Quebec, Canada

Parliament Building (Hotel du Parlement) & Parliament Hill

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Quebec, Canada

Beyond the city walls, Grand Allée forms the spine of the city. The district near Parliament Hill is of greatest interest to tourists. Here, a bevy of restaurants, patios, and entertainment venues bring local and visiting crowds. The street's grandiose 19th-century buildings were once home to the city's upper class.

Pont de Québec

The Musée de la Civilisation in Québec City is a three-part institution that delves into the many facets of human history and the establishment of French America, with the main museum located in Basse-Ville near the Old Port. Built to designs by the well-known architect Moshe Safdie, the central museum is of great architectural interest. The permanent collection draws from civilizations around the world, as well as exploring the Québec experience.

Constructed for the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1894, the grand Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is now one of the city's most prominent landmarks and esteemed hotels. This historic property can be seen from miles away and is especially impressive at night. In front of the hotel, Terrasse Dufferin affords stunning views northwards to the Laurentians, and the Promenade des Gouverneurs leads southwards toward the Citadel and Plains of Abraham. This elevated vantage was the original site of Fort St.-Louis, the governor's residence in colonial times. Tourists can see the ruins underneath the promenade. Château Frontenac is also historically significant for the Québec Conference in August 1943, where the Allied Powers - Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, William L. M. King, Vice-Admiral Lord Mountbatten, the U.S. Chief of Staff, General George C. Marshall, and others - laid preparations for the D-Day landings in Normandy (June 6th 1944).

La Citadelle de Québec

Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré

Fortifications of Quebec National Historic Site

Must-See Attractions: Top 10 Things to Do


Quebec, Canada

Quebec (/k(w)ɪˈbɛk/ ( listen); French: Québec [kebɛk] ( listen)) is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario and the bodies of water James Bay and Hudson Bay; to the north by Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay; to the east by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador; and to the south by the province of New Brunswick and the U.S. states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. It also shares maritime borders with Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. Quebec is Canada's largest province by area and its second-largest administrative division; only the territory of Nunavut is larger. It is historically and politically considered to be part of Central Canada (with Ontario).

Quebec is the second-most populous province of Canada, after Ontario. It is the only one to have a predominantly French-speaking population, with French as the sole provincial official language. Most inhabitants live in urban areas near the Saint Lawrence River between Montreal and Quebec City, the capital. Approximately half of Quebec residents live in the Greater Montreal Area, including the Island of Montreal. English-speaking communities and English-language institutions are concentrated in the west of the island of Montreal but are also significantly present in the Outaouais, Eastern Townships, and Gaspé regions. The Nord-du-Québec region, occupying the northern half of the province, is sparsely populated and inhabited primarily by Aboriginal peoples.

The climate around the major cities is four-seasons continental with cold and snowy winters combined with warm to hot humid summers, but farther north long winter seasons dominate and as a result the northern areas of the province are marked by tundra conditions. Even in central Quebec, at comparatively southerly latitudes, winters are severe in inland areas.

Quebec independence debates have played a large role in the politics of the province. Parti Québécois governments held referendums on sovereignty in 1980 and 1995. Although neither passed, the 1995 referendum saw the highest voter turnout in Quebec history, at over 93%, and only failed by less than 1%. In 2006, the House of Commons of Canada passed a symbolic motion recognizing the "Québécois as a nation within a united Canada".

While the province's substantial natural resources have long been the mainstay of its economy, sectors of the knowledge economy such as aerospace, information and communication technologies, biotechnology, and the pharmaceutical industry also play leading roles. These many industries have all contributed to helping Quebec become an economically influential province within Canada, second only to Ontario in economic output.

Quebec, Canada

Quebec, Canada

The spaciously laid out district, immediately southwest of the old Upper Town, is the seat of Québec's provincial government. The Parliament, completed in 1877 but later extended, could have been modeled on any number of Parisian public buildings. The Salle de l'Assemblée Nationale (National Assembly) and Salle du Conseil Législatif (Legislative Council) are open to the public. Both are fine old chambers, sumptuously furnished. Tickets should be obtained in advance. Nearby, find the Grand Théâtre (a venue for plays, concerts, and symphony performances) as well as the large Palais des Congrès shopping and entertainment complex.

The Pierre Laporte Bridge twins the Pont de Québec. It is named for one of Québec's former Vice-Premier's, Pierre Laporte, who was killed during the famous October Crisis. At the time it was built, in 1970, it was the longest suspension bridge in Canada with a span of 1,040 meters.

 Still an active military post, the Citadel is used as military quarters for generals, officers, and servicemen, as well as the summer residence of the Governor General of Canada. It is also the headquarters of the 22nd Canadian Regiment, which formed at the beginning of the First World War and boasts a distinguished record, including action at the Battle of the Somme and, much later, in the Korean War. Summer visitors can watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony each morning, and the military museum, located in the mid-18th-century powder magazine in the southern corner of the Citadel, is open year-round.

Sainte Anne is the patron saint of Québec and is credited with many miracles of healing the sick and disabled. Located northeast of Québec in Beaupre, this stunning Catholic basilica is a destination for half a million pilgrims each year. The present-day church dates to 1926, but the first chapel was built here in the 17th century. Another famous Catholic basilica is the Cathedrale Notre-Dame-de-Quebec, designed by the architect Baillairgé and completed in 1844. The interior of Notre-Dame de Québec is very impressive with a beautiful altar, Episcopal canopy, and stained-glass windows.

In the more than 300 years of its history, Québec has come to possess a variety of fortifications, all of which can be explored on an hour-long circular walk. The bastions, walls, towers, gates, and countless old cannon show how well the former French colony was protected. Completed in 1832, the four and a half kilometers of defensive ramparts on the west flank of the Old City were constructed of granite and sand, the only fortifications of this kind in North America. Numerous pieces of weaponry are a constant reminder of Québec's troubled past.

Quebec City was founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain. Some other towns were founded before, most famously Tadoussac in 1604 which still exists today, but Quebec was the first to be meant as a permanent settlement and not a simple trading post. Over time, it became the capital of Canada and all of New France.

History of Quebec City