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The fictional community of Letterkenny, Ontario is the principal setting of the Letterkenny universe. As the opening card for episode 1 of Letterkenny Problems reads,

There is a small town of 5000 people in midwestern Ontario called Letterkenny. These are their problems.

This was abridged for the half-hour sitcom to There are 5000 people in Letterkenny. These are their problems. for every episode except the first, Ain't No Reason to Get Excited, and the St. Patrick's Day special, St. Perfect's Day.

History[]

The opening card for St. Perfect's Day establishes that Letterkenny was named after the town in Ireland of the same name, having been populated by Irish immigrants fleeing the Irish Potato Famine, or Great Famine, of 1845–49. This heritage is celebrated with an annual St. Patrick's Day festival—one of the "best around."

Early in the show, Tanis and then Reilly and Jonesy describe Letterkenny as a "meth town," with the latter placing the blame on the Skids for using and distributing. Stewart had attempted to steer the group in a different direction for a short while, but after his humiliation at his rave, he vowed to make Letterkenny the biggest meth town in the whole country. This is downplayed after Season 1, however, perhaps because Stewart was distracted first by his involvement with Katy, and later with the disappearance of Devon. The Skids continue to use and distribute a variety of illicit substances, but not in a way or on a scale that has put the town in the national spotlight.

Currently, Letterkenny has at least one dollar store, church, and hockey arena, and several incarnations of the MoDean's restaurant and bar. It is also home to the Letterkenny Agricultural Hall, The Basement Fitness, walk-in medical clinic, Ukrainian Centre, youth centre, the Legion, and a Sally Ann, as mentioned or depicted in various episodes.

Location[]

The location of Letterkenny within Ontario is kept obscure, one of the mysteries of the show. Although various other towns are identified, no distances, roads, or landmarks are indicated that would allow its geographic position to be pinpointed. In Season 8, the Native team is said to represent "Kerry County," but no such county exists in Ontario, and the namesake city of Letterkenny in the Republic of Ireland is located in County Donegal. This may be a nod to Listowel, Ireland, the namesake of Jared Keeso's hometown of Listowel, Ontario, which is located in County Kerry.

Stewart draws a simple map of the town for F.A.K.U.'s plans in Les Hiques, but the grid is not known to be based on any particular settlement. The named streets are Mitch Rd, Front St, Victoria St, Parkdale Dr, Wall Rd, Nelson Rd, and Rural Route 14.

Broadly, however, it can be said the town of Letterkenny is based on Listowel, in North Perth, Ontario. Jared Keeso started the Twitter account @Listy_Problems (Listowel Problems) in January 2013, five months before the first Letterkenny Problems short was released. Other clues are given in the show that Letterkenny is a stand-in for Listowel:

  • Listowel is located in mid-western Ontario. Its overall population at the 2016 census was 7,530
  • MoDean's Roadhouse was a real bar and performance space in Listowel
  • Listowel hosts a St. Patrick's Day festival of some renown, Paddyfest
  • The local newspaper in Listowel, like Letterkenny's, is named the Banner
  • Traditional Mennonites are a common sight in Listowel, where they come for shopping

Google Maps directions indicate Listowel's distance from many locations referenced in the show are realistic:

  • about 15 minutes to Donegal
  • about 30 minutes to St. Jacob's
  • about 90 minutes to the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve; although the Rez is never identified in the show either, Tiio Horn is Mohawk
  • about 120 minutes to Toronto, home of the Donnelly bars
  • about 2½ hours to Tobermory, where Rosie is said to live

Since the mid-2000s, various outsiders have characterized Perth County, Huron County, Oxford County, or various other locations in southwestern Ontario as the "crystal meth capital" of the province. Like many rural communities in North America, Listowel is affected by the abuse of prescription opioids and other drugs in health problems and drug-related crime, but this side of Letterkenny is largely downplayed after Season 1.

At the same time, Listowel is over 500 km from the border with Quebec, distant for a day trip for fishing even by rural Ontario standards, or to attend a "bock et biche" on short notice. This has led others to propose that the fictional Letterkenny is located somewhere near the now-abandoned real-life town of Letterkenny in Renfrew County, Ontario. An Ottawa Valley location would explain the easy trips to Quebec as well as Dan's familiarity with the Renfrew, Wilno, and Greater Madawaska Rough Riders, and the Rez might represent the Akwesasne Territory or others. This location is quite distant from the others, however—Wayne would not have been able to leave a midsummer party and arrive in Tobermory when it was still dark.

The show is filmed in and around the community of Greater Sudbury in Northeastern Ontario, but its extreme distance from other locations referenced in the show rules it out as a stand-in.

Behind the Scenes[]

The name for the town was selected after consulting a map of Ireland.

The show is filmed in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, owing to incentives from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC), the Ontario Film & Television Tax Credit, and other programs; New Metric Media received $1 million from NOHFC for Letterkenny's inaugural season.

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