official name prior to 1855; still used as a nickname in the media[92]
    • "O-Town"[93]
  • Scarborough (part of Toronto since 1999)
    • "Scarberia", a derogatory nickname based on Scarborough's reputation a barren, faraway land to the east of Toronto [96]
    • "Scarlem", a derogatory nickname which associates Scarborough with the inner-city crime of Harlem, New York [97]
  • Waterloo
    • "The 'Loo" [105]
    • "The Tri-City", referring to the adjacent cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge[80]

Prince Edward Island[edit]

Quebec[edit]

Montreal
  • "Québec's Metropolis", "La Métropole du Québec" in French[109]
  • "The City of Saints" [101]
  • "La métropole", French for "The Metropolis"[110]
  • "La ville au cent clochers", French for "The City of a Hundred Steeples"[111]
  • "Sin City", a historical nickname from the prohibition-era[112]
Quebec City
  • "La Vieille Capitale"[113]

Saskatchewan[edit]

Cities by territory[edit]

Northwest Territories[edit]

Yukon[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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    Source: Brennan, Brian. Boondoggles, Bonanzas and other Alberta Stories.. Calgary: Fifth House Publishers, 2003, p. 43.[1]

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