The Big Smoke

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In recent weeks the smoke from forest fires in Northern Ontario and Quebec have drifted south, covering much of Southern Ontario and the Eastern United States. Among its various nicknames, Toronto has been called the “Big Smoke”:

The Big Smoke was first used by Australian writer Alan Rayburn and popularized by Canadian journalist Alan Fotheringham. Fotheringham used the nickname to depict Toronto as a city with a giant reputation and nothing to show for it. This is the most acceptable version, but a less popular theory suggests that the name originated in the 1900s when the city was industrial and occasionally covered by smog clouds. An even less popular version states that the name originated from the Great Fire of Toronto that burnt down downtown Toronto in April 1904. The fire remains the largest ever to occur in Toronto.

Why is Toronto Called “the Big Smoke”? – WorldAtlas #

Certainly yesterday’s conditions reflected one of the more tangible explanations.


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