Continuation of my previous post here.

Our friends GC and Jenny are thinking of going to Québec City in January/February for one of the largest winter carnivals in the world, the Carnaval de Québec. GC asked my husband for suggestions for where to go, what to do, etc. for their upcoming visit. Since all of us knew Toronto quite well after living and going to university there, my husband gave some advice by likening the quartiers here to those of Toronto.


Going up to Haute-Ville using the stairs
Disclaimer: These are just our own opinions based from our experiences here… take them with a grain of salt!

Get oriented



Note that the most famous tourist attraction in Quebec City, le Vieux-Québec (Old Québec), is located in both Haute-Ville (Upper Town) and Basse-Ville (Lower Town). It was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Might as well go to the historical heart of the city if you have only one day to spend here!


1. Le Vieux-Québec (Haute-Ville part)

Probably the closest things in Toronto would be the Distillery District or Fort York… but only remotely. Most of the old buildings in Toronto have been destroyed, but in Québec City many have been preserved. Le Vieux-Québec has a plethora of things to offer like a very rich history, shopping (SIMONS!), and world-class restaurants. And of course… those souvenir shops.

Fairmont Château Frontenac
In the afternoon this time
View of Vieux-Québec’s Basse-Ville and the St. Lawrence River from Terrasse Dufferin


My friends are tourists


Last year when my husband and I went apartment-hunting, my parents suggested that we visit the Notre Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enter the Holy Door.


As part of the 350th anniversary of Notre-Dame de Québec, the Holy See in Rome authorized the Basilica-Cathedral to build a Holy Door. This was an exceptional privilege for Notre-Dame de Québec as it was the first Catholic parish in North America to have a Holy Door.

There are only seven Holy Doors in the world. Four are in Rome, in each of the papal basilicas; one in France at the Shrine of Saint John Vianney, the Curé of Ars; and one at the Shrine of Saint James in Compostela, Spain. The Holy Door in Quebec City, which first opened on December 8th, 2013, is also therefore the only one outside of Europe.

The Holy Door is, in fact, a real door.


What is this Holy Door about?

[The Holy Door] is a symbol of convocation, an invitation to persons of good will to enter, whatever their religious denominations. It is a visual symbol of internal renewal, which begins with the willing desire to make peace with God, reconcile with your neighbours, restore in yourself everything that has been damaged in the past, and reshape your heart through conversion.

The Holy Door serves to remind today’s pilgrims of all those who came before us to bring the Catholic faith from France to “New France.” May it serve as a visible sign of faith for future generations. (Source: Sanctuaires Québec)

It’s kind of weird but the Holy Door will actually re-open this year (December 2015 to November 2016) for the Jubilee of Mercy. So it turned out to be a twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity, really. Hehe.

Other religious sites of interest in Québec City here.

The wall/fortifications
Winter is coming…

More information about touring Vieux-Québec here (both Haute-Ville and Basse-Ville parts).

2. Saint-Jean-Baptiste

A lively street similar to those found in Toronto’s The Annex, but with more tourists. And the quality of food is 100x better. Restaurants, bars, and shopping aplenty.

Brunch at Chez Boulay
Nelligan’s Pub – they have the widest selection of scotches in all of Québec province! It’s also where ma belle-cousine works 😀
Salade bettraves jaunes, pommes, amandes rôties et buisson de mesclun (Le Hobbit Bistro)
Duo de canard (Le Hobbit Bistro)

3. Colline Parliamentaire

This neighbourhood is much like Toronto’s Queen’s Park as the Québec Parliament (Assémblée Nationale) is located in this area. It’s also where the Plaines d’Abraham (a historic battlefield) and Grand Allée (clubs and crazy nightlife like what you would find on Richmond Street or in the Entertainment District) are located.

From the Musée de la civilisation – reconstruction of 1759 Québec
We went here at night so I don’t have pictures from there LOL. But there were so many cool canons to read about!!!
Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
There was a Halloween display at the Joan of Arc Garden

4. Montcalm

It’s like High Park (i.e., more upscale); next to the Plaines d’Abraham.

5. Saint-Sacrement

It’s like Etobicoke.

6. Vanier

It’s like Mississauga (i.e., strip malls, suburb-feels). It’s too far to walk so we always drive out there… but we only ever go there to shop at Canadian Tire. LOL.

Follow me back down to Basse-Ville next!

More info about Québec’s quartiers here (in French only).