Sorry, Drake: Just 7% of Torontonians call city 'The 6ix,' poll says

It's a term that exploded onto the world stage with the release of Toronto rapper Drake's newest album, but "The 6ix" is in fact the city's least popular moniker among those who actually live here, according to a recent poll.

While many may know it as 'The 6ix', it turns out most of us prefer to call the city 'Toronto'

While Drake, the self-described "6 God," may have thrust the term "The 6ix" into the public consciousness, it turns out just seven per cent of Torontonians actually use the moniker, according to a recent Forum Research poll.

Despite his best efforts, it looks like Drake might not have the last word on what to the call the city.

While the self-described "6 God" may have thrust the term "The 6ix" into the public consciousness, it turns out just seven per cent of Torontonians actually use the moniker.

That's according to a poll of 864 Torontonians conducted by Toronto-based Forum Research.

The overwhelming majority— 75 per cent —  say they refer to the city most often as simply "Toronto."

Ten per cent of those surveyed responded that they refer to the city as "TO," making "The 6ix" the least popular option of all among those who actually live here, even though the term exploded onto the world stage with Drake's release of the album Views.

905 always the bridesmaid

"Our area code's 416, so we were debating on the "The Four" but then I just went tail-end on it," Drake explained this past May on Jimmy Fallon's The Tonight Show.

"And actually at one point it was considered that Toronto was broken up into six areas," he added, lending further justification to the term as a catch-all for an urban region made up of some 29 municipalities from Oshawa to Burlington. "The 6ix" actually encompasses the area codes 416, 905, 647, 289 and the lesser-known 437 and 365.

The poll, conducted by telephone on August 11, has a margin of +/- 3 per cent.

The survey suggests a full eight per cent don't use any of the three options most often, preferring another one altogether.

So who does use the term (besides Drake, of course)?

Tronnah? Hogtown? The 6ix? While the latter exploded onto the world stage this year, Forum Research suggests it's the least popular moniker for the city among those who actually live here. (Rebecca Blackwell/The Associated Press)

Not surprisingly, it's employed most widely by the youngest demographic surveyed, with 13 per cent of those between 18 and 34 using it, by 11 per cent of middle income groups, which the survey defines as $60,000 to $80,000 per year, and most often by those who commute by bicycle.

Yes, 15 per cent of cyclists surveyed say "The 6ix" is their choice term for the city.

But as the poll shows, not all Torontonians actually use the term.

Will 'The 6ix' go the way of 'Hogtown?'

"I quite like The 6ix, although I would never say that myself. I stick to 'Toronno,'" resident Ken Derry told CBC News.

"Toronto," the poll found, is characteristic of the oldest, the wealthiest, the best educated, and is especially popular among those living in East York.

And there's another, much longer-standing debate that the poll sheds light on.

Among those who use the full name "Toronto" to refer to the city, the majority of those surveyed pronounce each of its syllables separately with 70 per cent calling it To-RON-To. Only about a quarter, use the shorter, two-syllable version "Tronnah."

Forum Research President Lorne Bozinoff said in a release the poll will have to be repeated in a year or two to see if "The 6ix" gains any more traction or if it goes the way of "Hogtown."

"But for now, 'Toronto' is what people call the city, with a brief nod to the classic 'TO,'" he said.