Newfoundland has been isolated on so many levels, even after joining Canada in 1949. So the quaint names of small towns has largely been ignored outside the province. The New York Times had a bit of fun with the tiny village of Dildo, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Dildo is on the east coast of Trinity Bay about 60 kilometres west of St. John's. The fishing village has about 1,200 people. You can take Route 2 out of downtown St. John's until you hit the Trans-Canada Highway and head west. Once you hit the Route 80/Trinity Road and Route 81 interchange, you drive north on Route 80.
You go through South Dildo to get to Dildo. The article highlights other unusual names such as Come By Chance, Spread Eagle Island, and Ass Rock, though somehow left out South Dildo.
The article mentions the annual celebration of Dildo Days, this year from July 27-31.
The source of the names of some of these villages might be more innocent. The article notes locals have several theories, including an archaic term for nautical gear. There is likely a tongue in cheek element to some of the names, but the names were given in long ago times in a land that is truly remote.
In my travels in Newfoundland, I didn't get anywhere near Dildo. I did make it to Witless Bay, which could spark laughter more than giggling. Then again, I lived over 2 years a couple of miles from Climax, Michigan, so I know where some of those jokes can go.
This story was a lot more fun than the last time I noted coverage of Newfoundland in The New York Times. The newspaper ran a story from Swedish travel writer Karl Ove Knausgaard that focused on obesity in far northern Newfoundland. While St. John's is as far east as the province and the continent goes, much of Newfoundland lies to the north and west of St. John's and Dildo.
I was in St. John's and the surrounding area in the middle of summer and didn't notice any particular leaning toward obesity. I did learn that the climate and soil make growing fruits and vegetables more difficult and that doesn't help the cause.
Newfoundland is a beautiful area full of quaint villages with very friendly people. Just try not to laugh too much at the names as you enter the village limits.
map credit: Google