Québec City

photo of Québec City from river
View of Québec City from the St. Lawrence River.

Québec City Album

Click on the thumbnail to see the full photo.

View towards Château Frontenac
View of Château Frontenac and old port. August 1995.

Basilique Notre Dame de Québec
Notre Dame Basilica, August 1995.
Château Frontenac
Château Frontenac. August 1995.
Citadelle
Citadel. August 1995.
View from Citadelle
View from the Citadel towards Château Frontenac. August 1995.
Notre Dame des Victoires
Notre Dame des Victoires. August 1995.
Parlement
Provincial parliament building. August 1995.
Rue St Jean
Stores on the Rue St Jean. August 1995.
Saint Jean Baptiste
Saint Jean Baptiste church. August 1995.
Ste Anne de Beaupré
Church of Ste Anne de Beaupré. August 1995.
Dufferin Terrace
Dufferin Terrace. August 1995.
Old town
Buildings in Place Royale. August 1995.
Montmorency Falls
Montmorency Falls. August 1995.

Introduction

Québec City is the capital of the province of Québec. It is located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, where it joins with the St. Charles River. Past Île D’Orléans, the river widens as it approaches the sea. The name “Québec” likely originates from an Algonquian word meaning “narrowing of the river”.

In 1535, the native Iroquois in a village called Stadacona saw the arrival of European explorers led by Jacques Cartier. But sometime before the arrival of Samuel de Champlain in 1608 to establish a trading post, the Iroquois had disappeared and in their place were a group of Algonquians.

During the Seven Years War, French territory was lost to England. The Plains of Abraham, just to the west of the city, was the scene of an important battle on September 13, 1759. The British forces under the command of Major General James Wolfe scaled the cliffs a few kilometers past the city. The French forces were commanded by Lt-Gen Montcalm. But although the armies had roughly equal numbers, the well-trained British troops had little trouble defeating the poorly trained French militia. However, both Wolfe and Montcalm were mortally wounded during the battel. Five days later, Québec surrendered.

Our Visit

We visited for a couple of days in 1995. We took the train from Toronto, changing trains in Montréal, riding first class for an extra bit of comfort. After arriving, we tried going to our bed and breakfast by taxi. Unfortunately, the roads in the old city were jammed, and after ten minutes in a traffic jam, we decided to walk instead. It wouldn’t have been too bad, but the walk was all uphill.

For the first full day, we toured the city on a tourist bus. It was the type of tour where you could disembark anywhere along the route and board a later bus to continue the tour.

The next day, we took a bus tour to Montmorency Falls and Ste Anne de Beaupré, both popular destinations for tourists.

We found Québec City to be a great getaway destination, with lots of things to see and do throughout the city and environs.

Some people like to say that Québec City is the most European of North American cities. But based on our visits to Europe, I can say that Québec City is most definitely a North America city, having much more in common with other old cities in North America like Halifax and Kingston.