From the majestic mountains and turquoise lakes in Alberta and the sailboats and lighthouses in the Maritimes to the vast, open landscapes in the Northwest Territories and everything else in between, Canada is a diverse country, to say the least. Founded in 1867, the country is made up of ten provinces as well as three territories, each with their own unique landscapes, traditions, and aspects. Canada first became recognized as a country on the 1st of July over 200 years ago and ever since then, this day has been known as Canada Day, a national day created to celebrate the birth of our amazing country. While there are many beautiful and interesting places to visit in Canada, there are also some downright strange and unique places waiting to be explored. In commemoration of the upcoming holiday, I’ve put together this list of places found throughout Canada that are worth putting on your bucket list, not because of their stunning views or abundance of activities, but because of how outrageous and hilarious the town names are. From being named after a dangerous and cancerous chemical to sharing their name with a popular hamburger condiment, these are the Canadian cities and towns with the strangest names in the country.
Saint-Louis-Du-Ha!-Ha! | Quebec
Founded in the 1800’s and home to about 1,300 residents today, this Quebec town not only has one of the strangest names in the country, it is also the only town in the world to have not one but two exclamation points in it’s name. Though it is quite uncertain of why the exclamation points were added to the name, it is believed that the ‘ha-ha’ portion is derived from the French word referring to obstacles or the unexpected ending of a path. It is also thought that the lake Témiscouata is the obstruction that is referenced and that the Louis part of the name is in honor of one of the town’s founders.
Swastika | Ontario
With a name as outrageous as Swastika, this small community town has long been thought to have been named after the highly offensive symbol that was used by the Nazis during World War 2. While this may be the first thought of many who come across this town, it was actually named after the Swastika Gold Mine in 1908. This gold mine was the heart and soul of the town, with many of the citizens being employees of these mines and so the town adopted the name Swastika in honor of this place. Life went on undisturbed until the war, when the provincial government made an offer to the townspeople to change their name to Winston, as an ode to Winston Churchill and to lose the offensive name. For many looking in from the outside, this seemed like the perfect opportunity for the town to adopt a new moniker, but the citizens wouldn’t budge. They consistently insisted that they shouldn’t change the name as it was given to the town long before it was adopted as a Nazi symbol and therefore the name has stuck after all of these years.
Dildo | Newfoundland
A town that often finds itself amongst the weirdest named towns in the world, is that of Dildo in the Maritime region of Newfoundland. Known for being a peaceful and relaxing place to visit, it is also said to be the perfect place to go and retire if you’re able to get past the town’s raunchy name. Though it is uncertain as to how the town came to have such a silly name, it is believed that the name possibly came from Captain Cook, an infamous explorer. While we associate the word ‘dildo’ with a sex toy, back in the 18th century the word was actually used to describe any kind of cylindrical object found on a ship. Though it may incite a few chuckles and laughs, the 1,200 residents of the town, known as ‘dildoians’ don’t seem to mind the outrageous name as there have never been any efforts made to change it.
Eyebrow | Saskatchewan
This tiny village in Saskatchewan is one of the many places in the province that have eyebrow raising names. The town of Eyebrow joins the ranks with other Saskatchewan towns such as Climax and Fertile. This particular town’s name is derived from the eyebrow shaped hill found towering above the town and the lake below as it was such a prominent part of the town’s city line. The citizens of Eyebrow don’t seem to mind the peculiar name, and have rather decided to embrace it.
Cereal | Alberta
Located in the heart of central Alberta and home to less than 150 people, you will find the tiny, village of Cereal, Alberta. While you may be thinking that this place got it’s name from its citizens’ love of Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms, the name actually comes from something as simple as a post office. The post office in question was opened in 1910 in the village and had gotten itself the name Cereal due to the fields of grain that could be found surrounding the town.
Asbestos | Quebec
Used primarily in fire-resistant and insulating materials, asbestos causes the death of 15,000 people a year in North America. This naturally occurring material has long been known to cause a multitude of serious health problems ranging from lung cancer to enlargement of the heart. This dangerous material was once the focal point of the town of Asbestos for over 120 years, when mining began on the asbestos deposits. Since 1899 the mine was a huge part of the town, with the town itself even being named after these mines, until it was indefinitely shut down as soon as the health hazards of asbestos were discovered. Once the mines were shut down, there was a two kilometer wide crater left behind. Today this crater is open for tourists to visit and is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world.
Bacon Cove | Newfoundland
Another tiny, little village with a funny name, this one is that of Bacon Cove in Newfoundland. This town is home to about 130 people and has a name that would make anyone’s mouth water. This rocky and lush cove is a fishing and farming settlement and joins the list of other villages and towns named after delicious food. While the origins of how this town even ended up with this name, are unknown, it has made the town a well-known tourist destination for those wanting to see the place named after the mouth-watering breakfast food.
Mayo | Quebec
Founded in 1894 in the west of Quebec, the town of Mayo tends to make people think of mayonnaise, the popular egg-based condiment. This town was first settled in the 19th century by Irish and German immigrants. The rolling hills and rocky terrain of the area, attracted and pleased the Irish especially, who felt that the surroundings reminded them of Ireland. Due to this, the settlers decided to name the town after their own hometown of County Mayo, back in Ireland. With time and with the invention of the condiment, the town is more often associated today with mayonnaise rather than it’s landscapes that made the Irish fall in love with the place.
Happy Adventure | Newfoundland
In case you haven’t noticed it so far, there seems to be a lot of strangely named places found in Newfoundland as we have yet another one right here in Happy Adventure. Probably one of the most optimistically named places in the country, Happy Adventure is a little coastal town located in Newfoundland. This fishing village is home to about 200 happy people who take pride in their town’s smile-inducing name. While the exact origin of the name is not known, there are several theories as to how the name came to be. The first theory being that the early settlers found the area so welcoming that they named it Happy Adventure. The other popular theory has a bit of a more darker backstory with many believing that the name originated from a pirate ship bearing the same name, who used to sail the waters near the town.
Stoner | British Columbia
With a name like Stoner, it’s easy to see why this British Columbia town is often thought to be quite the marijuana-friendly place to live. The name of this town elicits even more laughs and giggles now that Canada legalized marijuana last year. Weed references aside though, the Central BC town is actually named after Stone Creek and has nothing to do with the province’s famous marijuana. Believe it or not, Stoner is also quite the family-friendly place to live with the vast majority of the residents being families with young children.