The Ultimate Canadian Geography Quiz: Cities edition

From skyscrapers to city slogans to national historic sites, 25 questions to test your urban smarts
By Nick Walker

Start the Quiz Just show me the answers!

CITY LIVING makes sense.

That’s less opinion than statistic. For decades, urban centres in Canada and around the world have been gathering up more and more new immigrants and once-rural families — and not just because goods and social services are handier. Cities are where it all comes together on its grandest and most variegated scale: design and the arts, cultures and communication, technology, economy and government. Without downplaying the big challenges wrapped up in big cities, the late great Italian architect Paolo Soleri went so far as to call them “the necessary instruments for the evolution of humankind.”

Agree or disagree, from Vancouver and Iqaluit to Toronto and St. John’s, our cities are growing in size, complexity and importance. So show off your street smarts by answering these 25 hard-as-the-pavement questions about Canada’s urban places and urbanites.

Good luck!



1. This city grew faster than any other capital or major urban area in Canada between the 2011 and 2016 censuses.

Iqaluit
Edmonton
Toronto
Moncton

2. Many of Canada's metropolitan areas have grown by tens and even hundreds of thousands in the last few years. Rank the 2016 populations from highest to lowest.

Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa-Gatineau
Calgary, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa-Gatineau
Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa-Gatineau, Calgary
Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa-Gatineau

3. Until 1882, this city’s name was Pile O’ Bones.

Moose Jaw, Sask.
Lethbridge, Alta.
Thompson, Man.
Regina

4. Goderich, Ont., is home to the world’s largest underground —

physics laboratory
salt mine
seed bank
nuclear fallout shelter

5. What Canadian city has the world’s only international underwater border crossing?

Niagara Falls, Ont.
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
Windsor, Ont.
White Rock, B.C.

6. Industry reports are showing that Montreal likely has more of these per capita than any other city in North America.

acrobats
restaurants
row homes
construction sites

7. First Air — a commercial airline connecting southern Canada to Iqaluit and other northern communities — recently became the first airline to monitor its entire fleet using real-time GPS.

true
false

8. Which city is closer to Halifax?

Vancouver
Dublin, Ireland

9. Winnipeg is home to the largest community of Canadians of this background west of the Great Lakes.

Latino
Italian
Inuit
Francophone

10. Vancouver is the largest city in North America that does not have this.

Airbnb
Walmart
Uber
a subway system

11. This common species was introduced to North America by French settlers in the early 1600s and has since colonized virtually every city environment.

crows
hairy snails
rock pigeons
raccoons

12. Which of these Edmonton features is larger than that of any other Canadian urban centre?

urban footprint
urban park
downtown core
airport

13. Guess the city —
1) You can climb Grey Mountain for a panoramic cityscape.
2) It’s home to the Ta’an Kwäch’än and Kwanlin Dun First Nations.
3) Local bands play at the annual Frostbite Music Festival.

Whitehorse
Yellowknife
Calgary
Corner Brook, N.L.

14. As of the 2016 census, how many of the country’s 35.2 million people live in large and medium-sized cities?

4 in 10
5 in 10
7 in 10
8 in 10

15. What is Canada’s oldest incorporated city?

St. John’s
Saint John
Quebec City
Victoria

16. More birds are killed by collisions with buildings each year than by cats.

true
false

17. Rivers have been crucial in the development of many Canadian cities. Can you identify these major centres by their waterways?

Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal
Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Quebec City
Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Quebec City
Saskatoon, Moncton, Ottawa, Vancouver

18. In 2017, Canada’s next tallest skyscraper, “YSL Residences Condos,” was proposed for Toronto. How many storeys would it be?

55
75
80
98

19. This city has the largest Inuit population in the country south of the Arctic.

Edmonton
Ottawa
Vancouver
Saskatoon

20. Most of Canada’s roughly 16 million daily commuters travel to and around urban centres. What’s the average one-way travel time in Canada?

7.4 minutes
15.4 minutes
25.4 minutes
45.4 minutes

21. Which of these cities was not in the running to become Canada’s capital when Ottawa was chosen in 1857?

Montreal
Kingston
Toronto
Winnipeg

22. Match the city to its slogan:
1) Be part of the energy
2) Birthplace of Confederation
3) Superior by nature
4) Infinite horizons

Edmonton; Quebec City; Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.; Winnipeg
Calgary; Charlottetown; Thunder Bay, Ont.; Regina
Edmonton; Ottawa; Vancouver; Saskatoon
Calgary; Ottawa; Vancouver; Regina

23. According to the 2016 census, which of these cities has Canada’s highest population density?

Vancouver
Victoria
Toronto
Montreal

24. Sudbury has more of these within its municipal boundaries than any other city in Canada.

bike lanes
urban parks
Tim Hortons
lakes

25. Which of these famous Ottawa landmarks is not an official national historic site of Canada?

Rideau Canal
24 Sussex Drive (Prime Minister’s residence)
Diefenbunker (museum and former nuclear shelter)
Parliament Buildings

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