North York. Scarborough. York. East York. Etobicoke. Old Toronto. Long ago, the six boroughs lived divided, but together in harmony. Then, everything changed when presumed cost-saving measures were introduced by Ontario's conservative provincial government forcing each region and municipality to amalgamate into one "megacity." But with the newfound unity came discord. Those very same cost savings would never materialise; a unified Toronto would fall short of competing in a global marketplace; the local music infrastructure would be weakened, supported only by the indie genre and poorly shot rap videos on MuchMusic; and we'd be forced to support a hockey team as fragile as the vascular plant it was named after. Only the 6ix God, a master of all six boroughs, could bring light once more to The 6.
And he would. Through his seven-year reign his success would bring for Toronto a bevy of gifts. A renewed if not still mediocre basketball team rising to great heights despite the inability to maintain a lead for an entire game. Where local tourism has risen along with motorist accidents as privileged rich teens and cyclists careen into cars while Snapchatting about "views" of relatively boring local landmarks. More importantly, the brand he worked tirelessly to mould would become something to study and his endorsements of an entire city has now become worth upwards of three billion dollars worth in ad revenue. But when the world needed him most, he vanished.
A hundred days passed and my peers and I discovered a new prophecy, a horrid one that spells out the end of days for our structurally and emotionally fragile city. And although our best days are behind us we have a lot to try to learn before we're ready to exist without Mr. Graham. But I believe we're doomed.
Toronto rap's fortification under Drake is the last roadblock in the way of Kevin Drew, Supreme Commander of the shadowy paramilitary organization CANCON, who finally sees his chance to retake the city. Drew and his elite task force of indie rockers, including the rest of Broken Social Scene, Metric and Arcade Fire, begin the Indie Instrumentality Project. With their guitar effects pedals and expensive synthesizers, as well as the impenetrable barrier of Canadian faux-humility, Drew's master plan to monopolize the local music scene is put into motion. Eventually, all of Toronto's music will become one genre: Sad White Person Rock.
The 6ix God's beloved basketball team the Toronto Raptors are not immune to his disappearance. The Raptors move quickly and appoint CBC host, Shad, as the team's new ambassador and introduce Shad Night, where they face the worst team in the league, the Philadelphia 76ers. Free t-shirts with the CBC emblem—a bittersweet grab for publicly funded dollars— are given out but catastrophe hits when recently max contracted DeMar DeRozan flails on the court; his free-throw shots hit Dwane Casey, incapacitating him. The Raptors, ruined, change their team name to the Toronto Participation Ribbons. They are just happy to be included at all at this point.
Toronto social media pariah and now IRL Twitter egg, Norm Kelly is the only one immune to the 6ix's great fall. Devoid of non-residential tastemakers and aimless local celebrities, he becomes the new symbol of all that is and possibly was Toronto: unspectacular and non-unique. The very embodiment of "We The Norm."
Before his departure, 6ix God leaves behind an edict split onto two stone monuments. One in a shrine located inside the CN Tower, the other at 40s Fort York condo. Through state of the art twitter password: "Seven days without love makes one weak , researchers unlock a sequence of seals. Revealing the OVO clan's secret passages:
"Cock up yuh bumper, Siddown pon it"
"Tek buddy gal, yuh think me easy?
Who you ramp wid? Yuh wha live easy
Tek me things and yuh tek me money too
So tek buddy too, *oomph* tek buddy too"
Without the 6ix God as ambassador and translator of Caribbean and African cultures, local government—long out of touch with the people of their respective wards—fall into disarray trying to parse the meaning behind his final words. Civil war then breaks out between the parties, causing irreparable physical and financial damage to the communities they stole tax dollars and office potluck ideas from.
The absence of Drake means that the once-mighty rap industry crumbles to dust. Responsible for 90 percent of all of rap's streaming sales, Drake's disappearance results in the sudden implosion of Apple Music, crippling music studios and streaming services worldwide. Attempting to unite the hypebeasts and club kids under one banner, Drake's archrival Tory Lanez inherits the title of 6 God.
Alas, his rule proves ineffectual as his policies and ideas differ wildly from one another because he's never had a style of his own. Unable to solidify his hold on Toronto, Lanez allows legions of Toronto rappers to mutate into uninspired Owl Clones, otherwise known as "Hooters", capable only of expressing themselves through Autotune and slow, groaning R&B samples.
So strikes the final nail in the country's coffin. OVO Fest, the 6ix God's pride and joy, is terminated forever. Without the city's singular means of commerce and tourism—yes, including TIFF—musicians and celebrities refuse to enter the city. Canada is forcibly ejected from the United Nations for contributing nothing to global society, and the fallout is henceforth known as #DREXIT.
Not even The Weeknd, local hot dad Justin Trudeau, or co-signs from out of touch stat reports and lifestyle and fashion magazines about Toronto can help our now isolated country. Fading into the snowy igloo wasteland that makes up the rest of Canada, Torontonians are forced to formally and permanently adopt stereotypes given to them by their American neighbours.
And at the end of days, what's left?
Former Mayor Mel Lastman, 2021 A.D. (After Drake)
(Former Mayor Lastman did not actually contribute to this.)
Illustrations by Ben Ruby and Jane Kim