Why the Town of Asbestos, Quebec Wants to Keep Its Name Despite the Negative Connotations

In a sympathetic and somewhat self-deprecating episode of his travel series Amazing Places, host Tom Scott explained why the town of Asbestos, Quebec wants to keep their name, despite the negative connotations associated with the mineral that kept the town running for many years. Using well-researched information from the book A Town Called Asbestos by Dr Jessica van Horssen, Scott explains the rather complicated history of this proud, industrial town. Ghislain Tessier, vice president of a local Chamber of Commerce told Scott it was big part of their heritage.

Asbestos was our lives it was our heritage and I think that’s the key to why this town is still called Asbestos. Because yes for most of the world the name is alarming, but here that’s tempered with the fact that this mine, like a coal mine or a gold mine, it was how people made their living. Lots of people worked in the mine and their parents and their grandparents and their great-grandparents. It was part of their identity, a mineral that the world wanted to use and it was made right here by them.