An affectionate name that residents of Toronto dubbed their city during the early 1900's. The name was a reflection of the city's smokestacks that were then not viewed as an environmental threat but as a sign of industry, growth and wealth.

The old name is ironic if you look at the sky on any given day now in Toronto. The air is thick with orange smog and people die on hot days due to the low air quality.
The Big Smoke is a term used in Australia for any large city. It's origin, according to the Macquarie Dictionary is pidgin English.

"Going to The Big Smoke" would mean "Going to the closest capital city". The term would not be used for large regional centres, just urban capitals.

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