Friday 10 May 2024


 DISCLOSURE: This effort got started a short time ago, when we resolved that we should write a brief verse about a town in every state in the USA. Shortly after the project's inception, we decided that we would extend the purview simultaneously to include the provinces and territories of Canada. The Canadian inception, with seven fun-packed verses, is presented here. (Click THIS LINK if you want to see how the American branch of the project is going.)

Antigonish, NS
Deseronto, ON
Goose Bay (and Gander), NL
Grande Prairie, AB
La Tuque, QC
Red Deer, AB
Whistler, BC 
more to follow                   

Authors' Note: NS is the official abbreviation for the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, in which the town of Antigonish, population 4,700, is located on the shore of Northumberland Strait, a source of excellent local seafood.

Based on an aboriginal Mi'kmak name, the town was founded in 1784 by a land grant from the British crown. It is now the home of the annual Antigonish Highland Games, and of Sir Francis Xavier University, highly reputed on a national level for undergraduate teaching.

Authors' Note: ON is the official abbreviation for the Canadian province of Ontario, in which the village of Deseronto, population 1800, is situated 5 km (3 miles) south of Highway 401, a limited-access four-lane main route that leads from Toronto to Montreal.

Captain John Deseronto, a native Mohawk, fought in the British Military Forces during the American Revolutionary War. Until 1848, "Deseronto", a site along the northern shore of Lake Ontario, served as an indigenous reserve.

Incidentally, although many characters in American western movies said "Let's vamoose!", the Lone Ranger was better known for voicing, "Hi Yo Silver, away."

 Authors' Note: NL is the official abbreviation for the Canadian province comprised of the Atlantic island of Newfoundlandand Labrador — the sparsely populated section of mainland Canada that borders the Atlantic Ocean to its north.

Gander, population 12,000, located on the island north of the capital of St John's, had been founded in the 1930s as a refuelling stop for the expanding number of commercial transatlantic flights. It recently became famous as the recipient town for diverted passenger aircraft during the 9/11 debacle.

The town of Goose Bay, population 8,000, now administratively known as Happy Valley - Goose Bay, is the largest settlement in the icy northern portion of the province. Founded in 1941, it was selected for its potential as a military airbase, and served that function throughout World War Two.

A terse story about "dangerous": A recent novice visitor from France, flying overnight to Toronto, sleepily noted the key towns on the plane's route-map, and wondered why "Danger" was prominently displayed near the country's east coast.

Authors' Note: The above verse combines three disparate plot-elements: limericks about bar jokes, our verses on North America's postal places, and the approach of Hallowe'en.

If you want to know more about the Canadian province of Alberta, consult our verse on Red Deer, AB, or ask speedysnail, author of the OEDILFian poem Alberta.

Authors' Note:  QC is the official abbreviation for the Canadian province of Quebec, in which La Tuque, population 11,000, is situated beside the St-Maurice River, 170 km (105 miles) north of the Saint Lawrence. The town's iconically shaped low mountain, resulting in its name (Fr. tuque is a soft wool hat), was partly destroyed in construction of a hydro-electric installation 80 years ago.

In each of the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario, administrative rearrangements resulted in a handful of "cities" and "regional municipalities" with extensive areas that had low population densities, contrary to the usual expectation for urban centres. In this regard La Tuque heads up the pack, its central town surrounded by a vast forested area of 28,000 km2 giving it a population density of 0.4/km2, compared to Montreal, QC, and Quebec City, QC, with densities of 2,700 and 1,600/km2 respectively.

Authors' Note: AB is the official abbreviation for the Canadian province of Alberta, in which the city of Red Deer, population 100,000, is located mid-way between the province's two main cities of Calgary and Edmonton.

Prior to the arrival of European settlers, aboriginals had called a local stream "Elk River". European settlers renamed it as "Red Deer River" after the more familiar Eurasian species, and founded a village there in 1894, at a river crossing used by Fort Normandeau, a stockade stronghold in the Northwest Rebellion of 1885. The town of Red Deer expanded dramatically during the 1940s owing to the discovery of major Albertan oil and natural gas reserves.

Authors' Note: BC is the official abbreviation for the Canadian province of British Columbia in which the resort-municipality of Whistler, permanent population 14,000, is located. Two million tourists visit Whistler annually for winter alpine sports, and for the summer pastimes of hiking and mountain biking.

Prior to European settlement, the site was the shared territory of the Squamish and Lil'wat First Nations. Trappers and prospectors were gradually attracted, but completion of the Pacific Great Eastern Railway in 1914 provided easy access from Vancouver, and brought logging and escalating tourism. The resort-city is named for the call of the hoary marmot, a ground squirrel dwelling at high elevations. The Whistler-Blackcomb area served as a major venue for "Vancouver 2010", the twenty-first Olympic Winter Games.

You can read more about the hoary marmot in another of our verses by clicking HERE.

To resume daily titillations on our related blog 'Daily Illustrated Nonsense', click HERE. Once you arrive, you can select your time frame of interest from the calendar-based listings in the righthand margin, and check the daily offerings for any month in the years 2020 to the present. (As of September 2023, there are over 1200 unique entries available on the Daily blog, and most of these are also presented here on 'Edifying Nonsense' in topic-based collections.) The 'Daily' format has the advantage of including Giorgio's photo-collages, song-lyrics, some videos and other material that are not shown here on this topic-based blog.

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