Ragged Ass Road (street)

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Ragged Ass Road sign

Ragged Ass Road is a well-known street in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; Tom Cochrane named his album Ragged Ass Road after it. The street itself was named by Lou Rocher and his friends after a season of hard work and no profit; they were sitting around one night, drinking and joking that they should call their street Ragged Ass Road, as the term "ragged ass" meant dirt poor, which is what they were after a long season of prospecting, so, jokingly, they made a sign and put it up on the street. Rocher also owned several lots along the street.[1][2] The City of Yellowknife later officially adopted the name.

Ragged Ass Road is one of the most popular Yellowknife street names, and the street sign has been stolen so many times it was eventually welded onto the signpost, and replica signs were made to be sold to tourists.[3] The name has occasionally created controversy, as when an western Canadian airline flight attendant asked a passenger wearing a Ragged Ass Road souvenir T-shirt to remove it or cover it up as it might offend other passengers. The company apologized when the story made national news headlines.[1]

It was once known as Privy Road because there were many outhouses on it. Back in the 1940s, Ragged Ass was the name of a mine situated on Hidden Lake, the Ragged Ass Mine, as well as a mining syndicate of the same name.


  1. ^ a b Whitehouse, Simon (May 3, 2013). "Ragged Ass Road pioneer remembered". Northern News Services. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  2. ^ Heal, Tyler. The Times Behind the Signs: The History Behind Yellowknife's Street Names. Yellowknife: Crescent Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-0-9739420-0-2
  3. ^ "Turkey's costly signs of the times". Asia Times Online, February 4, 2008.

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