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The Toronto Accent(s)

I'm very interested in MLE, since Multicultural Toronto English (lets call it that) seems to be taking a very similar path as London's. Local hip-hop/R&B artists are embracing it into their music more than ever before, and with the looming resurgence of Dancehall-ish music in the city, and the solidification of the Toronto's identity amongst young people, I'd expect the dialect to become even stronger in the coming years.

The dialect isn't exclusive to Scarborough. It's used by young people across the city to varying degrees, depending on their social circles.
This comment aged well, it has become more popular and widespread. Some guy did a ted talk on it actually, I really hope it will continue and evolve.

It's super interesting how MLE and MTE have developed alongside each other.
 
Nobody that is speaking their native language thinks they have an accent - everybody else talks funny.
That's what my husband always says! He was born in Pittsburgh and lived in Atlanta for decades, so he has a kind of hybrid accent. Americans think he's from Texas. As for me, I'm among the countless Torontonians who have some kind of accent because English is not our first language.
 
I've been told by some American work colleagues that I have a very strong sounding Canadian accent to them, which I personally can't really detect.

I remember a few years back at a Starbucks in Las Vegas, the Barista recognized my Canadian accent right away. She has family in Mississauga. I didn't think i had an accent.

The way we pronounce some words is a dead give away. We say sorry like "sore-ee" Americans say “sah-ree"
 
My friends from Maine know they talk funny 😎

Yes, Mainiacs, probably like Newfies, wear it almost like a badge of honour. And there can be a significant difference between the southern areas of the State, which has a lot of New England influence, and the northern counties which have a lot of French influence.
Roof vs “ruff”

My dad was raised in Simcoe County and said 'warsh' instead of 'wash' as well as 'ruff', and the differences could get more pronounced as you get into the Adjala-Tosorontio areas ('the hills') which he always considered the Canadian Ozarks. It's probably less pronounced now that the area has seen a lot of in-migration.
 
This is a fascinating topic especially Multicultural London/Toronto English considering how it's organically developing. My coworker who hails from Dagestan speaks Turkish and Russian and is trying to improve on her English pointed out to me that she observes how I speak with customers. More specifically the code switching that happens depending on whom I'm chatting informally with, case being with those who come from a different ethnic background. There's a lot of examples that she noticed as she studied formal English grammar; examples ranged from dropping verbs to using slang (eg. Jamaican borrowed Patois: "dun you know," "you know," "galang galang," etc.). Perhaps even speeding up the sentence similar to Singapore's Singlish. I guess in a way it instantly creates a comfortable rapport environment when communicating.

Being born in Toronto as a visible minority and growing up in the 90s, it's not so surprising that the everyday informal English, colloquialism and slang were influenced by Jamaican Patois as this was the gold age of Reggae and Dancehall breaking into mainstream music along with R&B, Rap and Hip-Hop. Toronto like London has a huge Caribbean diaspora and the influences are embedded on the social level. The accent might not be Jamaican wholly but the phrases/slangs that are used everyday today are definitely borrowed from them. It's only when you either move away from the GTA or travelling abroad does one notices these unique quirks as it's pointed out by someone else.
 
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When a vernacular or dialect is something you choose to turn on and off - it's not so much of an accent as much as a way to participate in a group/identity, and attain social capital / and an act identifier to a group. I think the MLE (as it is noted above) is more of this. Similar types of dialect exist in many communities, there is a Gay dialect that is used within the LGBT community (and sometimes with straight women) that isn't used in professional, work, or family settings, similar things exist in other communities as well.
 

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