Photo: Ville d'Asbestos/Facebook

The Quebec Town of Asbestos Is Voting on a New Name

Québec News
by Eben Diskin Sep 16, 2020

Unsurprisingly, the Canadian town of Asbestos is wanting to change its name. The Quebec town, curiously named after the deadly substance that had been mined there for many years, is now committing to changing its name. Although some residents felt the name hearkened back to the town’s past, and evoked its unique history, others were understandably less enthused.

The new name will be chosen from a list of four finalists, what was narrowed down from 1,000 suggestions. The name options include Phénix, after the bird reborn from its own ashes; Apalone, after a turtle species; Trois-Lacs, after a neighborhood in the town; and Jeffrey, the last name of the first person to mine asbestos in the town, William Henry Jeffrey.

All things considered, Jeffrey might be the best compromise between the traditionalists and those wanting change. It’s not exactly leaving behind the relationship with asbestos, but it’s also not showing those associations right in your face. In any other circumstance, naming your town Jeffrey wouldn’t be an enticing proposition, but compared to Asbestos the name sounds absolutely majestic.

There are 7,000 residents of the town, and those over the age of 14 are allowed to vote on the new name between October 14 and 18.

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