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A Better Toronto Slogan: Picking The Winner

It took a panel of brainy city thinkers to narrow one thousand potential Toronto slogans down to only ten. Now, it takes you to narrow those ten down to one.
The ten finalists in Torontoist’s better Toronto slogan competition are: A World of Difference; A World of Neighbourhoods; Come In, We’re Open; Fall in XO with TO; Nations United; Toronto. Forever Yonge.; Toronto the Good; Toronto Speaks Your Language; Toronto: The World in One City; and Visit Toronto. See the World.
We turned each of those slogans into a fake tourism poster; the full set of ten is above. (The grand prize winner and two runnersup will each get a copy of their poster, courtesy of Posterjack, plus lots of other goodies.)
Starting today, though, you’re voting on the slogans by themselves, not their posters. Until Friday, October 15, you can pick your favourite right here:

Voting has now ended. Results will be revealed on Torontoist soon.


  • accozzaglia

    There isn’t a “none of the above finalists” option. Piffle.

  • http://undefined rek

    I think XO and The Good are the strongest. Unlike the “World” variants, which don’t distinguish Toronto from any other world class city and rely entirely on immigrant cultures (which you can find elsewhere) and abstract “diversity” to draw tourists, XO lends itself to Toronto-specific reasons to fall in love with the city. The Good has history on its side and can be used cheekily (as Marc did).
    (After all the comment drama I’ll be glad to see this series end… and then start up again with A Better Toronto Flag.)

  • accozzaglia

    I’d prefer to throw my energies holistically into “A Better Toronto,” full-stop.

  • http://undefined rek

    As a campaign slogan, sure. For tourism? No.

  • Josh Hind

    Agreed. Wasn’t there one entrant whose slogan didn’t play upon nonsense sentimentality.
    Here’s mine: “Toronto. We’ve believed in the uniqueness of our multi-ethnic paradise for years, why mess with that now?”

  • http://undefined Marc Lostracco

    To add on to rek’s flag comment, here’s the winner of our neighbourhood flag contest from 2007 (designer Nick Vongthavy) with the actual flag that was made for the him by The Flag Shop.

  • accozzaglia

    No. For the betterment of a city I love. I don’t need a slogan to remind me of the city I fell in love with at first sight. Naturally, I know not everyone shares that sentiment, so “Love at first sight” would also be clichéd. That I fell in love with Toronto the same time a bunch of friends from all over gathered into town — lending to the “Gather around Toronto” idea — probably informs that opinion.
    At this rate, we’ll probably be told to “fall in zoh with toe.”

  • http://undefined Nathan

    I still think “Toronto: Don’t Choke on the Awesome” is better than these.

  • http://undefined avp77

    What about “Home of the world-weary poseur”?

  • accozzaglia

    Oh, you mean Portland, Oregon.

  • accozzaglia

    Well, you have nothing but raucous laughter from this end. :)

  • http://undefined InscrutableTed

    I wanted “Toronto: The Centre of the Universe”.
    I’m serious. I know people call us that derisively, but I think we could humourously reclaim it. It communicates the idea that we’re an international crossroads, without using the word “World”.

  • http://undefined the_yellow_dart

    Wow. I am absolutely shocked at the results so far. I thought “Toronto speaks your language” was the standout, and would be handily winning by now.
    “Fall in XO with TO” – sorry but that sounds like a bad high school business class project. I’d vote it the worst.
    As pointed out before, “Visit Toronto. See the World” is a ripoff of an old London campaign… yet it’s doing so well too!
    As for Toronto the Good, it’s cute, but I don’t see its value as a tourism slogan – pointing out vices existing in the city usually doesn’t bring the kinds of tourists you WANT.

  • http://undefined davedave

    Three of the finalists have been recently used by or are in use right now by other countries or cities.
    Some of these are inside jokes nobody from outside Toronto will get.
    Some of these are fatally strategically flawed.
    You didn’t have a none of the above. Oh well. I guess I cast that here.

  • rapi

    none of the above for me, either…toronto the good could be changed to “toronto is good for you”…

  • http://undefined salvo

    I think what makes “Toronto the Good” effective is that it can be used easily in different contexts — the example poster here gives the phrase a clever and cheeky meaning, but the connotation changes when the associated image changes. It’s a familiar phrase that is rooted in history, but flexible enough to take on new meanings, as the city has evolved from that rather uptight past. “Toronto the Good” was once a jab at the city’s character. I like the idea of repurposing it and reclaiming it to show off the million ways in which this city really is “the Good.”

  • http://undefined andomano

    I’m bugged by the See the World entry… how it has a stop hand on it.

  • http://undefined Skippy the Magical Racegoat

    This is a bit of a pet fascination of mine, but I think future polls with this many entrants would have much clearer results if you implement a more sophisticated voting system.
    As you can see, the vote is split among so many choices, no meaningful winner can emerge. Currently, the leading choice has only 21.19 percent of the total, which is not very convincing.
    Currently, the most rigorous and popular (at least online) voting method is Schulze. It allows users to rank preferences and aggregates them into a single ranking:
    See the links at the end of the Wiki article for sites that offer this method, and free software packages you can adapt for your own site.

  • accozzaglia

    What I can add to this discussion is that after having recently read the fall 2009 essay by Laura Levin and Kim Solga — “Building Utopia: Performance and the fantasy of urban renewal in contemporary Toronto” in TDR: The Drama Review — my reservations about the vapidity of sloganeering as a kind of act of civic participation were at least founded, if not vetted by an excellent critical analysis of what “creativity” has come to signify here.
    In short, the gulf between Toronto as a creative city of production versus a creative city of consumption is quite great: what we have witnessed in Luminato, Nuit Blanche, Pedestrian Sundays, the ROM/AGO renovations, TIFF, Four Seasons Centre, and even arguably Pride week is functionally a top-down, institutional “elite” (parse however you wish, but think “lots of money and/or political leverage”) vision of Toronto’s creativity as being a kind of salad bar from which tourists are meant to sample (and consume). What Levin and Solga feared was that all this emphasis on a consumptive creativity in the name of appealing to tourists and leisurely parties comes at the immeasurable expense of creative production (something federal, provincial, and local monies have overwhelmingly passed on in favour of the consumption of creativity).
    OK, that wasn’t so short. But this is: appealing to others that we’re awesome comes at great sacrifice to our ability to generate a fertile, local setting of healthy creative production within the city (the bottom-up, individual-to-community relationship). In other words, advancing creativity as an economic engine in the Dick “The Douchebag” Florida model would eventually “bankrupt” our ability to produce a wealth of new creativity specific to being “made in Toronto by ordinary Torontonians.”
    As much as I cringe at the “elite” rhetoric of the Flounder “taxpayer” (“we coulda been a citizen!”) gravy-sucking train, reading this essay sorta gave new insight into why the sense of alienation at the local, individual level — against a top-down “creative city” campaign which is more concerned with how its superficial appearances are perceived by others around the world than with how healthy its innards are — is so acute right now. It’s as if Flounder signifies an infected appendix threatening to rupture and infect the entire body. Once-healthy cells, now infected, threaten to destroy the entire body as a fatal consequence. Yeah, I just went there:
    “Rob Ford is an infected appendix just ready to burst.”
    Anyway. That’s another case example why this slogan contest merely affirms the consumptive and not the productive of Toronto’s civic imagination. Note how many of the Torontoist slogan finalists broadcast an outward-in theme, rather than an inward-out one. They each make us appear quite desperate for some kind of external acceptance (by the world, other parts of Canada, etc.). It’s like being the awkward, gangly girl in high school.
    We really have bigger work to do.

  • http://undefined InscrutableTed

    If it makes you feel better, the leading winner at this point is “Forever Yonge”. It references something Torontonians are attached to (Yonge Street), but is meaningless to outsiders.

  • http://undefined Marc

    How about ‘Toronto: Like New York but minus all of the stuff’

  • http://undefined Sarah

    two days left and its getting close so i had to make a final argument for fall in XO with TO:

  • accozzaglia

    “Modesty” is not in your lexicon, is it, Cutthroat?
    But “hubris” apparently is. As we’ll all get to say real soon now for a total of about fifteen minutes: “Fall in zoh with toe. Even if you stub it along the way, eh?”

  • http://undefined thelemur

    Toronto: They Shot That Movie You Like Here, You Know.

  • http://undefined Michael Assad

    I agree 100% I think Toronto: The Centre of the Universe is genius!
    - It mocks the mockers
    - It speaks to the multi-culturalism in a sci-fi kinda way
    - The ‘re’ in Centre makes it Canadian
    - It makes us sound super confident (which we are)
    - The CN tower could be played up like a giant antenna for communicating with other planets (ok – that one is a stretch ;)
    Very very good IMO. Can we add it to the voting list just for fun as an unofficial entry??

  • David Topping

    With two full days left to vote, we’re temporarily hiding the poll results above until the slogan winner is announced. Suspense!