Canada facts & history in brief
Quebec City is the capital of Quebec province, in
Canada, at the merging of the St Charles and St
The Huron-Wendat Indians lived I the village
called Stadacona on the site of present day Quebec City.
Their nation was devastated in the first half of
the 17th century, with disease and intertribal wars.
The survivors resettled at a place called Wendake,
where they still live today.
In 1535, the French explorer Jacques Cartier landed
at Stadacona and claimed it in the name of the
King of France.
In 1608 French settlers
established Kebec (An Algonquin word meaning
'where the river narrows') as a fur trading
post on Cape Diamond, laying the foundations
for today's city.
The English snatched
control of the growing city in 1629.
A few years later a treaty returned the
territory to the French.
The English victory
over the French in the battle on the Plains
of Abraham in 1759, where both the English
and the French generals died, give the English
sovereignty over Canada in the 1763 Treaty of Paris.
In 1791 the territory was divided into Upper
and Lower Canada, with the vast majority of
French speakers settling in Lower Canada.
At the beginning of the 19th century, Lower
Canada became Quebec and Quebec City as
In 1841, the city became the
capital of the United Provinces of Canada,
when the Lower and Upper Canada were joined.
In 1867 Ottawa was declared Capital of the
Canadian Confederation, joining the provinces
of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
In 1832, British soldiers returning from India
introduced cholera to the city and around
3500 people died.
To prevent a recurrence
the local authorities set up a quarantine
station on Grosse Ile, a small island in the
St Lawrence River to the city's east.
One of its busiest periods was during the
1840s, when the Irish potato famine drove
100,000 people to Canada, 7500 of whom died
on Grosse Île of typhus.
The station handled many European immigrants
until its closure in 1937.
Quebec City developed during the next century
as agricultural, industrial and tourist centre.
The city's development was greatly helped by the
successful first Winter Carnival in 1954.
Further development was hindered on a recurring
basis by the sometimes violent reawakening of
French nationhood in the 1960s and 70s.
In early 2002, its municipal limits were expanded
a hundredfold to engulf all of the surrounding
cities, including Lévis and Ste Foy.
Part of the city on the cape is called Upper
Town (Haute Ville), and the other part at the
base of the cliffs is called Lower Town (Basse
Ville); both areas have old and new sections.
The walled Old Town (Vieux Quebec), the northeastern
end of Upper Town was World Heritage-listed in 1985.
The Rue St Jean, in the heart of the Old Town has
many bars, cafes, restaurants.
the cliff edge is a boardwalk called Terrasse Dufferin.
Just north of busy Place Royal, at the eastern end
of Lower Town, and surrounded by the oldest network
of streets in the city, is Old Port (Vieux Port) that
has recently been redeveloped.
West of the
Old Town walls are neighbourhoods of St Roch
(in Lower Town) and St Jean Baptiste (in Upper Town).
The summer temperatures are between 10°C and 30°C,
while in winter it varies between -25°C and -5°C.
Some of Quebec City's many attractions are;
The Upper Town (Haute Ville) is the old fortified
part of Quebec City with a wall encircled La Citadelle.
A large fort built as storage facility by the French
for gunpowder in 1750, and was completed 70 years
later by the British waiting for an American attack.
The large grassy plain near the cliffs is called the
Plains of Abraham and it was here that the British
won a famous victory over the French in 1759.
Inside the park boundary is the Musée du Quebec,
with many priceless pieces in its collections.
The Ursuline Convent & Museum, the handsome
Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, built
in 1804 and the Le Château Frontenac is a glorious
landmark hotel with a stately medieval tower are
all near the La Citadelle.
Behind the hotel is Terrasse Dufferin.
The oldest and most interesting part of the
Lower Town is the section to the immediate
east of the Upper Town.
The two 'towns' are
connected by a funicular that travels up and
down the cape, but the most rewarding path
between them is carved out by a collection
of steep, winding streets and short-cut
staircases, one of them is called Break-Neck
Staircase (Escalier Casse-Cou).
The Rue du
Petit Champlain and Rue Sous le Cap, two of the
oldest streets in North America and, with
individual widths of 2.5m also two of the narrowest.
The 400-year-old Place Royale is one of Lower
Town's main attraction.
Église Notre Dame des Victoires, built in
1688 is one of the oldest stone church on
the continent, on the western side of Place Royale.
Hanging in the church is a replica of a wooden boat
called the Brézé, a lucky charm for Atlantic navigators.
The city's old harbourside has been redeveloped
with some government buildings, modern apartments,
retail boutiques, entertainment and recreational
Nearby is the Musée de la
Civilisation, permanently displaying the
diversity of native Indians and the early
European influence on the continent.
St Jean Baptiste is part of the Upper Town with
small picturesque houses, discos, taverns
and alfresco restaurants.
St Roch, in the Lower Town, is a former
working class residential stronghold,
which has been rejuvenated and made
trendy in recent years.
Since 1994 guided tours of Grosse Ile show
the old disinfection chambers, hospital,
cemetery and immigrants' living quarters.
Fifteen kilometres north-west of Quebec City
is the small community of Wendake and its
reconstructed Huron-Wendat village, called
Onhoüa Cheteke, where guided tours let you
view the traditional dwelling and old dances.
Quebec City have many interesting events and
activities all year around like the coming
of spring Festival (de la Neige) in March
or the Winter Carnival in the first half of February.
Quebec City's area is about 93 sq km
with a population of about 300,000.
Another city we arrived at late night.
Mind you, we've did it on purpose, so we
could spend most of our time to sightseeing.
We rang a few places from the Bus Station
and managed to book the 'Acadia' at St
Ursule Street, and the Security Guy at the
station talked us out to walk to it at half
past eleven at night to the 'Old City'.
The hotel was Ok.
Went for a conducted tour next morning.
Much to see. Interesting place.
I had a feeling that the city was caught
in the time warp, just for the tourist.
Very interesting town, very interesting history.
It was quiet cold.
We enjoyed the city.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
Back to Top
Thanks for coming, I hope you
have enjoyed it, will recommend
it to your friends, and will come
back later to see my site developing
I'm trying to make my pages
enjoyable and trouble free for everyone,
please let me know of any mistakes
or trouble with links, so I can
fix any problem as soon as possible.
These pages are best viewed with monitor
resolution set at 640x480 and kept simple
on purpose so everyone can enjoy them
across all media and platforms.