amalgamation toronto

10 signs you grew up in Toronto before amalgamation

The 1998 amalgamation of Toronto is cited by some as a disastrous event in our city's civic history. Almost 20 years later, the debate rages on as to whether or not it was a good idea. But what was it like to live in the old city of Toronto?

Here are 10 signs you grew up in Toronto before amalgamation.

1. You remember yellow Plymouth cop cars branded with the words "Metro Police."

2. Mel Lastman was only the mayor of North York, which was an entirely different place than Toronto. That felt safer.

3. You remember a less diverse city. Despite pockets of multiculturalism, the old City of Toronto was a very white place.

4. You had garbage pickup envy. Local services like garbage collection were managed by each borough, which resulted in more frequent curbside visits for some.

5. The expression "Toronto - the city that works" actually had some accuracy.

6. You still remember jingles like "Metro moves on TTC! We've got a good thing going!"

7. Your Toronto was a much smaller place - literally. Along with the reduced geographic area, the population of old Toronto was under 700,000 residents.

8. There was more than one city hall. Naturally, each of the boroughs had their own civic centre, some of which were grand structures that reflected their municipal importance.

9. Scarborough really was the suburbs. In fact, so too were Etobicoke and North York. York and East York were a sort of middle ground.

10. You recall that everybody used the word "megacity" for a brief period before it was collectively dropped by the early 2000s.

What did I miss? Add your pre-amalgamation memories in the comments.

Photo of an old Metro Police car by Luke Hollins.


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