There are all kinds of eccentric town names out there, and then there’s Saint Louis du Ha! Ha!. Yes, you read it right – a town with not one, but two exclamation marks in its name!
The good folks in this Quebec community have successfully made the rest of the towns in Canada (and the world) seem distinctly under-enthusiastic in comparison.
This town has landed in the Guinness World Records as the only place on Earth rocking two exclamation marks in its name.
Now, you might wonder, as many have before, “Where on Earth did this name come from?”
Well, according to the town’s website, there are a few theories out there.
Legend has it that early explorers, perched high above the picturesque Lake Témiscouata, couldn’t contain their excitement and cried out, “Ah! Ah! Here is the lake!” (Pardon their lack of originality, it was a different era.)
Another theory suggests that weary travelers, having endured a grueling 35-mile hike through a treacherous forest trail known as the “Portage Trail,” exclaimed “Ha! Ha!” in sheer relief at the sight of Lake Témiscouata.
Clearly, they felt the exclamation marks were necessary to capture the vibe.
But, the Quebec Toponymy Commission has a different explanation altogether.
“Le haha” is an old French term for a dead end or an abrupt obstacle, according to the commission.
Just 8 kilometers east of town, Lake Témiscouata takes a dramatic curve to the northeast, forming a delightful little bay.
Back in the day, this was an 80-kilometer portage – a true cul-de-sac – that prevented canoe travel.
To overcome this, they had to establish the territory of Saint Louis du Ha! Ha!, quite literally the town at the end of the road.
So, the next time you’re looking for a unique place to visit, remember Saint Louis du Ha! Ha! – where excitement is always two exclamation marks away!