Sometimes a place just sounds impressive. An archipelago at the southern tip of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile, is known as Tierra del Fuego – the Land of Fire. The Sahara, the world’s largest ‘hot’ desert, a place where dunes – and their secrets – stretch out into the horizon, as far as the eye can see, gets its name from the Arabic word for desert. The Rocky Mountains, which run from British Columbia and Alberta down to the southwestern USA, are rocky, and they are indeed mountains.
These places sound impressive before even glimpsing them, simply by virtue of their names. There are places like these throughout the world, with names that inspire a mixture of awe and curiosity. Punkeydoodles Corners is one such place.
Good evening (yes, I believe this article is ideal for evening-time reading), and welcome to the WRX Property Group website and blog. It is with tremendous pride – and more than a little trepidation – that WRX Property Group unveils our analysis of: Punkeydoodles Corners.
Where Is Punkeydoodles Corners?
Punkeydoodles is the point where time and space collapse and merge with each other, forming a single point of extremely concentrated matter. Wait, that’s a black hole – Punkeydoodles Corners is actually a place at the extreme western edge of the Waterloo Region, southwest of New Hamburg.
What’s in a Name?
If there were only one reason that Punkeydoodles Corners was noteworthy, it would be its name. But there are, in fact, three things (by my estimation) that make it such a noteworthy little place. We’ll get to the other two reasons shortly. For now, let’s bathe in the splendour that is Punkeydoodles Corners name.
Where does such a name come from? What bright-eyed bard proudly penned ‘Punkeydoodles Corners?’ Well, as with many place names, there are a few competing ideas as to its origin. Here are the two most commonly-told tales pertaining to Punkeydoodles Corners coming into being.
Punkeydoodles Went to Town
The first tale involves a local tavern and inn in the mid nineteenth-century. John Zurbrucken, the innkeeper, was a big fan of the song “Yankee Doodle” (who isn’t?). Almost every day, John would go about his duties, giddily singing “Yankee Doodle dandy” as tavern patrons and inn guests watched and listened. However, English was not John Zurbrucken’s first-language, and as such, “Yankee Doodle” came out more like… You guessed it: “Punkeydoodles.”
The second tale moves away from the tavern, and into the farmland nearby, where a farmer lived with his wife. Evidently the farmer’s wife was something of a wordsmith. She believed, for example, that ‘punkeydoodle’ was a word used in Victorian nursery rhymes, meaning “lazing about” or “fooling around.” So when her husband, a lazy old man, decided they should only grow pumpkins, and he started lounging about rather than tending to said pumpkins, she started calling him an old ‘punkeydoodle.’
Punkeydoodles Has Cornered the Market on Names
You can take your pick of which tale is more likely; there’s something special about both of them. However, we still haven’t covered the ‘Corners’ in Punkeydoodles Corners. That part of the name is actually quite simple: firstly, several roads converge here (the community actually grew up around an inn built over a century ago). Secondly, Punkeydoodles Corners literally stands at the corner of three counties. And that just so happens to be the second notable thing about Punkeydoodles Corners.
A Tale of Three Counties
Speaking specifically, Punkeydoodles Corners is an ‘unincorporated hamlet’ (“to incorporate or not to incorporate, that is the question”) in the Township of Wilmot. It stands in the extreme southwest corner of the Regional Municipality of Waterloo (essentially a county, but larger and with more responsibilities).
The other two counties that Punkeydoodles Corners straddles are Perth County to the west, and Oxford County to the south. Punkeydoodles Corners cannot be contained by one county – it needs three. Portions of Punkeydoodles Corners fall into the Township of Perth East (Perth County), the Township of East Zorra-Tavistock (Oxford County), and the Township of Wilmot (Waterloo Region). And as the old Puneydoodle saying goes, “More Townships mean more friendships.”
Future Prime Minister Joe Clark was born in 1939, in High River, Alberta (to this day, one of only two Prime Ministers born west of Ontario). He would go on to study Political Science (earning a Master’s degree), after which he worked as a journalist, and eventually entered federal politics. Joe Clark became the Right Honourable Joe Clark (Prime Minister) on June 4th, 1979. He led a Minority Government for 9 months, after which he was defeated by Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
Though he soon lost leadership of the Conservative Party to Brian Mulroney, Clark remained a prominent party member, active in a wide range of issues. Joe Clark served in many distinguished roles; he’s received numerous awards and recognitions, including appointment to the Order of Canada; and he remains the youngest person to have become Prime Minister (he was 39 when entering office, whereas Justin Trudeau was 43).
All of that is quite admirable, but what is perhaps Joe Clark’s highest achievement, his greatest honour, took place on July 1st, 1982. It was on this day, Canada Day, that Joe Clark descended upon Punkeydoodles Corners, no doubt accompanied by glorious lights, revelry, and a pervasive, palpable sense of joy (though it’s not clear if he was riding a pony, or if he had a feather in his cap called macaroni).
On this day, as Joe Clark presided over Canada Day festivities, Punkeydoodles Corners was no longer just a place, it was the place. A temporary post office was even set up to issue commemorative stamps. Verily, a splendid time was had by all. To this day, a tall, stone pillar stands in Punkeydoodles Corners, adorned with the words ‘Canada’s Birthday 1982,’ so that none might forget the day Joe Clark came ‘round the bend to Punkeydoodles Corners.
Is This a Sign?
There are still some who call Punkeydoodles Corners home. But for many, it’s just an anonymous junction of roads passed through along the way to somewhere else. The problem is that too many people are mesmerized by the name – Punkeydoodles Corners – and decide that stealing the sign is a good idea. Indeed, the Township of Wilmot has gone through so many Punkeydoodles Corners signs – putting new ones up only to have them stolen once more – that they’ve stopped replacing them.
Punkeydoodles Corners is a unique little place indeed. It’s most famous for its name, naturally, but when you look a little closer, you can see that it has its own story to tell, as do the people who’ve lived here over the years. So perhaps the next time you’re travelling up Oxford Road 5, and you pass a multi-street junction (as well as the several homes off of Punkeydoodles Avenue), you’ll know just how dandy a place Punkeydoodles Corners really is.
Written by Will Kummer