Welcome back to another issue of The Iron Warrior and another edition of this really niche column, Canada’s Smallest Villages. Only the most avid of readers know that most of these small villages are either abandoned mining towns turned tourist attraction, current mining town that will eventually become abandoned, or just a small village at the end of a highway. Today’s small village is Punkeydoodles Corners, located in southwestern Ontario. This small unincorporated hamlet with a funky name is located in the Wilmot Township and is in our very own Waterloo regional municipality. Punkeydoodles Corners is located southwest of the University of Waterloo on Road 101A, only a 25 minute drive away from campus.
The origin of this silly name is disputed. One of the many claims is that there was a tavern and inn in the town in the late nineteenth century where the innkeeper and settler, John Zurbrucken, would serenade his guests with the song “Yankee Doodle” but it would sound more like “Punkey Doodle”. Another story is that Punkeydoodle is related to an old Victorian word meaning to fritter away time and was a nickname given to one lazy pumpkin farmer by his irritated wife. Punkeydoodle Corners sits on the corner of where the Oxford, Perth and Waterloo regions meet. Due to its humorous name, Punkeydoodle Corners was a frequent victim to sign theft, where signs would be stolen as quickly as they were put up. The township gave up on replacing the signs a few years ago. Now the town no longer appears on the Official Road Map of Ontario and is easy to miss when driving past. One of the most eventful moments in Punkeydoodles Corners history was when former Prime Minister Joe Clark visited in 1982 on Canada Day for the festivities. This event was so prominent in the history of Punkeydoodles Corners that the town erected a pillar in honour of Joe Clark’s participation in the 1982 Canada Day festivities. They even opened up a post office for one day to issue commemorative stamps.
This town now appears frequently on online lists of towns with humorous names and engineering newspaper columns on small towns. In the next issue, we will move further north in Quebec to learn more about the Inuit community of Ivujivik with a population of 370 as of 2011.