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Joe Shuster was the co-creator and original artist of Superman. Shuster was born and raised in Toronto, where he was a paper boy for The Toronto Star. (For those of you who know Toronto well, he lived in and around Kensington Market.)

In the original version Superman's mild-mannered alter ego, Clark Kent, worked for The Daily Star, which was patterned after The Toronto Star. The newspaper's name in the strip was changed later to The Daily Planet.

(Source)

To clarify the preceding passage, I should add that The Toronto Star  was The Toronto Daily Star  when Shuster was growing up.

Superman co-creator Joe Shuster modeled the look of Metropolis after his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada (though Metropolis was never depicted as a Canadian city).

(Source)

Other than the Daily Planet, are there any other specific Toronto landmarks that are seen or referenced, either in name or appearance, within Metropolis in the comics?

  • This question is somewhat complicated by the fact that Metropolis is supposed to be a Midwestern city, but bears the most resemblance to New York City. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Jul 10 '15 at 3:07
  • @WadCheber : I'm just interested in any specific Toronto references --- street names, buildings, parks, other landmarks, etc. Anything that is distinctly "Toronto" that has appeared in Metropolis (even if Metropolis has, in the large, become New York). :-) – Praxis Jul 10 '15 at 3:09
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    @WadCheber : All of that could be an answer --- sometimes the answers we don't want to hear are the best ones. :-) – Praxis Jul 10 '15 at 3:40
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    @WadCheber I'm pretty sure that Metropolis being in the Midwest is more or less unique to Smallville. It is usually depicted as being vaguely on the Northern East Coast, sometimes adjacent to New York and/or Gotham. – Politank-Z Jul 10 '15 at 14:41
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TL;DR: Not much.


Metropolis was modeled on Toronto and Cleveland, but bears little resemblance to either. In fact, Shuster's Metropolis looks like no city on earth - it is just a vague art-deco shape in the background.

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Shuster did talk about Toronto:

“Cleveland was not nearly as metropolitan as Toronto was, and it was not as big or as beautiful. Whatever buildings I saw in Toronto remained in my mind and came out in the form of Metropolis. As I realized later on, Toronto is a much more beautiful city than Cleveland ever was.” Pausing for a moment, Shuster chuckles and adds, “I guess I don’t have to worry about saying that now.”

But compare his drawings to the actual cities of Cleveland and Toronto at that time:

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Cleveland in the 1930's

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Toronto in the 1930's

And you'd be hard pressed to see any similarities to Shuster's Metropolis.

The one clear connection to Toronto was quickly retconned out of the story, when the "Daily Star" (named after the Toronto Daily Star) became the "Daily Planet".

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The Toronto Daily Star

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The Daily Star

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First appearance of The Daily Planet, in a February 26, 1942 Fleischer Superman short

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First comic book appearance of The Daily Planet, Superman #19, 1942

  • Nice work, Wad! Thanks for giving this your attention. I see no reason not to accept this. Just a note: some of the early comic panels (such as the 4th one in your answer) show a skyline resembling very much what Toronto would have looked like at the time when Shuster was young, when the Royal York Hotel (once the tallest building in the British Empire) dominated the Toronto skyline. Add that in if you wish, but either way, consider your answer accepted. :-) – Praxis Jun 4 '16 at 23:33
  • Built in 1929, 5 years after Shuster left Toronto. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Jun 5 '16 at 1:44
  • I think the tall, skinny, pointy building in picture #4 might be modeled on Terminal Tower in Cleveland. – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Jun 5 '16 at 1:49
  • The Daily Planet building appears to be modeled on the Paramount Building in NYC – Wad Cheber stands with Monica Jun 5 '16 at 1:52
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    He didn't leave Toronto permanently after 1924. He had family there and visited frequently. The Royal York was constructed 10 years before Action Comics #1. – Praxis Jun 5 '16 at 3:24

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