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The Toronto Accent(s)

There's more opportunities in the US and for a lot of jobs you can make more money.
 
Lots of Americans up here working in the television and film industry.... more than a few came up here as draft dodgers in the early 70s. The ones I know have no discernible accent, but that's probably because they've been here so long they've slowly acclimatized and got the local lingo down.
 
I was in Prague this weekend and eavesdropped on some fellow tourists while I was coming down from the Petřín Tower. My immediate thought was "wow, these people sound like Torontonians". Sure enough, I overheard one of them namedrop Toronto a couple of minutes later. I guess we do have a distinctive way of speaking.
 
There's got to be at least some Americans living in Toronto, but I'm sure it's hard to figure out who they are by accent alone.
My spouse and I both immigrated from the US. I was actually raised in Texas, but I am told by various native Torontonians that they can't tell my origins from my accent (although I have been in Toronto several decades, so any original accent may have faded).
 
Nobody so far has guessed that I was Canadian in the US by accent alone, although some did claim to hear my accent after I told them. The closest I got was one man telling me that I occasionally pronounced certain words in a British-like way (though not mentioning Canada), which surprised me in terms of perceptiveness, as I would not have even thought that I did.

All in all, it seems like most of the time, it's easy for a Canadian to pass for American and, often times, it's true vice versa too. Even in places where the locals do have a distinct accent (say, the South), people might just assume that you're from a different part of the US rather than Canadian, or if you're young, just that you speak with the generic American accent young people do now since the mass media homogenizes so much now.
 
I travel a fair amount and no one has ever identified me as Canadian by my accent, unless I am speaking French
 
I don't really think there's much of a Canadian accent. It's hard to tell the accent. It's not noticeable like the British accent or even Australian accent. We speak similar to Americans but there are more variations in the US like the Southern accent than here. Like of things in Canada, we find ourselves hard to differentiate from Americans and they overshadow us in everything. If a Canadian traveled abroad and they spoke, I think most people would assume you were American. I would assume that's why it would be harder for someone to tell exactly what the Canadian accent is. When I've gone to the States, people could tell that I had a different accent just couldn't figure out where I was from just from my accent unless I told them. Now there are certain groups like say black youth in Toronto who speak with a noticable accent when they are around each other and I find it's more influenced by Jamaican/Carribean culture.
 
There's got to be at least some Americans living in Toronto, but I'm sure it's hard to figure out who they are by accent alone.

I know/have known a few Americans living here either for long periods or more recent arrivals and I can't think of any who have really distinctly US accents. I don't know if it's a question of them being from areas in the US whose accents aren't all that different from the average Torontonian's or if it's a function of their level of education and having developed, consciously or unconsciously, more neutral accents either when they were still in the US or since arriving here. I can think of 3 or 4 acquaintances who don't sound particularly like their place of origin (Boston, NJ, Rochester ... even Atlanta).
 
I don't really think there's much of a Canadian accent. It's hard to tell the accent. It's not noticeable like the British accent or even Australian accent. We speak similar to Americans but there are more variations in the US like the Southern accent than here. Like of things in Canada, we find ourselves hard to differentiate from Americans and they overshadow us in everything. If a Canadian traveled abroad and they spoke, I think most people would assume you were American. I would assume that's why it would be harder for someone to tell exactly what the Canadian accent is. When I've gone to the States, people could tell that I had a different accent just couldn't figure out where I was from just from my accent unless I told them. Now there are certain groups like say black youth in Toronto who speak with a noticable accent when they are around each other and I find it's more influenced by Jamaican/Carribean culture.

Agreed, it's not particularly distinct. In fact it's easily confused with one or two different US accents and most of us aren't really aware of the features of the generic Canadian accent until we notice how others (mostly Americans) do it differently or those others point it out. I'm thinking of things like Americans making fun of how Canadians say 'sorry' with what seems to them like exaggerated rounding of the 'o': 'sore-y' vs their 'sawrry'.

When I've gone to the States, people could tell that I had a different accent just couldn't figure out where I was from just from my accent unless I told them

That's pretty common as well. It doesn't help that their first instinct is to try to think of a US region that fits rather than a different country.
 
The hoser accent is prevalent in some areas of the city and country. That's something that is unique to Canada.
 
If you want to hear a distinctly "real" English Canadian accent, head to places like Wingham, Hanover, Clinton, Elmira etc. Also folks in K-W and Hamilton tend to have a slight variation on this rural Ontario accent. I have also heard it amongst the working class b&b Torontonians, esp those with a historically Scots-Irish/rural English background.
The strongest Canadian Canadian accent I've heard in the GTHA are from people from Pickering.

Watching the videos TigerMaster posted last page makes me laugh at how much my own speech resembles "Toronto Youth".

It is a little eye-opening, I used to think Toronto was special for its 'lack' of accent and clean, clear brand of North American English. Maybe others are right, that within a generation time there will be a multicultural Toronto-English, like there is a multicultural London-English.
 
The hoser accent: never heard that term before but it defintely applies to some people I know.:p

One thing that struck me moving from K-W region to Toronto is the lack of the Canadian, "eh" used so frequently there. I started to use it in K-W (wasn't originally from the city) but find it has disappeared from my speech in Toronto.

Also have noted there's a distinct variation of the small town Ontario accent as you move from the townsfolk to the farming class, and of course between the townsfolk classes themselves: the upper classes--possibly educated in Toronto--tend to sound more Toronto than everyone else.

I've also noted a difference in the accent of working class vs upper class people in Toronto ... from a wide variety of backgrounds.
 
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