This post comes to you live from Thunder Bay, surely one of the coolest sounding places in Canada. It makes me think of superheroes, and who knows, maybe there’s a couple living here, battling evil forces blowing in over Lake Superior. As I make my way east to Ottawa, it reminded me of a story I wrote The Loop about places in Canada with odd or unusual names.
Standing tall and proud at the top of our list is the town of Dildo, located on the Dildo Arm of Trinity Bay, 60km west of St John’s. The fishing town, population 1200, dates back to the late 1700’s, and nobody is quite sure why the name was chosen.
Another town where the residents have resisted plans to change an undesirable name, Swastika was founded in 1908 in Northern Ontario. After WWII, when the government tried to change the name to Winston, residents would pull down the new sign names.
Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, QC
Don’t laugh at this festive Quebecois parish. The Ha Ha! is based on an archaic French word for something that comes to an abrupt end, in this case, the nearby Lake Témiscouata. The exclamation does add a certain je ne sais quoi.
Uranium City, SK
Flying cars, caped superheroes, laser guns – all images conjured by the name of this settlement in northern Saskatchewan. When its 52 mines were booming, it almost qualified for full city status, but hard times and a disappearing population (from 5000 to 200) have resulted in a sparse provincial outpost.
Ecum Secum, NS
Great name for a town, better name for an indie rock band.
On the subject of music, the vibrant community of Mushaboom seems like a great place to relax, and enjoy Friday night Bingo. The town must have made an impression on Juno-award winning artist Feist, who wrote a song about it.
What are the chances that a small lakeside community, famous for its role during the Cariboo Gold Rush of 1859, would make this list? I’d say it’s Likely.
Named in 1915 after the Roman God of Fire, the town has taken advantage of its Star Trek connections to become a Trekkie tourism hotspot, complete with a Star Trek museum and pedestal-mounted starship replica Live long and prosper.
There’s an 80’s song by the band Six Cylinder that sings, with irony: “If you haven’t been to Spuzzum, you haven’t been anywhere.” This small settlement on the Trans-Canada Highway is located north of the town of Hope. The local joke: It’s beyond Hope.
Did you know The Great Canadian Bucket List has been the number one selling travel book, guidebook, travel tips books, and tourism and museums book on Amazon.ca? Nothing weird about that!
See you on the road,