The title character is "Jane St. Clair", and is named after the intersection of Jane Street and St. Clair Avenue in Toronto. Steven Page recalls that co-writer Stephen Duffy saw the intersection on a map and remarked that it sounded like the most beautiful intersection in the world; "I didn't wanna break his heart to tell him it wasn't." Page was also noted to have said, "the next song I'm gonna write is gonna be called Markham Ellesmere." (The major suburban intersection of Markham Road and Ellesmere Road is close to where Page grew up in the Scarborough section of Toronto.)
Page admits that the line "No Juliana next to my Evan" (a reference to musicians Juliana Hatfield and Evan Dando) "dates it a bit, [but] it still sounds pretty to me today."