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Why "Canadian"? You're nowhere near Canada!

A great question. One we had ourselves when we moved here. The easy answer as to why the town was named Canadian is that it was named after the Canadian River, which runs through town, under the famous Wagon Bridge, starting in New Mexico and stretching all the way to Arkansas. But that begs one to raise the question - Why'd they name the RIVER Canadian, when it's NOWHERE NEAR CANADA?


According to the Canadian River Trails plaque, the name itself was adapted from Spanish for "Boxed In". In Spanish, Boxed In translates to "en caja".


Others have said it's derived from Canyon, as much of the river flows through deep canyons. But Canada comes from the Huron-Iroquois word “kanata,” meaning “village” or “settlement.” At least that's what CANADA says!


Encyclopedia Brittanica reports the river was probably named BY Canadians; trading and hunting pioneers.


The Texas State Historical Association has a 3rd theory: The pioneers who named it actually thought it REACHED Canada.


Despite the controversy, the town, the river and this motel are all named Canadian. Hopefully you have a chance to see all of the above!

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