Somewhere along the road from Toronto to Boston, John Farrell became a bad guy to Canadians last year.

One critic mentioned this spring that the opinion is more of a Canadian habit than based on anything terrible Farrell did in his exit as Blue Jays manager to become the Red Sox boss.

Canadians don’t like it when anyone leaves Canada. It happens too often and those that stay have a complex about it, according to the one loyalist.

So tonight, when Farrell makes his return to Toronto for the first time after two losing seasons at the helm, he is going to hear, almost certainly, a great deal of booing whenever he pokes his head out of the dugout or goes to the mound to make a pitching change.

Farrell, well used to the topic after a couple of Blue Jays encounters this spring in Florida, at least is not going to be caught by surprise.

“In this case, with how things unfolded, the unique set of circumstances that surround both the change in Toronto and here in Boston, I can fully appreciate that they might have those feelings,” said Farrell. “What might come out of it, we’ll see starting (tonight).”

This spring, Colby Rasmus and Adam Lind each made disparaging remarks about Farrell and his brand of leadership in Toronto. The Jays front office asked players to keep a lid on it, and since then all has been quiet.

But back in October, when the Red Sox and Farrell consummated their mutual interest in re-uniting and a trade was forged that sent Mike Aviles to Toronto, there was mild outrage in the province of Ontario. Farrell was a traitor. Farrell never wanted to be here. Farrell this, Farrell that.

Lost in the uproar was that the Blue Jays never made a concerted effort to block Farrell from heading here. They understood he wanted to go back and based on the results he had — 154-170 — in two seasons, they did not have a compelling reason to keep a manager who did not want to be there and who had not presented a compelling case to be re-hired.

The issue was defused to a large extent once the Blue Jays began a series of franchise-altering trades and free agent signings that turned the roster upside down and replaced it with a superstar-laden team that many feel should be penciled in for a postseason spot.