Think you can name every Canadian city, town and human settlement? There’s a quiz for that.
Ian Fisher developed an online tool to test your knowledge of Canadian population centres — and this ain’t your grandmother’s Sporcle quiz.
While he works as a Google software engineer by day, in his spare time Fisher has developed and coded custom cities quizzes online. He started with cities of the U.S. in 2019, then cities of Europe and in August of 2020 launched the cities of Canada quiz.
Fisher uses a loose definition of “cities” for the quiz to encompass “almost any populated human settlement, whether its official designation is city, town, village or anything else.” For the Canadian quiz, he used data from Statistics Canada to determine what counted as a settlement. And if you’re keeping track, there’s over 1,000 different population centres to name.
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He says he enjoyed other online quiz-making platforms but Fisher felt they were limited, so he decided to code it himself.
“It wasn’t possible to create the kind of quiz that I wanted with custom graphics and thousands of cities on Sporcle, so I decided to make it myself,” Fisher told HuffPost Canada.
There are lots of different ways to play the quiz, Fisher says, from setting yourself a time limit to aiming to get the highest percentage of the covered population.
“I think it’s a fun challenge that’s open to anyone, and one that’s very open-ended,” he said.
“You can limit yourself to 30 minutes or an hour or spend weeks on the same map; you can only name places that you’ve been to, or state capitals, or cities with interesting names, or whatever else you want; you can aim to get the highest percentage of the total population, or all of the cities in a certain population bracket, or just play for fun.”
The quiz keeps track of every city you name on a map, and also shows you statistics like which provinces you’re best at, how many cities with populations over 500,000 you’ve named and how much of Canada’s total population you’ve covered. Fisher also tracks and compiles statistics from some peoples’ responses
As for Fisher’s favourite Canadian locale? It’s Grise Fiord, Nunavut.
“[It] is the northernmost settlement in the country aside from military bases and scientific outposts,” he said.
So there’s at least one answer for you to get a head start.
Think you have what it takes? Try the quiz here.