A thirty-five year old debate still wages in small town Ontario. In 1980, the residents of Slopsey’s Glen were determined to put their sleepy town on the map. After several community meetings on how to best leverage the town’s marketing, it was unanimously voted that the town should change its name to be more competitive.
For three months in 1980, residents campaigned for their favourite new name option. Favourites among the older residents included, New Bethlehem, Celestial and Queensburg. The new name of the town became Janetville, after it was propelled forth through youth mobilization. The main backer of the name Janetville, linked it to the Joyce DeWitt character “Janet Wood” from the then popular television show “Three’s Company“.
“I was behind the change when I was 18. But now I wonder, what was it all for? Did we really think that Joyce DeWitt would come here and get the party started?” A local resident responded in confidence.
“I stand behind the change. It reflects a community coming together and choosing a name. Most places are named by the few in control. Here in Janetville had the power.” An elderly resident said reflecting on their memory of the change.
Today’s Janetville still looks for the recognition it deserves. Town council is again preparing for a name change. Residents are currently asked to submit new name options to their municipal council to be added to the fall’s election ballot.
“We are currently on the precipice of being lost to time. We are in a race against Pontypool for recognition in this area of Ontario. If we are unable to bring forth our own identity, we will be absorbed by the eventual urban sprawl of Pontypool. People are noticing them. There was even a major movie set there.” An elder of Janetville stated in an interview. His concern is shared by the whole community.
See the info for the movie Pontypool here.