Useful Notes: Toledo, Ohio

Toledo is the fourth most populous city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Lucas County. Toledo is in northwest Ohio, on the western end of Lake Erie, and borders the state of Michigan to the north. The city was founded in 1833 on the west bank of the Maumee River and originally incorporated as part of Monroe County, Michigan Territory, then re-founded in 1837 after conclusion of the Toledo Warnote  at which time it was incorporated in Ohio. Toledo grew quickly as a result of the Miami and Erie Canal and its position on the railway line between New York and Chicago.

While having taken a sizable hit in the collapse of the auto industry along with the nearby cities of Detroit and Cleveland, it has still become a city well known for its industry, particularly in glass (giving it its nickname of the Glass City) and auto assembly, as well as for its art community, education, and local sports teams. It also prides itself on the Toledo Zoo, which is touted as being one of the top ten in the nation.

In fiction, the city is a favorite to mean a not-really-significant-place. Even its residents aren't immune to this. Once a tourism campaign for the city ("Toledo" as in things to do), was turned into a Simpsons reference of "D'oh!" instead of "Do".

Works set in or citing Toledo, Ohio

  • In Michael Moore's breakthrough film, Roger And Me, Moore and his film crew impersonate a film crew from Toledo. They film the last chassis to roll off the assembly line in one of Flint's most historic factories.
  • In Apocalypse Now, we learn that Willard is from Toledo during his first confrontation with Kurtz.
  • In the 1985 film of Brewsters Millions, it is mentioned that Brewster's highest-paying job was a year playing for the Toledo Mud Hens.

  • Half Magic is set in Toledo, which was author Edward Eager's childhood home

Live Action TV
  • Mash. Corporal Maxwell Q. Klinger is from Toledo, as is Jamie Farr, the actor who played him (Farr is actually from the Toledo suburb of Sylvania, which, interestingly, didn't suffer an electrical outage during the Great Blackout of 2003, which did cause a blackout in Toledo proper).
  • Melissa And Joey is set in Toledo, and Melissa is a councillor.
  • In an episode of Grey's Anatomy,"The Girl With No Name", Dr. Alex Karev goes to interview at a city in the middle of nowhere, and goes on to state that the city is Toledo.
  • The Drew Carey Show, set in Drew Carey's real hometown of Cleveland, makes several references to Toledo. A few notable examples include Mr. Wick being sent there by the Winfred Louder board for retraining, Mimi being rewarded for a good idea with a gift certificate that can only be used at their Toledo store (and only under some very specific conditions), and Drew's brother Steve attending a porcelain doll convention hosted by the city.

  • John Denver popularized the song "Saturday Night in Toledo, Ohio". It was written in 1967 when Randy Sparks and his group arrived in Toledo at 10 PM on a Saturday night, and found everything closed. Following a performance of the song on The Tonight Show, there was a large public outcry from Toledo residents. In response, the City Fathers recorded a song entitled "We're Strong For Toledo". Ultimately the controversy was such that John Denver cancelled a concert shortly thereafter, but when Denver returned for a 1980 concert, he set a one-show attendance record at the venue, Centennial Hall, and sang the song as well to the approval of the crowd.
    You ask how I know of Toledo, Ohio/Well, I spent a week there one day
  • In Kenny Rogers' "Lucille," the singer mentions being "[i]n a bar in Toledo, across from the depot."
  • "Our Song", on Yes' 90125 album mentions the city several times.
  • The Ray Stevens song "Erik the Awful", about a viking who will chase you to the ends of the Earth chases people through Toledo at one point in the song.

  • The old man in The Time of Your Life identified in the Dramatis Personae as "Kit Carson" (which may or may not be his name). Among his many stories is one about herding cattle on a bicycle in Toledo, Ohio in 1918, when a hurricane struck the town and left him floating northwest sitting on the roof of a house.

Video Games

Western Animation
  • The original Veggie Tales short "Where's God When I'm S-s-scared?" reveals that the actor playing FrankenCelery in a horror movie that scared Junior Asparagus is actually a pretty nice guy. His name is Phil Winklestein, and he`s from Toledo, Ohio.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: Marlene points out that a zoo inmate Skipper believes "disappeared under suspicious circumstances" was actually just transferred to Toledo.note 

"Holy Toledo!"

"Holy Toledo! Somebody had fun..."

We've all heard the phrase "Holy Toledo!" in fiction. It's an exclamation of surprise, but its origins are unknown. No one's even sure if it refers to Toledo, Ohio or Toledo, Spain. Locally it pops up often, and is unavoidable in local religion stories.

Famous people from Toledo

  • Anita Baker: R&B legend. Was born here though she was raised in Detroit.
  • Jamie Farr: actor Mash, as already mentioned above
  • Katie Holmes: actress, ex-wife of Tom Cruise—yes, the one he acted crazy about on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
  • Eugene F. "Gene" Kranz: retired NASA flight director who served during the Gemini & Apollo space programs, known for his role in the rescue of Apollo 13
  • P. J. O'Rourke: political satirist, journalist, writer
  • Allen Saunders: cartoonist, creator of Mary Worth and Steve Roper comic strips. (Many of his characters are named after Toledo Streets)
  • Bonnie Turner: Co-creator of That '70s Show and 3rd Rock from the Sun.
  • Adrianne Palicki: Actress, best known for Friday Night Lights and almost being Wonder Woman.
  • Daws Butler: Voice actor who voiced Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, and many other famed characters.