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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Got your Giambroney?

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UPDATE: There is blogger controversy on the origins of the Giambroney. Check out the comments section, and this Torontoist post.

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In honour of the newly unveiled TTC token, a transit rider has come up with a new name for the token.

Alexandra Dodger, a McMaster University grad student, called it the Giambroney. Along the same lines as the Canadian Loonie and the Twonie, the Giambroney is now being called Canada’s most valuable coin currency. She has created a group called “I call my new TTC tokens Giambroneys!” on the popular online network Facebook. The group has attracted a total of 157 members, many not even from Toronto.

She says the idea started over beers New Year’s Eve when the group of friends were in a discussion about the TTC, the new tokens and of course, Adam Giambrone. “We sent an invite [for Facebook] to the TTC, but they didn’t respond.”
The real Adam Giambrone, TTC chair and Ward 18 councillor, thinks this whole thing is funny. “I’m taking it mostly as a compliment.”

Some have already found a way to shorten the name by simply calling the tokens “bronies.” Although Giambrone is not a member of Facebook himself, and therefore has not been able to see what the group has been saying about him and the token, he still thinks “it’s fun, people need a way to express themselves, people have experiences on the TTC everyday.”

The real Giambrone may not want to admit it but “I think somewhere deep down, he really likes it,” said Dodger.



  1. Shurely I am not the only one who noticed: Giambrone and Queen Eliz. II?

    How do they put it at Eye magazine: “Separated at birth”?

    paste this into your browser:

  2. Wow I acnt believe this idea was hatched after beers on New Years Eve.

  3. The first time I heard of this term for the tokens was on December 6, a link which Alexandra posted on her Facebook on the 10th, so those New Year’s beers must have been a little hard on the memory.

  4. Not to put a damper on Dodger, but Torontoist coined the name “Giamborneys” in a news roundup by Karen Whaley on December 6, 2006:

    And the plot somewhat thickens:

    If you look in that Facebook Group (, it was started in early December, after our round-up (and before New Year’s Eve). The first thread in the Group was posted on December 10, and in that thread, she gave credit to Torontoist for coining the idea.

    The topic of the thread was “Torontoist suggest tokens be called “Giambronies” [sic].

    Dodger wrote: “In their news roundup (“It’s Raining Men Of The Year, Can I Borrow A Couple Giambronies?, $105 Fine For Snow Shovel Slacking”), Torontoist writes about Mayor Miller appointing Adam Giambrone to his inner circle, and promoting him to chair of the TTC:
    “Adam did not rule out the idea of a fare increase in 2007, nor the proposal to call the new anti-counterfeit tokens giambronies.”

    Just sayin’.

  5. I call shenanigans on Alexandra Dodger… or should I say, the “Artless Dodger.”

  6. They should call them “what a waste of money get us a smart card system ies”.

  7. Did Torontoist also call their lawyers? This is over a facebook group right … or is their something more consequential I’m missing? It appears in the comment above that the person who started the group even acknowledged or origin of the name, though I can’t tell as I’m not a Facebook member. Get over yourselves!

  8. If we’re going about naming things after politicians, then that pizza gold coin at the Mint should be called a “Miller toonie”.

    I dislike affixing active politicians names to anything (like the school boards posting the trustees names on schools and leaving them up during elections) and thus I think that Mr. Giambrone should not have his name on the metropass (check the back – at least they fixed it from Moscoe given that passes are printed a few months ahead)

  9. In all the discussion I still don’t see a reason for why Giambrone should get money named after him. What has he done to deserve this ostensible honour?

  10. David > An idea is an idea, but this article is about her Facebook group. She never claimed it was her idea alone, just that the group was. It may not be perfectly clear in this story, but she does not seem to be taking full credit for the name, especially since she refers to it in her Facebook group.

    Secondly, this is nothing like the Pitfield election mess-up with Spacing. Debating the origins of who named it a Giambroney first is not in the same category as plagiarism. You have a case that Torontoist came up with the idea first, but it is not YOUR property nor can it be copyrighted. As Jim said, get over yourselves.

    Smitty & Mark > Naming it the “Giambroney” is only done because he’s the Chair and the name sounds good along the lines of a Twoonie and Loonie. I don’t think there is anything more to than that. I don’t think anywhere in this post (or int he facebook group) does it indicate that he DESERVES the token be named after him.

    I have to say, most discussions on the Wire are great, but this was a quick, cute story that has gotten weird pretty fast because of a few bruised egos.

  11. Giambronie’s, tokens, twoonie lookalikes, doesn’t matter. Once the GTAA gets going, we’ll have “smart cards.” (i guess its still years away though)

    On a related note, Montreal will have smart cards next year. (an article from the Montreal Gazette)

  12. Never heard of anyone referring to the tokens by that name. Have no clue why anyone would want to honour this guy in such a way. It is really sad