Thursday, December 01, 2005

VICTORIA - A PRIM AND PROPER PLACE?


A wee peek at unusual street names in out-of-the-way places - Part 1

By Ovid Publius Hadweenzic, Ph.D., a professor of paltry pedantry with an eye for the unusual, a nose for notabene news, and a discerning tongue for tasting tidbits of titillating trifles.

Victoria, (located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island), is the capital city of Canada’s westernmost province, British Columbia.

If puttering about in old colonial outposts is your thing, then this is a rather splendid place to try out being King or Queen for a day. Riding in a horse-drawn carriage when all the little lights are turned on at the grand Empress Hotel and the Legislative Buildings downtown also helps.

But, if you’re looking for something slightly more stimulating on your cerebellum, grab a map of the Greater Victoria Area and enjoy a saucy scavenger hunt for unusual street names. It has been said that labels on roadways often reveal the multiple personalities of a place, (which is handy to know when deciding whether to wave or not as they roll out the red carpet).

As you might expect, Victoria is a tourist trap, replete with a big bug zoo, a wax museum, a maritime museum, a royal museum of BC history, and an ode to aviation not to mention far too many gnomes and blooming gardens.

If truth be told, it’s not hard to find street names that fit the regal air of the town. The all too familiar Duchess Ave., Empress Ave., and Imperial Dr., along with some noble names of princes, kings, and queens, and a few byways that pay homage to such noteworthy fellows as Chaucer, Lord Nelson, Shakespeare, Tennyson …and one poor chap named “Bob”.

There are however some rather marvellous monikers adorning the street signs of this quaint queendom including: Acemink Rd., Betula Pl., Bitterroot Pl., Blenkinsop Rd., Bunker Rd., Cecil Blogg Dr., Clawthorpe Ave., Clutesi St., Clatworthy Ave., Cockle Ln., Damelart Way, Dundrum Rd., Dunsterville Ave., Faithful St., Garbally Rd., Glamorgan Rd., Glenidle Rd., Gorge Rd., Hamiota St., Heilwet Ln., Herbate Rd., Humpback Rd., Inskip Rd., Isbister St., Jackladder Ln., Kangaroo Rd., Kislingbury Ln., Kitwanga Pl., Kremlin St., McAdoo Pl., Maud St., Matterhorn Dr., Nitnat Rd., Oldcorn Pl., Oliphant Ave., Pattmatt Pl., Pendergast St., Pentrelew Pl, Petworth Dr., Pimlott Pl., Puckle Rd., Roberlack Rd., Saddleback Rd., Sitkum Rd., Spilsbury Pl., Stapler Rd., Teanook Lake Rd., Telegraph Bay Rd., Theh Le Lum Lane, Timberdoodle Rd.,** Turgoose Pl., Whiffin Spit Rd.,** and Wooton Rd.

Some thoroughfare titles tend to thwack one on the head. Often they leave an indelible impression about what might have transpired there after the sun went down such as: Deal St., Deception Pl., Fan Tan Alley, Fell St., Flatman Ave., Flesh Rd., Foul Bay Rd., Gore St., Hackamore Dr., Kispiox Pl., Kittiwake Pl., Knockan Dr., Long Gun Pl., Maxine Ln., Moody Cr., Pelter Pl., Possession Point Rd., Pistol Range Rd., Purdy’s Burn Pl., Reno St., Repulse St., Ripon Rd., Serpentine Rd., Sharples Rd., Shiner Pl., Shotbolt Rd., Skinner St., Slugget Ave., Smuggler’s Cove Rd., Strange St., Tattersall Dr., Taurus Dr., Trounce Alley, Welch Rd., Zapata Pl., and Zealous Cr.

For those who adore larger-than-life, quirky characters or surreal spots, there are so many hilarious handles to choose from such as: Amwell Dr., Brigadoon Pl., Chatwell Dr., Christmas Ave., Dingly Dell, Ethos Pl., Falstaff Pl., Guinevere Pl., Happy Valley Rd., Harlequin Pl., Hipwood Ln., Houlihan Pl., Idlemore Rd., Jolly Pl., Kipling St., Knute St., Lancelot Pl., Nimmo Rd., Nob Hill Rd., Pandora Ave., La Bonne Rd., Lotus St., Penzance Rd., Quixote Pl., Quiver Pl., Pim Head Rd., Putter Pl., Resthaven Dr., Serenity Pl., Shady Lane Pl., Spooner Way, Stag Rd., Speed Ave., Sweet Chestnut Rd., Tiara Cl., Tillicum Rd., Tiswilde Rd., Watkiss Way, Win Way, Wiseton St., Wishart Rd., Witty Beach Rd., and Yeti Ter.

So the next time you're out and about town, take a wee peek at the signposts...great clues to the mixed-up personality of places that people call "home sweet home". You may even be surprised to learn that Victoria is a melting pot of friendly witches, a few sagacity-conscious folks who're into all aspects of kink, fetish and alternative lifestyles, and fancy footwork types who do a sultry schottis, a torrid tango, and a very wild waltz when no one's looking!

__________

**Note: After a deluge of emails from irate residents of serene spot named "Sooke", (which incidentally technically lies on the outskirts of B.C.'s capital city ...well way way down a peninsula to be exact), I must confess that "Whiffen Spit Rd." and "Timberdoodle Rd." are only tangentially part of this ripsnorting repository of road and street names covering the Greater Victoria area.

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