Southern Ontario residents beware. According to an independent study released earlier this week, citizens of Windsor, Hamilton, Toronto, and London are more likely than any other Canadians to be devoured by an undead hoard.
The report, prepared by University of Alberta engineering graduate and blogger Michael Ross, ranks 20 Canadian cities on their likelihood to survive a zombie apocalypse. Ross took into consideration six factors, including the distance to the closest military base, average temperature, population density, obesity rate, physical activity, and gun ownership. The results show St. John’s, Regina, and Edmonton as the safest cities, while southern Ontario is basically screwed. Ross refers to the region as a “zombie playground.” He also advises readers to live in one of the provincial capitals, which tend to have a lot of soldiers around.
The current fascination with zombies has spread from cult film fanatics and goth kids to the general populace. Fears and fantasies of the apparently inevitable invasion have become so culturally significant that even parliament has taken notice. In February last year, NDP MP Pat Martin asked about plans for cooperation between Canada and the US should there be an undead uprising. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird responded by assuring the House that “Canada will never be a safe haven for zombies.”
While Baird’s comments were the first indication that the feds might have a zombie survival plan, one is already in place in British Columbia. Two years ago, the provincial government released a series of blog posts and videos instructing British Columbians on how to deal with Z-Day. The campaign was actually intended to encourage readiness for more likely calamities such as earthquakes, and ran with the tagline “If you’re ready for zombies, you’re ready for a disaster.”
Ross includes a bit of hometown boosterism in his study. “I’m proud of Edmonton,” he writes. “Good job us.” To which his fellow citizens might add, “Now will you stop calling us Deadmonton?”
– Drew McLachlan