Quebec City – My City – Ma Ville
Category : Lifestyle
So In Love With My City
What is not to love about beautiful Quebec City? It is a city that meshes the charm and drama of the 1600s with the modern landscapes and lifestyle of the 21st century. It is a city where cannons and fortress walls meet cafés and shoe shops. Perched high on a cape overlooking the majestic St Lawrence River, upstream and down, and the city of Lévis on the opposite shore, the city of Quebec literally commands respect.
Let’s Begin Our Tour: The Upper Town
A walking tour around the city will bring you up and down steep hills and along twisting streets between the upper and lower towns. Of course, you can always go up and down on the funiculaire, if you don’t fancy going up and down the Breakneck Stairs. Driving around the old city can be a bit tricky if you are not used to a city full of one-way streets. Parking is not easy either. It is best to do the city on foot if you are able.
Two stone archway gates serve as entrances to the city: Port St. Louis and Port St. Jean, the first leading down St. Louis Street lined with restaurants to the emblem of the city: The Chateau Frontenac and the second leading into St. Jean street area lined with shops. Just outside the gate is the Carré d’Youville where there is an outdoor skating rink in the winter and any number of activities (outdoor cinema, concerts) during the summer. This is also the location of the Le Capital theatre ( a picturesque old cabaret-style theatre) as well as the more modern Montcalm theatre.
And Now for the Lower Town
Going down to the lower town, which you can access either by taking the funiculaire or by going down all the stairs to the bottom, you will find the cradle of North America as defined and settled by the French colonists. Here you will find narrow cobbled streets reminiscent of the 1600s. Right in the center of this lower town is Place Royal, which was the social and business center of the original city of Quebec. This is a town square surrounded by 17th- century houses/buildings. It was here that everything happened from the market to politics to public reprimands.
Meet Samuel de Champlain
Every August this town square hosts a colonial market complete with townspeople dressed in 1600s French-style dress. Samuel de Champlain is a regular character around town. You will also meet the locals: the women at the market, the town priest, the fur trappers, the native Americans ( and others) as well as have an opportunity to become involved in the local “gossip” of the town. Walking through the square and the neighboring streets, you will likely meet up with Samuel de Champlain. He is certainly hard to miss dressed in a royal blue aristocratic ensemble. Here is your chance to ask him all the questions you want.
La Rue la Petite Champlain
At the bottom of the Breakneck Stairs, you will find yourself on the historic rue de la Petite Champlain, a beautiful, romantic street lined with shops that promote local designers and artisans (clothing, jewelry, shoes, and boots, and much more). There are locally known restaurants such as Le Lapin Sauté (“off the wall rabbit”) and Le Cochon Dingue (“The Crazy Pig”) to enjoy a meal. Next to the Lapin Sauté is a little park with bench swings and Muskoka chairs, to relax in and take in the activity and music of street musicians. This street is my absolute favorite street in the city. It is energizing and inspiring and filled with activity. The shops are decorated with floral arrangements. And, at Christmas time, this beautiful street becomes even more spectacular with the festive lights and decorations illuminating the snow of the season.
Let’s Head Over to the Market
Down a bit from Place Royal along Blvd. Champlain ( a road that runs alongside the St. Lawrence River) is the port where you can often see cruise ships docked, marina activities and summer concerts and shows. If you go along this street towards the North East you will go past the art galleries and restaurants and come to the local farmer’s market near the marina-great place to stock up on local food and artisanal culinary creations. Just a little bit further and you will see our beautifully designed train station (La Gare de Train), keeping in line with the architecture of the city.
Here Ends the Tour
Here is the end of our tour. I hope you enjoyed your virtual time in Quebec City. It truly is a city to put on your bucket list of places to see. You may end up staying a while. I hope that you will come by to visit our beautiful city, a city of charm, historical drama, excellent cuisine for every taste and budget, as well as ample opportunities to work off the calories.
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