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Quebec City
—  City  —
Ville de Québec


Coat of arms
Motto: Don de Dieu ferai valoir
("I shall put God's gift to good use"; the Don de Dieu was Champlain's ship)
Quebec City is located in Quebec
Quebec City
Coordinates: 46°48′47″N 71°13′W / 46.81306°N 71.21667°W / 46.81306; -71.21667
Country  Canada
Province  Quebec
Administrative Region Capitale-Nationale
Metropolitan community Communauté métropolitaine de Québec
Agglomeration Agglomeration of Quebec City
Founded July 3, 1608 by Samuel de Champlain
Constitution date 1833
 - Mayor Régis Labeaume
 - Majority leader Jean-Marie Matte
 - Federal senator Dennis Dawson
 - MPs
 - MNAs
 - City 454.26 km2 (175.4 sq mi)
 - Urban 670.10 km2 (258.7 sq mi)
 - Metro 3,276.53 km2 (1,265.1 sq mi)
Population (2006[1][2])
 - City 491,142 (10th)
 Density 1,081.2/km2 (2,800.3/sq mi)
 Urban 659,545
 - Urban Density 984.2/km2 (2,549.1/sq mi)
 Metro 715,515 (7th)
 - Metro Density 218.4/km2 (565.7/sq mi)
Time zone Eastern (UTC−5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Area code(s) 418/581
SGC code 24 23 027
NTS Map 021L14
Website Official website of Quebec City

Quebec (/kwɨˈbɛk/ or /kəˈbɛk/), French: Québec ([keˈbɛk]  ( listen)), also Quebec City or Québec City (French: Ville de Québec)[3] is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec  – after Montreal, about 233 kilometres (145 mi) to the southwest. As of the 2006 Canadian Census, the city has a population of 491,142,[1] and the metropolitan area has a population of 715,515.[2]

The narrowing of the Saint Lawrence River approximate to Quebec City and Lévis, on the opposite bank, provided the name given to the city, Kébec, an Algonquin word meaning "where the river narrows". Founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America. The ramparts surrounding Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec) are the only remaining fortified city walls that still exist in the Americas north of Mexico, and were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 as the 'Historic District of Old Québec'.[4][5]

Quebec City is internationally known for its Summer Festival, Winter Carnival, and the Château Frontenac, a hotel which dominates the city skyline. The National Assembly of Quebec, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec), and the Musée de la civilisation (Museum of Civilization) are found within or near Vieux-Québec. Among the other attractions near the city are Montmorency Falls and the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré in the town of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré.



Early history: from Stadacona to Seven Years War

Traditional representation of Samuel de Champlain

Quebec City is one of the oldest European settlements in North America. While many of the major cities in Mexico date from the sixteenth century, among cities in Canada and the U.S.A. only St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador; Port Royal, Nova Scotia; St. Augustine, Florida; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Jamestown, Virginia; and Tadoussac, Quebec were created earlier than Quebec City. However, Quebec City is the first to have been founded with the goal of permanent settlement, and not as a commercial outpost, and therefore is considered to be the first European-built city in non-Spanish North America.

French explorer Jacques Cartier built a fort at the site in 1535, where he stayed for the winter before going back to France in spring 1536. He came back in 1541 with the goal of building a permanent settlement. This first settlement was abandoned less than one year after its foundation, in the summer 1542, due in large part to the hostility of the natives combined with the harsh living conditions during winter.

Quebec was founded by Samuel de Champlain, a French explorer and diplomat on July 3, 1608, and at the site of a long abandoned St. Lawrence Iroquoian settlement called Stadacona. Champlain, also called "The Father of New France",served as its administrator for the rest of his life.

The name "Canada" refers to this settlement. Although called the cradle of the Francophone population in North America, the Acadian settlement at Port-Royal antedates it. The place seemed favourable to the establishment of a permanent colony.

Quebec City in 1700

In 1665, there were 550 people in 70 houses living in the city. One-quarter of the people were religious: secular priests, Jesuits, Ursulines nuns and the order running the local hospital, Hotel-Dieu.[6]

Quebec City was captured by the British in 1759 and held until 1763. It was the site of three battles during Seven Years War - the Battle of Beauport, a French victory (July 31, 1759); the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, in which British troops under General James Wolfe defeated the French General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm on September 13, 1759 and shortly thereafter took the city; and the final Battle of Sainte-Foy, a French victory (April 28, 1760). France ceded New France, including the city, to Britain in 1763.

At the end of French rule in 1763, the territory of present-day Quebec City was a world of contrasts. Forests, villages, fields and pastures surrounded the town of 8 000 inhabitants. The town distinguished itself by its monumental architecture, fortifications, muddy and filthy streets, affluent homes of masonry and shacks in the suburbs St-Jean and St-Roch. Despite its urbanity and its status as capital, Quebec City remained a small colonial city with close ties to its rural surroundings. Nearby inhabitants traded their farm surpluses and firewood for imported goods from France at the two city markets.

British rule

During the American Revolution, revolutionary troops from the southern colonies assaulted the British garrison in an attempt to 'liberate' Quebec City now known as the Battle of Quebec. The defeat of the revolutionaries from the south put an end to the hopes that the peoples of Quebec would rise and join the American Revolution so that Canada would join the Continental Congress and become part of the original United States of America along with the other British colonies of continental North America. In effect, the outcome of the battle would be the effective split of British North America into two distinct political entities. Following the battle, Major General Isaac Brock further fortified Quebec City by strengthening the walls and building an elevated artillery battery known as the Citadelle of Quebec before the War of 1812. A series of Martello towers was also built on elevated terrain beyond the city walls to provide further artillery support effectively turning the city into a fortress. In the end, the city was not attacked during the war of 1812 but continued to house a large British garrison until 1871. The Citadel is still in use by the military and three of the Martello towers are still maintained as museums and tourist attractions.

In 1840, after the Province of Canada was formed, the role of capital was shared between Kingston, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City (from 1852 to 1856 and from 1859 to 1866). In 1867, Ottawa (which was chosen to be the permanent capital of the Province of Canada) was chosen to be the capital of the Dominion of Canada. The Quebec Conference on Canadian Confederation was held here.

20th and 21st centuries

Port of Quebec City in the early 20th century
Quebec City map, 1906

Quebec City was struck by the 1925 Charlevoix-Kamouraska earthquake.

During World War II, two conferences were held in Quebec City. The First Quebec Conference was held in 1943 with Franklin Delano Roosevelt (the United States' president at the time), Winston Churchill (the United Kingdom's prime minister), William Lyon Mackenzie King (Canada's prime minister) and T.V. Soong (China's minister of foreign affairs). The Second Quebec Conference was held in 1944, and was attended by Churchill and Roosevelt. They took place in the buildings of the Citadelle and of nearby Château Frontenac. A large part of the D-Day Landings plans were made during those meetings.


Throughout its over four hundred years of existence, Quebec City has served as a capital. From 1608 to 1627 and 1632 to 1763, it was capital of French Canada and all of New France; from 1763 to 1791, it was the capital of the Province of Quebec; from 1791 to 1841, it was the capital of Lower Canada; from 1852 to 1856 and from 1859 to 1866, it was capital of the Province of Canada; and since 1867, it has been capital of the Province of Quebec. The administrative region in which Quebec City is situated is officially referred to as Capitale-Nationale[7][8] and the term "national capital" is used to refer to Quebec City itself at provincial level.[9]


Quebec City on the north bank of the Saint Lawrence river, Lévis on the south bank, Laurentians mountains lies on the north of the city and the western point of the Île d'Orléans can be seen at right
Saint Lawrence River and the Château Frontenac during winter

Quebec City is located in the Saint Lawrence River valley, on the north bank of the Saint Lawrence River near its meeting with the St. Charles River. The region is low-lying and flat. The river valley has rich, arable soil, which makes this region the most fertile in the province. The Laurentian Mountains lie to the north of the city.

Upper Town lies on the top of Cap-Diamant (Cape Diamond) promontory. A high stone wall surrounds this portion of the city. The Plains of Abraham are located near the edge of the promontory. Lower Town is located at shore level, below Cap-Diamant.


Quebec City lies at the confluence of several climatic regions. Usually, the climate is classified as humid continental or hemiboreal (Köppen climate classification Dfb).[10]

Quebec City's summer are warm, and at humid with average high temperatures of 22–25°C (72–77°F) and lows of 11–13°C (51–56°F), but sometimes heat index with warmer than actual temperature. Winter brings very cold, often windy and snowy weather, with average high temperature of -5 to -8°C (18–23°F) and lows of -13 to -18°C (0–8°F). Because of wind chill, it sometimes feels much colder than actual temperature. Spring and fall are short, although mild. Late heat waves as well as "Indian summers" are a common occurrence.

Annual precipitation is around 123 cm (48 in), including 316 cm (124 in) of snowfall, which is among the snowiest cities in Canada, and could occur from late fall to early spring.[citation needed] The city experiences around 1950 hours of sunshine annually, with summer being the sunniest, but also slightly the wettest season.[citation needed] Quebec City has more winter sunshine than other large cities in Europe, such as London and Paris.[citation needed]

Climate data for Quebec
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 10
Average high °C (°F) -7.9
Daily mean °C (°F) -12.8
Average low °C (°F) -17.6
Record low °C (°F) -35.4
Precipitation mm (inches) 89.8
Rainfall mm (inches) 26.1
Snowfall cm (inches) 72.9
Sunshine hours 100.3 123.6 149.4 168.6 215.9 232 251.7 225.2 155.5 119.8 81.6 81.1 1,904.7
Source: Environment Canada[11] July 23, 2009


Quebec City's six boroughs

On January 1, 2002, the former towns of Sainte-Foy, Beauport, Charlesbourg, Sillery, Loretteville, Val-Bélair, Cap-Rouge, Saint-Émile, Vanier, L'Ancienne-Lorette, Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures and Lac-Saint-Charles were annexed by Quebec City. This was one of several municipal mergers which took place across Quebec on that date. Following a demerger referendum, L'Ancienne-Lorette and Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures were reconstituted as separate municipalities on January 1, 2006, but the other former municipalities remain part of Quebec City. On November 1, 2009, the Quebec City re-organized its boroughs, reducing the number from 8 to 6.

Quebec City has thirty-four districts in six boroughs.

Borough Districts
La Cité–Limoilou Latin/Old Quebec · Saint-Jean-Baptiste · Montcalm · Saint-Sacrement · Petit Champlain · Saint-Sauveur · Saint-Roch · Saint-Malo · Maizerets · Vieux-Limoilou · Lairet · Du Colisée
Les Rivières Lebourgneuf, Duberger, Les Saules and Vanier
Sainte-Foy–Sillery–Cap-Rouge Cité universitaire · Saint-Louis · Sillery · Pointe-de-Ste-Foy · Cap-Rouge · Airport
Charlesbourg Saint-Rodrigue · Des Sentiers · Des Monts
Beauport Vieux-Moulin · Sainte-Thérèse-de-Lisieux · Villeneuve · Courville
La Haute-Saint-Charles Lac-Saint-Charles, Saint-Émile, Neufchâtel, Loretteville and Val-Bélair
Panorama of Quebec City's skyline


Quebec City's main train station, Gare du Palais

According to the 2006 census, there were 491,142 people residing in Quebec City proper, and 715,515 people in the city's census metropolitan area. Of the former total, 48.2% were male and 51.8% were female. Children under five accounted for approximately 4.7% of the resident population of Quebec City. This compares with 5.2% in the province of Quebec, and 5.6% for Canada overall.

While Montreal is considered by many to have a bilingual population, in which many of its residents have a working knowledge of both French and English, Quebec City and its surrounding region are largely Francophone. The vast majority of city residents are native French-speakers. The English-speaking community peaked in relative terms during the 1860s, when 40% of Quebec City's residents were Anglophone.[12] Today, Anglophones make up only 1.5% of the population of both the city and its metropolitan area.[13] However, the annual Quebec Winter Carnival attracts both Francophone and Anglophone tourists alike, so the Anglophone population increases considerably during the duration of the event.

In 2001, 13.0% of the resident population in Quebec City was of retirement age (65 and over for males and females) compared with 13.2% in Canada. The average age is 39.5 years of age compared to 37.6 years of age for Canada as a whole.

In the five years between 1996 and 2001, the population of Quebec City grew by 1.6%, compared with an increase of 1.4% for the province of Quebec as a whole. The population density of Quebec City averaged 216.4 people per square kilometre, compared with an average of 5.3 for the province as a whole.

At the time of the 2001 census, the population of the Quebec City authority was 682,757, but was 710,700 when encompassing the Greater Quebec City Area, compared with a resident population in the province of Quebec of 7,237,479 people.

According to the 2001 census, over 90% of the population was Roman Catholic. The city also contains small Protestant and Jewish communities.

Quebec City Metropolitan population by year
1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2006
131 000 151 000 289 000 379 000 481 000 576 000 645,550[14] 686 569[2] 715 515[2]


Most jobs in Quebec City are concentrated in public administration, defence, services, commerce, and transport. As the provincial capital, the city benefits from being a regional administrative and services centre: apropos, the provincial government is the largest employer in the city, employing 27,900 people as of 2007.[15] CHUQ (the local hospital network) is the city's largest institutional employer, with more than 10,000 employees in 2007. In 2008, the unemployment rate in Quebec City was 4.5%,[16] well below provincial and national averages (7.3% and 6.6%, respectively).[17]

Around 10% of jobs are in manufacturing.[18] Principal products include pulp and paper, processed food, metal/wood items, chemicals, electronics and electrical equipment, and printed materials.Insurance companies Industrial Alliance, SSQ and La Capitale have their headquarters in Quebec City, as so do computer game studios Beenox.


A street in the Lower Town

Much of the city's most notable architecture is located east of the fortification walls in Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec) and Place Royale. This area has a distinct European feel with its stone buildings and winding streets lined with shops and restaurants. Porte St-Louis and Porte St-Jean are the main gates through the walls from the modern section of downtown. West of the walls are the Parliament Hill district and the Plains of Abraham.

The Up Town is linked by the Escalier «casse-cou» (literally "neck-breaking" steps) and the Old Quebec Funicular to the Lower Town, which includes such sites as the ancient Notre Dame des Victoires church, the historic Petit Champlain district, the port, and the Musée de la Civilisation (Museum of Civilization). The Lower Town is filled with original architecture and street designs, dating back to the city's beginnings. Murals and statues are also featured. The Lower Town is also noted for its wide variety of boutiques, many featuring hand-crafted goods.

Notre Dame des Victoires Church, Basse-Ville (Down Town)

Quebec city's downtown is on the lower part of the town. Its epicentre is adjacent to the old town, spanning from the Saint-Roch district, throughout the Saint Sauveur, Saint-Sacrement and Limoilou quarters. Some interpretations consider Quebec's Down town to be the central southern portion of the town ranging from the old city and Saint Roch, all the way west to the Quebec city Bridge.

Quebec City's skyline is dominated by the massive Château Frontenac Hotel, perched on top of Cap-Diamant. It was designed by architect Bruce Price, as one of a series of "château" style hotels built for the Canadian Pacific Railway company. The railway company sought to encourage luxury tourism and bring wealthy travelers to its trains. The hotel is beside the Terrasse Dufferin (Dufferin Terrace), a walkway along the edge of the cliff, offering beautiful views of the Saint Lawrence River.

Rue St-Louis

The Terrasse Dufferin leads toward the nearby Plains of Abraham, site of the battle in which the British took Quebec from France, and the Citadelle of Quebec, a Canadian Forces installation and the federal vice-regal secondary residence. The Parliament Building, the meeting place of the Parliament of Quebec, is also near the Citadelle.

Near the Château Frontenac is Notre-Dame de Québec Cathedral, mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec. It is the first church in the New World to be raised to a basilica and is the primatial church of Canada.


A picture of an ice castle during the carnival

Quebec City is known for its Winter Carnival and for its Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day celebrations.

Tourist attractions located near Quebec City include Montmorency Falls, the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, the Mont-Sainte-Anne ski resort, and the Ice Hotel.

Jardin zoologique du Québec, reopened in 2002 after two years of restorations but closed in 2006 after a political decision. It featured 750 specimens of 300 different species of animals. The zoo specialized in winged fauna and garden themes, but also presented several species of mammals. While it emphasizes the indigenous fauna of Quebec, one of its principal attractions was the Indo-Australian greenhouse, featuring fauna and flora from these areas.

Parc Aquarium du Québec, reopened in 2002 on a site overlooking the Saint Lawrence River, presents more than 10,000 specimens of mammals, reptiles, fish and other aquatic fauna of North America and the Arctic. Polar bears and various species of seals of the Arctic sector and the "Large Ocean", a large basin offering visitors a view from underneath, form part of the principal attractions.

There are a number of historic sites, art galleries and museums in Quebec City, such as Citadelle of Quebec, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Ursulines of Quebec, and Musée de la civilisation


As well as having a number of local sports teams, Quebec City has hosted a number of sporting events. The Special Olympics Canada National Winter Games was held in the city from February 26 to March 1, 2008.[19] Quebec City co-hosted with Halifax, Nova Scotia, the 2008 IIHF World Championship. Regular sporting events held in the city, include the Challenge Bell, a Women's Tennis Association tournament; Crashed Ice, an extreme downhill skating race; Quebec City International Pee-Wee Tournament, a minor hockey tournament; and the Tour de Québec International cycling stage race.[20]

The city has a professional baseball team, the Capitales de Québec which currently play in the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball. The team was established in 1999, and originally played in the Northern League. The team has two league titles, won in 2006 and 2009. The team's stadium is the Stade Municipal.

Other teams include the local football team, the Rouge & Or of the Université Laval; the basketball team, Quebec Kebs of the Premier Basketball League; the junior hockey team, Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League; the football teams, Quebec City Monarks and Quebec City Rebelles of the Ligue de football majeur du Québec; the soccer team, FC Quebec of the Canadian Soccer League; the women's hockey team Quebec Phoenix of the Canadian Women's Hockey League; and Quebec Arsenal of the W-League.

The city had a hockey team, the Quebec Nordiques, who played in the World Hockey Association (WHA) from 1972 to 1979 and then in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1979 to 1995, maintaining a strong rivalry with the Montreal Canadiens. Due to financial problems, the team moved to Denver, Colorado in 1995, becoming Colorado Avalanche. There has been discussion of bringing a team back to the city, but former mayor Andrée Boucher had not supported the project. It is generally expected that Quebec City will need to build a new arena to get a new team, replacing the Colisée Pepsi, as well as organizing an ownership group. There have also been discussions around getting a Canadian Football League team. Quebec City is expected to be in competition with Moncton and Halifax for the franchise, though a new stadium would likely be needed as well.

The Quebec Capitales, which play in the Stade Municipal are the province of Quebec's only professional baseball team, playing in the Can-Am League


Parliament Building, Quebec City

The current mayor of Quebec City is Régis Labeaume, who was elected in a special election on 2 December 2007, following the death in office of Andrée P. Boucher, an independent, on 24 August. Jacques Joli-Coeur of the Renouveau municipal de Québec party served as interim mayor between Boucher's death and the by-election.

The current leader of the Renouveau municipal de Québec party, and leader of the majority group on Quebec City Council, is Jean-Marie Matte.

Party Initial Chief Governorship Opposition Seats
Renouveau municipal de Québec R.M.Q. Jean-Marie Matte 1989–2005 2005–2007 23
Action civique de Québec A.C.Q. Claude Larose N/A N/A 5
Parti Vision Québec V.Q. Marc Bellemare N/A N/A 0
Option Capitale O.C. Pierre Coté N/A N/A 0
Independent Ind. X X X 9
Vacant X X X X 0
Total 37


Université Laval is located in the eastern end of the city, in the borough of Sainte-Foy. However, the school of architecture of Université Laval is located in Old Quebec. The central campus of the Université du Québec, originally in Sainte-Foy, is also, since the amalgamation, located in Quebec City, as are the Université du Québec's École nationale d'administration publique and Institut national de la recherche scientifique, as well as Télé-université, the distance learning component of the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Numerous CEGEPs are located in Quebec city, including Cégep François-Xavier-Garneau, Cégep O'Sullivan, Cégep Limoilou, Cégep de Sainte-Foy and Champlain-St. Lawrence College, as well as private institutions such as Collège Notre-Dame-de-Foy, Collège Mérici, Collège Bart, Collège CDI and Collège Multihexa.

Quebec City has the oldest educational institution for women in North America, the Ursulines of Quebec monastery, located at 12 Rue Donnacona.



The Quebec Bridge (left) and the Pierre Laporte Bridge (right)

Three bridges, the Quebec Bridge and Pierre Laporte Bridge connect the city with the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River, as does a ferry service to Lévis, and Orleans Island Bridge connects Quebec City with the Orleans Island. The city is a major hub in the Quebec provincial road network, fanning out from both sides of the river with an extensive autoroute system.

Several important motorways of the Quebec road network pass by Quebec City, of which Autoroute 40 connects it towards the west to Montreal and Route 175 connects it towards the north to Chicoutimi.

Three principal expressways cross the agglomeration from the north to the south (starting from the west): Autoroute Henri-IV, Autoroute Robert-Bourassa, and Autoroute Laurentienne. Three other motorways cross the western part of town (from north to south): Autoroute Félix Leclerc (known by the inhabitants as "Autoroute de la Capitale"), Autoroute Charest, as well as Champlain Boulevard, which goes along the river to the Downtown area, then another Autoroute called Dufferin-Montmorency allows easier access to the extreme east of the city.

Public transit

The Réseau de transport de la Capitale is responsible for public transit in the region. The RTC operates a fleet of buses and will eventually implement articulated buses. The RTC is studying the return of a tram system to help ease overcrowding on its busiest lines as well as attract new users to public transit. The $900-million revitalization project needs approval from higher levels of government since the city does not have the financial resources to fund such an ambitious project on its own.

Rail transport is operated by VIA Rail at the (Gare du Palais). The station is the eastern terminus of the railway's main Quebec City-Windsor Corridor. An inter-city bus station, with connections to the provincial long-distance bus network, is adjacent to the train station.

Air and sea

Quebec City is served by Jean Lesage International Airport, located in the West of the city. The city also has a large major port on the St-Lawrence in the first, fifth and sixth boroughs.[21]

Public safety

Quebec City is protected by Service de police de la Ville de Québec and Service de protection contre les incendies de Québec. Quebec City has one of the lowest crime rates in Canada. The city reported no murders in 2007, a streak that stretched back to October 31, 2006.[22]

Partner cities


  1. ^ a b Statistics Canada. 2006 Community Profiles — Census Subdivision — Quebec City
  2. ^ a b c d Statistics Canada. 2006 Community Profiles — Census Metropolitan Area — Quebec City
  3. ^ According to the federal and provincial governments, Québec (with the acute accent) is the city's official name in both French and English. Even though French place names in Canada typically retain their accents in English and the city's name is not among 81 locales of pan-Canadian significance with official forms in both languages, as is the case with the province of Quebec/Québec, Quebec is a legitimate and well-established exception in English (as is Montreal). Similarly, Quebec City is common (e.g., per the Canadian Oxford Dictionary (ISBN 0-19-541816-6, p. 1265)), and is used particularly to distinguish the city from the province. According to Editing Canadian English (ISBN 1-55199-045-8, p. 77) the form Québec City makes no sense in either English or French; nonetheless, it is used by the municipal government and other sources (e.g., Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport).
  4. ^ "Historic District of Old Québec". World Heritage; UNESCO. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
  5. ^ "Old Quebec City, Seven Wonders of Canada". Retrieved February 12, 2008. 
  6. ^ Morison, Samuel Eliot (1972). The Oxford History of the American People. New York City: Mentor. pp. 150. ISBN 0-451-62600-1. 
  7. ^ Décret concernant la révision des limites des régions administratives du Québec, R.Q. c. D-11, r.2, made pursuant to the Territorial Division Act, R.S.Q. c. D-11
  8. ^ "Québec Portal > Portrait of Québec > Administrative Regions > Regions". Retrieved May 13, 2009. 
  9. ^ "An Act respecting the National capital commission, R.S.Q. c. C-33.1". CanLII. May 4, 2009. Retrieved May 13, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000". Retrieved 2006-12-18. 
  11. ^ Environment Canada Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000, accessed July 23, 2009
  12. ^ Morrin Centre. "Anglos in Québec". Literary and Historical Society of Quebec. Retrieved March 15, 2007. 
  13. ^ "Voice of English-speaking Québec: A Portrait of the English-speaking Community in Quebec". Voice of English-speaking Québec. 2007. Retrieved March 15, 2007. 
  14. ^ Statistics Canada. Community Profile — Quebec City -1996
  15. ^ "Canada's largest employers by city, 2007: Quebec City." London: University of Western Ontario. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  16. ^ "Labour: Labour force characteristics, population 15 years and older, by census metropolitan area." Statistics Canada. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  17. ^ "Latest release from the Labour Force Survey." Statistics Canada. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  18. ^ "Québec City: Economy, transportation, and labour force." The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historical Foundation of Canada, 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Port of Quebec". Retrieved June 24, 2009. 
  22. ^ Quebec City closing in on a year without murder
  23. ^ "Twinning the Cities". City of Beirut. Retrieved January 13, 2008. 
  24. ^ a b c d e f g Ville de Quebec - Partenariats

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Quebec City or Québec* (French: Ville de Québec, or simply Québec) is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec. It is the second largest city in the province, after Montreal. It was founded in 1608 by a Frenchman, Samuel de Champlain. Quebec City and its surrounding region is largely Francophone.


  • It's very important for folks to understand that when there's more trade, there's more commerce.
    • Quebec City, Canada, April 21, 2001


  • Thomas Friedman dismissed the protesters in Quebec City as members of the "Coalition to Keep Poor People Poor." ...The Coalition to Keep Poor People Poor might as well disband; its apparent goal is being accomplished in spades by pro-market forces. If the prospects of the world's poor improving their lot is one that supposedly upsets anti-capitalist protestors, they can confidently put their gas masks and get back to the shopping mall - global capitalism can be trusted to keep the poor in check without any help. --Linda McQuaig

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Château Frontenac
Château Frontenac

Quebec City (French: Québec) [1] is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec. Located at a commanding position on cliffs overlooking the St. Lawrence Seaway, Quebec City's Old Town is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only city in North America outside Mexico with its original city walls. Quebec is a city of about 700,000 residents.


Quebec City is the capital city of the province of Quebec (though it is referred to as the National Capital in the province). Much of the business here is of the administrative and bureaucratic nature, which would normally make a city quite dull. Fortunately, the city has a remarkable history, as the fortress capital of New France since the 16th century. Although the town's day-to-day life leaves things a little yawny at times, the vibrant historical center makes for an incredible visit.

Quebec was first settled by Europeans in 1608 in a "abitation" led by Samuel de Champlain and celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2008. The generally accepted dates of Champlain's arrival in the city are July 3rd and 4th and were marked with major celebrations. The area was also inhabited by Native peoples for many centuries before the arrival of the Europeans, and their ongoing presence has been notable since then.

Founded by the French to make a claim in the New World, the name Quebec originally referred to just the city. It is an aboriginal word for "where the river narrows" as the St. Lawrence River dramatically closes in just east of the city. It is situated on 200 foot high cliffs with stunning views of the surrounding Laurentian mountains and the St. Lawrence River. Under French rule (1608-1759), the major industries were the fur and lumber trades. The French lost the city and its colony of New France to the British in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. Much of the French nobility returned to France which resulted in British ruling over the remaining French population. Fortunately, the rulers of the colony allowed the French to retain their language and religion leaving much of the culture intact. The 1840s saw an influx of Irish immigrants during the Potato Famine. Due to cholera and typhus outbreaks, ships were quarantined at Grosse Ile to the east of the city past l'Ile d'Orleans. The bodies of those who perished on the journey and while in quarantine are buried there. The city remained under British rule until 1867 when Lower Canada (Quebec) joined Upper Canada (Ontario), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to form the Dominion of Canada.

French is the official language of the province of Quebec though in the tourist areas of Quebec City English is widely spoken as a second language by the staff. It is also not unusual to find Spanish, German and Japanese spoken in many establishments in Vieux Quebec. Outside of the tourist areas, some knowledge of French is advisable, if not necessary. It should be noted that while older locals will struggle when attempting to sustain a discussion in English, most youths under 35 should be able to speak conversational English. Less than a third of the overall population is bilingual French/English.

In French, both the city and the province are referred to as "Québec". Which is meant is determined by context and by the convention of referring to the province with the masculine artice ("le Québec or au Québec") and to the city with the feminine construction ("à Québec"), or most commonly without any article at all.


Orienting yourself in Quebec is fairly easy. Many sights of interest are in the Old Town (Vieux-Québec), which constitutes the walled city on top of the hill. Many surrounding neighborhoods, either in Haute-Ville ("Upper Town") or in Basse-Ville ("Lower Town"), are of great interest : Saint-Roch, Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Montcalm, Vieux-Port and Limoilou. Haute-Ville and Basse-Ville are connected by many staircases, all of which are unique, such as the aptly-named Escalier Casse-Cou ("Breakneck Stairs") and the more easily climbable "Funiculaire".

The city spreads westward from the St. Lawrence River, for the most part extending from the original old city. The true downtown core of Quebec City is located just west of the old city. Across the river from Quebec City is the town of Lévis. Frequent ferry service connects the two sides of the river.

Get in

By plane

Jean Lesage International Airport (IATA: YQB), in Ancienne-Lorette [2]. About 20 minutes from downtown Quebec. It offers regular flights from cities such as Montreal, Toronto, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Ottawa and Paris and also provides charters to remote areas of the province such as Kuujjuaq, Gaspé and Baie-Comeau.

Please note that there is no public transit or hotel shuttles to the airport. There is a bus RTC #78 to and from the airport only a few times a day, but it is not very useful. The taxi fare from Old Quebec to the airport is a flat fee of $32.50.

By train

A passenger train station is found at the port of Quebec, 450 rue de la Gare du Palais. The Quebec VIA Rail [3] station is a picturesque building, emulating the architectural style of the famed Chateau-Frontenac overlooking the station. The Quebec-Windsor corridor trains run regularly, with stopovers at Montreal and Toronto.

Another train station is in Ste-Foy, 3255 chemin de la Gare, near the Quebec and Pierre-Laporte bridges. However, public transit does not run there as often as the Quebec station and this station requires walking for a couple of minutes.

By bus

The bus station, Terminus Gare du Palais located at rue de la Gare du Palais, is also located at the old port of Quebec, next to the train station. Intercar [4] and Orleans Express [5] offer services province-wide.

Another bus station is in Ste-Foy, 3001 chemin des Quatre-Bourgeois, which is easily accessible by city transit.

By car

Quebec City is 2.5-3 hours by car from Montreal, on either Highway 40 or 20 (north and south side of the St. Lawrence, respectively). Both routes are rather monotonous drives through endless forest dotted with farms. For a slower but more interesting tour of Quebec's heartland, drive along the Chemin du Roy, which follows the north bank of the river, instead.

The Funiculaire, Quebec City's diagonal, counterweight railway
The Funiculaire, Quebec City's diagonal, counterweight railway

Walking is a great way to get around the Old Town The compact layout makes distances short.You will see beautiful old buildings and little vistas around every corner. You will get exercise. Do be careful of uneven cobblestones and narrow streets, though.

Côte de la Montagne is a steep, winding street that connects Upper Town and Lower Town. If you get tired, use the Funiculaire to go between the upper and lower parts of the Old Town. $2 will get you from near the base of the Breakneck Stairs (l'Escalier Casse-Cou) back up to the front of the Chateau Frontenac. It is well worth it if you have small children or large packages.

Many intersections are set up with separate traffic signals and cycles for cars and for pedestrians. At one point in the cycle, all traffic lights turn red and all pedestrian signals turn white, meaning that you can cross the intersection in any direction. Yet when the traffic light is green and the pedestrian signal is red, you may find cars turning in front of you. Some intersections have a pedestrian button to activate the signals, and you will never get a pedestrian cycle unless you push that button.

By bike

The Route Verte [6] is a system of provincial bike paths that pass through parks and local attractions. The Corridor des Cheminots [7] is a peaceful trail that runs from the Montmorency Falls to Val-Bélair, which continues on to the Jacques-Cartier park area.

Quebec's urban bike paths are not as well documented as Montreal paths but are well-marked throughout the city. They are open from April to October.

By car

Driving in the Old Town can be tricky, since the cobblestone streets were designed for narrow 17th-century horse carts rather than 21st-century SUVs. One way streets abound throughout the Old Town, and parking is difficult to find.

Outside of the Old Town, the use of a car is recommended. Right turns on red are allowed unless otherwise indicated.

During the months of November through April, snow will definitely affect driving conditions. Snow tires are required by provincial law between December 15 and March 15 for all vehicles plated in Quebec as some roads will lack snow removal, sand or salting. Vehicles plated in the US or in other provinces are not subject to this requirement.

Public Transit

The RTC [8], Quebec's public transportation system, is a system of buses and express shuttles that cover the whole city. Tickets cost $2.75 each, which will earn you the right to ride one direction with a transfer valid for two hours. You can also buy 6 single tickets for $12.75 or 10 for $20 at the ticket office. There are also daily passes and monthly passes available. Drivers do not carry money and cannot change bills so do carry exact change.

The Metrobus line is actually two bus lines (800 and 801) that both start in Ste-Foy, head toward the Old Town, and end in Beauport and Charlesbourg respectively. They can run as often as one every three minutes during rush hour along Boulevard René-Lévesque/Boulevard Laurier/chemin des Quatre-Bourgeois.

The STL, Lévis's public transit [9], operates within the south shore of Quebec. There is also a shuttle from St-Augustin to Quebec. These different transit companies all pass through Quebec City, which explains the different colours of buses around town.

By Boat

A seasonal cruise [10] operates during the summer months between Quebec City and Montreal. The one-way trip takes approx. 7 hours and is slow-going, but the views make it worthwhile.

From Quebec to Lévis with the ferry costs $8.75, and takes approx 15 mintures, all year round.

A quiet, foggy and mellow morning in Québec City
A quiet, foggy and mellow morning in Québec City

Quebec City's main sight is the Old Town, the upper part of which is surrounded by a stone wall built by both French and British armies. It is now a tourist district with many small boutiques and hundreds of historical and photographic points of interest. Some of the buildings are original structures, while others are built in the same style and architecture as former buildings.

  • Chateau Frontenac, [11]. Quebec City icon. Claimed to be the most photographed hotel in North America. Stay the night if you can (see Sleep) and pop in for a martini if you can't (see Drink).
  • Dufferin Terrace. Boardwalk situated alongside (east of) the Chateau Frontenac, and offers a grand view of the St. Lawrence river.
  • Musée national des Beaux-arts du Québec, [12]. Located on the Battlefields park, the mission of this art museum is to promote and preserve Québec art of all periods and to ensure a place for international art through temporary exhibitions. You can also visit the old prison of the city of Quebec, which is now ont of the two main pavilions of the Museum. Permanent exhibits are free of charge while admission to the temporary exhibits is $15 for adults.
  • Musée de l'Amérique française, [13]
  • The Citadel, this fortification at the juncture of the Old City wall and Grand Allée holds a changing of the guard ceremony mornings at 10AM complete with funny fur hats, weather permitting.
  • Plains of Abraham Battlefield Park, tel. 649-6157, [14]. (Outside the Old City walls) Site of the 1759 battle that saw the British conquer Quebec, now used for public events, sports, and leisure activities.
  • Observatoire de la Capitale, [15]. (Outside the Old City walls) One of the tallest buildings in Quebec, offering a panoramic view of the whole city. Admission is $5 .
  • Place-Royale, [16]. The spot where Samuel de Champlain landed in 1608 and founded the first French settlement in North America, now converted into a postcard-pretty public square. Do not miss the huge mural covering the entire side of a nearby building; the figure with a hat standing at the base of the 'street' is Champlain.
  • Musée de la Civilization, 85 rue Dalhousie, +1-418-643-2158, [17]. Museum devoted to the world's peoples, with a well-done if still somewhat dull permanent exhibit on the history of Quebec. Open Tue-Sun 10 AM-5 PM.$10.
  • Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge, 1215 Grande Allée, +1 418-528-0773 (fax: +1 418-528-0833), [18]. Residence of past lieutenant-governors from 1870-1966 and spread over 24 hectares, this garden features heritage buildings, wooded areas and gardens.  edit
  • Horse-drawn carriages. A one-hour tour of the Old City.
  • Ferry to Lévis, [19]. Beautiful views of the Chateau Frontenac and the Lower Old Town, and the other side of the river. Quite cheap and only one ticket is required for round trip if you stay aboard. (However, don't tell that to the ticket agent; some will insist on charging you the round trip fare.)
  • AML Cruises, [20]. Offers short three-hour cruises on the St-Lawrence river leaving from the docks nearby the ferry. One of the cruises leaves as the sun is setting and comes back when the sun is down for a stunning view of Quebec city by night.
  • Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on Plains of Abraham, [21]. Treat yourself to nature in the city and ski free of charge in one of the most accessible, enchanting sites there is, as you enjoy a breathtaking view of the St.Laurence River.
  • Villages Vacances Valcartier, [22]. Water park and go-carts open during the summer season. Tubing and ice skating offered in the winter.
  • Mont-Sainte-Anne, [23]. Ski and snow during the cold season. Camping, biking and hiking at summertime.
  • Station touristique Stoneham, [24]. Ski and snow during the winter and an animated summer camp from June to August every summer.
  • Choco-musee Erico, [25]. A small museum of chocolate, talks about the history and making of chocolate. Free admission.
  • Ice Hotel, [26]. One of only two ice hotels in the world, from January to early April the Ice Hotel is a must-see. $15 will get you full tour during the day, after 8PM access to the guest rooms is restricted to guests only. Each room is themed and decorated with exquisite ice sculptures. Rooms start at $299/night. Includes an ice bar where you can get a drink served in an ice glass. For the romantics, there is a wedding chapel complete with snow pews. The Ice Hotel is located thirty minutes west of Quebec at Station Touristique Duchesnay on Lac St-Joseph.
  • Governeur's Walk, Scenic walk starting at the top of the Funiculare, continuing along the wall over looking the old city. The many staircases lead to overlooks offering scenic views of the St. Lawrence. The walk ends at the gazebo on the Plains of Abraham.
  • Patinoire de la place d'Youville. Ice skating rink located right in the middle of Old Quebec. Skating is free to those with their own skates, and rentals are available for $7.50 to those who need them. Rink is small in size but the location can't be beat.  edit

Québec is a great city for going out to dance traditional and nuevo-Argentinian Tango. You can find out about classes, practicas, milongas and events at the local association [27] or at L'Avenue Tango [28].

  • Winter Carnival, city-wide, first week of February, [29]. A truly spectacular event, the Winter Carnival is a hundred-year tradition in Quebec City. Each year, a giant ice palace is built in the Place Jacques-Cartier as the headquarters of the festivities, but there's activities all during the week. The International Ice Sculpture Competition sees teams from around the world build monumental sculptures. There are 3 parades during the event in different quarters of the city, and other winter-defying competitions including a canoe race across the St. Lawrence and a group snow bath. The festival's mascot, Bonhomme Carnaval, a sashed snowman, is the city's most famous logo. $10 will get you a rubber snowman to attach to your parka for entrance into the festivities on the Plains of Abraham.
  • Saint-Jean Baptiste Celebration. Every year, June 24. Without a doubt the biggest party of the year in the entire province. Join over 200,000 Québécois of all ages on Plaine d'Abraham while they celebrate Quebec's National Day throughout the night. Various Québécois musical performances, bonfire, fireworks, and a lot of drinking.
  • Festival d'été, [30]. Beginning to mid-July, a lot of cheap music shows (you buy a button for $45 and it gives you access to all the shows, for the 11 days of the festival) in and around the Old Town, with international and local artists (for example in 2004, The Nits, Wyclef Jean, Bérurier Noir).
  • Edwin-Bélanger Bandstand, [31]. A musical experience in the open. Jazz, blues, Worlbeat. June to August. Thursday to Sunday.
  • Festival of New France, first weekend in August, [32].
  • Quebec City International Festival of Military Bands [33]: Spectacular performances are offered by Military Bands from all around the world. The Festival takes place at the end of August.
Shopping in Basse-Ville
Shopping in Basse-Ville

Quebec City's Old Town, especially Basse-Ville, is riddled with shops for tourists. Watch for leather goods and various handmade crafts made by Canada's First Nations Peoples.

  • Marché du Vieux-Port, 160 Quai Saint-André. Farmers' market just north of Basse-Ville, offering cheap and tasty local produce. Open daily 8 AM-8 PM.
  • Verrerrie La Mailloche, by the Breakneck Stairs (Basse-Ville). They often have glass blowing demonstrations and will explain the craft to you.
  • Place Laurier, Place de la Cité, Place Ste-Foy, 2700 boulevard Laurier. Three large shopping malls right next to each other. Place Laurier boasts being the largest shopping mall in eastern Canada.


All restaurants in the Old City will post menus out front in French and in English. Look for the table d'hote specials for a full course fixed price meal. On the cheaper (but very satisfying) side, have a traditional tourtière québecois (meat pie), or a poutine (fries, gravy, and cheese curds).

The café culture is very much a part of Quebec City as in most of Europe. It should be very easy to find a quaint cafe around Marche Champlain, and around the Chateau. Food is fairly expensive in Quebec, and even a simpler café or bar may be costly.

Most Quebec City delicatessens and markets offer a large variety of Quebec cheese from farms in the surrounding countryside. Specialty of the region include brie or camembert style cheeses made with raw milk (lait cru), which endows the cheese with superior flavors and textures not usually found in North American cheeses of the same type.

  • Aux Anciens Canadiens, 34 rue Saint-Louis, 418-692-1627, [34]. Specializes in Quebecois cooking, including dishes that feature caribou, buffalo, or wapiti. The table d'hote (the local term for prix-fixe), served until 17h45, is quite a good deal at $19.95. Reservations recommended.
  • Casse-Crepe Breton, 1136 rue Saint-Jean, 418-692-0438. 8AM-6PM. Inexpensive crepes, starting at about $5CAD. Usually a long line to enter, due to the fact that the restaurant is rather small. Come early.
  • Cafe-Boulangerie Paillard, 1097 rue Saint-Jean, 418-692-1221, [35]. 7:30AM-7PM. Good selection of Viennese pastries and gelato. Locals line up to buy inexpensive soups, sandwiches, and pizza.
  • Le Continental, 26 rue Saint-Louis, one block west of the Chateau Frontenac, 418-694-9995. Warm, cozy environment. Fantastic food--shrimp scampi that melts in your mouth, filet mignon cooked at table side, and other delectable dishes. Expensive but well worth it.
  • Le Petit Coin Latin, 8 1/2 rue Sainte-Ursule, 418-692-2022. Wonderful atmosphere, friendly staff. Serves delicious breakfast for $6.25 starting at 8AM.
  • Le Saint-Amour, 48 rue Sainte-Ursule, 418-694-0667. Expensive. The environment is a mish-mash of styles that do not seem to work together. The wait staff is friendly and knowledgeable. The French food is well-prepared but probably the most expensive restaurant in Quebec City and you should be aware of this fact. On the other hand, this restaurant is a must for stars visiting Quebec City, Paul McCartney had dinner at the St-Amour in 2008 the night before his concert.
  • L'Elysee Mandarin, 65 rue d'Auteuil (near rue Saint-Louis), 418-692-0909. Very good to excellent Chinese food served in an elegant setting, echoing a mandarin's Chinese garden. Don't judge the restaurant by its traditional 19th century exterior; it is elegant Chinese inside. Outstanding crispy chicken with ginger. Dishes run about $13 each and up.
  • Les Frères de la Côte, 1190 rue Saint-Jean, tel. +1-418-692-5445. Filled with more locals than tourists, this small eatery serves up a good selection of European dishes including their trademark moules (mussels). $30CAD
  • Moine Échanson, 585 rue Saint-Jean (Outside the Old City walls, about 4 blocks west of the St-Jean Gate), +1-418-524-7832. Outside the purlieu of the mechanized tourist cafeterias of the Old Town, this warm restaurant produces high-quality food and drink in small, manageable doses. They have a short but provocative nightly menu, and the food is produced by hand with the loving attention of chefs who care about their craft. Great cellar of organic wines that will surprise you with their depth. $15 (entrée).  edit
  • Pizzeria La Primavera, 73 rue Saint-Louis, 418-694-0030. Pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven. Expensive and small portions. Surcharge of $3.25 per pizza to cut them into two. 10% service charge added to the bill.
  • Samurai Restaurant Japonais, 780 rue Saint-Jean, 418-522-3989. (Outside the Old City walls, about 2 blocks west of the St-Jean Gate and one block north of the Convention Center) Good Japanese food in a small comfortable setting. Midi-Express (lunch) starting at $9.95 is a good deal and includes soup or salad, main course, and coffee or dessert.
  • Cochon Dingue, 46 blvd Champlain (Basse-Ville), [36]. Touristy, but in a good way — the "Crazy Pig" is cavernous but usually packed, with hefty portions from a frequently-changing menu. Lunch specials are good value at $10-15, including starter and coffee.


There is a place for nearly every visitor, from the wild nightlife to the cozy corner. Drinking age is 18 though enforcement is hazy.

Quality wine and liquor can only be purchased at SAQ shops, most of which are open until 6PM Sunday - Wednesday and 8 or 9PM on weekends; the smaller SAQ Express outlets are open daily from 11AM to 10PM, but the selection is restricted to the SAQ's most popular items. Beer and a small selection of lower-quality wine are also sold at convenience stores (dépanneurs) and grocery stores (not what youwould usually bring to a dinner party but sometimes drinkable-—it has been imported in bulk and bottled and sometimes blended in Quebec and known as "piquette" by the locals). All retail alcohol sales stop at 11PM and bars and clubs stop serving at 3AM.

There is only one SAQ within the walls of the old city, a SAQ "Selection" inside the Chateau Frontenac. It has high-end wines and liquors, a small selection of other liquors and no beer. A SAQ "Classique" with better (though still small) selection is located just outside of the walls on Rue St-Jean on the south side of the street.

During the frigid Carnaval, a local specialty known as caribou is available to warm you up (did you know that those canes they sell are hollow?). Though the mixture varies with what is available, it tends to be port or red wine with a hodge-podge of liquors, normally vodka, brandy and perhaps even some sherry.

The Grande Allée has most of the city's clubs & youth-oriented bars and spots:

  • Le Dagobert. One of Québec's biggest clubs and over 25 years old, with shows by local and international musicians. With its heart-stopping techno and enormous outdoor disco ball, you cannot miss it. Crowd tends to be young. One of the few venues that consistently asks for identification for age verification. Free admission.
  • L'Ozone. Offers great music and atmosphere. ~$5/pint.
  • Chez Maurice. Upscale with a crowd in the mid-to-late 20s playing dance. Has a dress code for the second floor.
  • Les Voutes de Napoléon. Great chansonnier bar located in the vaults of a restaurant. Live music everyday. Gets packed on weekend especially saturday night. Festive atmosphere.  edit

La Rue St. Jean, beyond the city walls on the west end, is where travelers will find the best pubs in Québec, as well as some smaller dance clubs:

  • The St. Patrick is an excellent bar with multiple indoor levels, in addition to its outdoor terrace at the heart of Old Québec. It serves typical bar food, but come for the live music, of the folk and Irish variety, that fills the atmosphere multiple nights a week. Try the draft cider, at about ~$9/pint.
  • The St. Alexandre is another great bar/restaurant that specializes in imports, but charges a price for them. A 16 oz Belgian import can be $9-12.
  • The Casablanca is a small, upstairs, tucked-away club that plays heavy rosta-beats and has room to dance. It's a good place to bring your own party, with a unique ambiance.
  • Le Sacrilège is ideal for a relaxed atmosphere with good friends.
  • La Ninkasi is the best place to have a large choice of Quebeckers beers and see a variety of shows.

Spread throughout Old Québec are many upscale bars and jazz clubs. Search out the hotels, as they typically have the best venues for jazz and music at night.

  • Bar Château Frontenac, 1 rue des Carrieres (in Chateau Frontenac Hotel). Famous for their perfectly mixed and generously sized martinis, available in numerous versions including half-a-dozen named after famous visitors ranging from Winston Churchill to René Lévesque. Try to score a window seat for great views across the St. Lawrence. The ice wine martini is a great treat. $13/16 for a martini with house/premium vodka.
  • Pub Nelligans, 789 Cote Ste Genevieve, 418 529 7817. A real irish owned pub in the heart of the St.jean Baptiste neighborhood. Famous for its year round Tuesday night traditional musique jams. A great place to meet people with a friendly ambiance and sorroundings, no better place to go and have a great pint of Guinness at 6.75$ a pint.  edit
  • Auberge Internationale de Quebec (HI-Quebec City), 19 rue Saint-Ursule (near St-Dauphine), +1 418 694-0755, [37]. Student and family friendly hostel. Offers many types of bedrooms/suites to suit your budget travel needs. Some rooms offer ceilings fans while others do not, so ask first. Huge kitchen and dining area with cookware and utensils for common use. Offers laundry, game/pool room, Internet (including free WiFi), lockers and other services. On the northwestern edge of Haute-Ville, it is a short walk to the rest of Vieux-Quebec. Online bookings offered. $28/night for a bed in a dorm. Offers HI member discounts.  edit
  • Auberge de Jeunesse de la Paix, 31 rue Couillard (Old Quebec near Cathedral), [38]. 60 beds. Breakfast included. Kitchen. Very clean and ideally situated. $20.  edit
  • Résidences - Université Laval, Campus - Pavillon Alphonse-Marie Parent (2 miles from downtown, lots of buses), [39]. Linen & cookware not included; kitchen, TV, etc. Reservation form on the web site. Ideal place for a long stay (best price in town). $11 per night if you stay 4 weeks & more. Price goes up for shorter stays (roughly $30/day for a week; $44/day for a day).  edit
  • Hotel Auberge Michel Doyon, 1215 chemin Sainte-Foy, +1 418 527-4408 (toll free: +1 800 928-4408), [40]. checkin: 4PM; checkout: 11AM. Very conveniently located: Downtown, at 10 minutes (2 miles) by bus (no 7), from the walls of Old Quebec. Free breakfast and free parking. Within 5 minutes walk from banks, convenience and drug stores, restaurants. Friendly and clean. 44 rooms. From $43.25/person (Double Occupancy). (46.79635,-71.25083) edit
  • Relais Charles-Alexandre, 1 Grande-Allée Est, tel. +1-418-523-1220, [41]. Squeaky-clean small hotel in a new building built to look like an old one, a 10-minute walk from the Old Town. Rooms are small, but equipped with en-suite bathrooms, and a tasty breakfast made to order is included. Note that children are not allowed. Rooms from $89/119 low/high season.
  • L'Hôtel du Vieux Québec, 1190, rue Saint-Jean, tel. +1-800-361-7787 [42]. Centrally located in historic Old Quebec, this charming family-owned hotel is within several blocks of restaurants, and attractions. Starting at $96 to $216 during low season and from $146 to $266 during high season.
  • La Maison Sainte-Ursule, 40, rue Ste-Ursule, tel. 418-694-9794 [43] A wonderful small hotel in the old town.
  • Hôtel Château Laurier, tel. 1-800-463-4453, 1220 Place George-V Ouest, [44], next to the Quebec parliament buildings. $144-$259 high season, $99-$209 low season.
  • Auberge Quatre-Temps, tel. 418-849-4486, 160, chemin Tour-du-Lac, Lac-Beauport [45] A bit far from the city itself (15 minutes by car) but offers more than lodging with a health center (spa & massages) and a 4-diamond restaurant, le Laké.
  • Hotel Maison du Fort, 21, ave Ste-Geneviève, +1-(418) 692-4375; toll free: +1-888-203-4375 (fax: +1-(418) 692-5257), [46]. checkout: 12Noon. A great location close to the Citadel, and highly rated by traveller reviews. Free wireless internet. Tea, Coffee, and muffins included. $129 - $189.  edit
  • Hotel Manoir d'Auteil, 49, rue d'Auteil (Just inside the walls near Porte St. Louis), +1-418-694-1173 (, fax: +1-418-694-0081), [47]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. Friendly, bilingual staff in an 1835-vintage building. A great location in the Old City, near the National Assembly building. High-speed wireless internet. Breakfast included; served 8AM-10:30AM. $119-299/night, a bit less in low season.  edit
  • Le Château Frontenac, 1 rue des Carrieres, +1 418 692-3861, [48]. One of Canadian Pacific Railway's grand old hotels, this castle-like building dominates the Quebec skyline and claims, with some justification, to be the most photographed hotel in North America. The location right next to the funicular connecting Haute-Ville and Basse-Ville is as convenient as it gets, but expect tour groups marching through the lobby at five-minute intervals. $300+, but offers AAA discounts.  edit
  • Loews Le Concorde Hotel, 1225 Cours Du General De Montcalm, +1 418 647-2222, [49]. $200-300.  edit

Stay safe

The level of violent crime and homicides in Quebec is far lower than almost all other large cities in Canada or the USA.

For twenty months, between November 1st 2006 and July 14th 2008, the city of Québec reported no homicide on its territory.

During the day, you should have no fear about traveling around the city; but at night, there might be the usual drunk bar patrons and those who prey on people unfamiliar with where they are. Take the usual precautions to protect yourself and you should be fine.


The organization ZAP Québec [50] provides free wireless Internet in cafes and other locations throughout the city.

  • Basilica of Saint Anne de Beaupré (Basilique de Sainte-Anne de Beaupre), 10018 Avenue Royale, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, +1 418-827-3781 (fax: +1 418-827-8771), [51]. an enormous church which is reputed to have healing powers similar to those of Lourdes.  edit
  • Montmorency Falls (Chute Montmorency), (Take Route 440 east out of Québec City. Watch for the exit to the falls and the parking lot.), [52]. At 83 meters, it stands 30 meters taller than Niagara Falls. Hosts the Loto-Québec Fireworks Competition [53] in the summer. Nice spot to visit if you are driving outside the city.  edit
  • Île d'Orléans, [54]. Beautiful biking or driving excursions. Many pick-your-own strawberry farms. Visit a sugar shack (cabane à sucre). The maple season typically runs from March to April.  edit
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010
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See also Québec



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From Algonquin kepék ((it) narrows), originally referred to the area around Quebec City where the Saint Lawrence River narrows to a cliff-lined gap.


  • (UK) IPA: /ˌkwəˈbɛk/, SAMPA: /%kw@"bEk/
  • (CA) IPA: /kwəˈbɛk, kəˈbɛk, keɪˈbɛk/

Proper noun




  1. Province in eastern Canada.
  2. Capital city of Quebec province.
  3. The letter Q in the ICAO spelling alphabet.

Related terms


Simple English

File:Quebec city view
Older part of Québec City

Quebec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec. It is the second largest city in Quebec, behind Montreal. It is known for its winter fair, beautiful churches, and an old hotel called Chateau Frontenac. It is next to the Saint Lawrence River. There are almost 700,000 people in the whole area.

The city was created in 1608 at a First Nations (native) Canadian place called Stadacona. People came from France to live there. The English captured the city in 1759 during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. The walls made to keep the city safe are still there.

Provincial and territorial capitals of Canada
Edmonton, AlbertaVictoria, British ColumbiaWinnipeg, ManitobaFredericton, New BrunswickSt. John's, Newfoundland and LabradorYellowknife, Northwest TerritoriesHalifax, Nova ScotiaIqaluit, NunavutToronto, Ontario • Charlottetown, Prince Edward IslandQuebec City, QuebecRegina, Saskatchewan • Whitehorse, Yukon

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