A Retirement of Superlatives

I recently picked up this book: The Geist Atlas of Canada.


It’s all maps of Canada, with certain totally-real place names pointed out based on a theme. For example, the “Doughnut Map of Canada” features place names like Jelly, Ontario and Bakers Dozen Islands in Hudson’s Bay and The Hole, Newfoundland. The snicker-worthy “Impolite Map of Canada” features Bummer’s Roost, Ontario, the Cockram Straight, and Dixville, Quebec.

On the other side of the page from each map is a bit of trivia on how a few places got their names. Here’s the “Literary Map of Canada,” featuring place names with the same names as famous authors:


I adore this book and I think they must have made it just for me. I cannot imagine who else this book is going to appeal to.

Imagined marketing meeting at Geist Magazine:

Idea Guy 1: I know! Let’s put together a book of maps of Canada, with place names marked by theme! And we’ll add trivia!

Idea Guy 2: Great idea! It will absolutely kill with Canadians who love maps, goofy puns, and wowing their friends at parties with lesser-known linguistic facts!

Idea Guy 1: But, how will we alert our target market?

Idea Guy 2: I’ll get her on the phone.

And scene.

My favourite map in the book is this one – the “World’s Largest Map of Canada”:


It shows all the places in Canada that claim to have the “world’s largest” something. This is another totally geeky thing that I am super into, and Sir Monkeypants even more so. For ages we have been saying that our dream vacation would be to drive across North America, stopping at every single “world’s largest” item we can.

Now that we have this map to guide us, I’m thinking it’s only a matter of time. We’ll retire, buy an RV, and cruise from the world’s largest curling stone (Thunder Bay) to the world’s largest aluminum snowflake (Kittimat, BC) to the world’s largest potato (O’Leary, PEI). We can go right ahead and skip the world’s largest T-Rex, though – it’s in Drumheller and we saw it last year:


One down, a hundred more to go. Are you with me?

8 thoughts on “A Retirement of Superlatives

  1. I am with you! And where can I get my hands on a copy of this book? And why didn’t they call ME for the focus group?? Map geeks of the world, unite!!

  2. Such a cool book! I’m going to try to find it at Chapters. Once the sinkhole is plugged in, of course 😆

    I’m a sucker for weird fact. I loved the Canada Post series on roadside attraction a while ago, it was fascinating… and weird.

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