Québec City is one of the most walkable cities in Canada. Lucky for me, since walking is the only safe form of exercise I can do with a broken neck! In the last month and a half, I have ridden a car only twice here. (I can’t ride the bus with my injury because of its sudden movements.)

Also lucky for me (and my husband whom I have to drag around as I can’t turn my head to cross the street…), Québec is such a beautiful, charming city with a rich history. Though there are admittedly not as many things to see or do here when compared to Toronto or Montreal, there’s been enough to keep us busy. While my husband and I walk to go to school and to do random errands everyday, we venture out and explore the city a bit on our longer, (nearly) daily walks.

Panorama of Québec City’s skyline (2009) by Martin St-Amant. View from Lévis at twilight.

Québec City at a glance:

  • Founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, it is one of North America’s oldest cities
  • Recognized as the cradle of French civilization in North America
  • Capital of the province of Québec, Canada (population: 8.2 million)
  • A UNESCO world heritage treasure (1985) on account of the rich heritage of Old Québec
  • Home to Québec’s National Assembly
  • Covers an area of 9,000 km² and is located 250 km east of Montréal
  • Home to a population of 677,000 (Québec City area), 95% of them French-speaking

Source: Québec City and Region Tourism

“So Europe. So Close.”

From mywanderlustylife.com

Quebec’s Old Town (Vieux-Québec) is the only North American fortified city north of Mexico whose walls still exist. In Quebec’s Upper and Lower Towns (above and below the cliff), you can find at least 11 architectural styles, ranging from Classical Revival (1790-1820) to International Style (1930-1965). The area is also home to the Plains of Abraham, where a pivotal battle between the French and English in 1759 shaped the future of North America. (SourceThe Seven Wonders of Canada)

More sightseeing info on Old Québec in this blog!

For geo buffs like me

The cliffs and stairs that link the city’s Upper Town and Lower Town, in fact, connect the two distinct geological provinces of the St. Lawrence Lowlands and the Appalachian Orogen. These cliffs and stairs straddle one of the most important faults in eastern North America, Logan’s Fault (also called Logan’s Line). It is the main structure in a series of thrust faults that stretches from Lake Champlain in Southern Québec to the Gaspésie, and passes through Cap-Rouge, Sainte-Foy, Québec, and île d’Orléans. (Source and more info here: Geoscape – Québec, CGEN)

Simplified geological map of the area around Québec City. (From the University of Laval.)
Cross-section of Québec’s Eastern Townships which include Québec City. Upper Town is situated on the Appalachian Orogen and Lower Town on the St. Lawrence Platform, demarcated by the Logan Fault. (From the University of Laval.)

Québec City boasts nearly 30 sets of stairs that link the Upper Town to the Lower Town. Each stairway has its own personality and history!

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Escalier du Faubourg
Escalier du Faubourg up close from http://www.quebecregion.com
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No idea what this one is called hehe but it’s my favourite
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View of Lower Town and the Grenville from the top of the stairs

 

Exploring Québec on foot

Saint-Roch

Let’s start with the neighbourhood where my husband and I live and go to school, Saint-Roch in Québec’s Lower Town. My husband likens it to what Parkdale in Toronto would have been a decade ago (i.e., populated with young professionals, art-farts, hipsters, and yes… hobos). It is adjacent to Saint-Sauveur, Saint-Jean Baptiste, Vieux-Québec, Limoilou, and Vanier.

Saint-Roch from a reconstructed diorama of Québec City during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. (Taken at the Musée de la civilisation,)
Saint-Roch from a reconstructed diorama of Québec City during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. (Taken at the Musée de la civilisation,)

All photos below were taken on Rue Saint-Joseph, the vibrant main street in the neighbourhood dotted with trendy boutiques, restaurants of all price points, bars, music venues, delis, bakeries, cafes, and home decor stores. AND it’s just two streets away from our apartment!

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I ❤ my tea
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I told you so

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Eating at a Mexican restaurant

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INRS – where my husband is doing his MSc in Geology
BLI - where I
BLI – where I go to French immersion school
Our favourite restaurant here
Our favourite restaurant here
It's always full! You really need to make a reservation. One night we were able to snag a place at the bar
It’s always full! You really need to make a reservation. One night we were able to snag a place at the bar
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Their ever-changing menu
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We were seated right in front of the chef! The entire restaurant smelled amazing
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Our gravlax de saumon
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Delicious goat meat 🙂 🙂
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Taking my cooking classes
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Plating like a pro
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L’église Saint-Roch
Theatre Imperial - a great concert venue!
Theatre Imperial – a great concert venue!
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L’Imperial at night – we saw Québec singer-songwriter Marie-Pierre Arthur there last February!

Explore more of Saint-Roch here!

More of our adventures around town to come~

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So excited for winter here! NOT. (February 2013; check out the “renowned” Ashton’s Poutinerie in the background!)
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