What’s In a Name? – The Origins of “White City”

In the same way that your granddad’s best yarns change a bit with every telling, the origin story of the name “White City” is always a little different depending on who you ask.

A couple of the more popular explanations revolve around John Kadannek, a local from before the town was incorporated, and the owner of the Wheat City Novelty Shop. As the story goes, Mr. Kadannek had a sign made up and ready to go on his shop way back in 1954, when he discovered the name had already been taken. Thinking quick, he decided he decided the cheapest, easiest fix would be to alter the name, and the sign, to “White City Novelty Shop” instead.

The other story involving Mr. Kadannek has him persuading Johnson Lipsett to name the community White City after the district in West Central London where Mr. Kadannek’s favourite aunt lived.

Or perhaps it was named after White City, New Mexico, or White City, Oregon. Webster’s New School and Office Dictionary offers the possibility that it was named after a “white city,” defined as “a pleasure resort with carousels, merry-go-rounds, switchbacks, and so-called because the structures are painted white.

Or, as seems quite likely to this writer, perhaps the idea for the name simply swirled up like a blizzard, landing on someone’s doorstep one wintry afternoon.

Learn more at WhiteCity.ca