Quebec Visitor information
Quebec City is the capital of the province of Quebec. The city’s old town has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. It is the only fortified city in North America north of Mexico. Having been the capital of New France, Lower Canada and for a brief period of time, the capital of Canada, the city is often referred to as the “Old Capital”. Quebec has a large number of parks and public gardens, as well as numerous museums, galleries and historical monuments. A visit to the Aquarium of Quebec is also recommended.
The city holds several festivals and major events, amount which are the Quebec Winter Carnival the Quebec City Summer Festival, the New France Fete, the Grands Feux fireworks, the Quebec Expo and the Grand Rire comedy festival. The Red Bull Crashed Ice world championship, an extreme bi-annual down-hill ice-skating competition, is also held in Quebec along with the Quebec Cycling Grand Prix and the Transat Québec-Saint-Malo sailing race, which travels up the Saint Lawrence River and then across the Atlantic to Saint-Malo in France. The city is also home to the oldest university in Canada and fifth-oldest in America, the Laval University, founded in 1663.
Accommodation in Quebec’s student residences
It should be understood that these university residences are designed primarily for students and not children or adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, the halls do meet a level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.
Getting around Quebec
Public transport in Quebec is opertated by the RTC organisation. Most train links are run by Via Rail – there is a very convenient service to Windsor. The Gare du Palais train station is the city’s central rail connection and the building itself is of great architectural merit. The city is served by the Jean-Lesage International airport.
Jacques Cartier was the first person to have officially discovered the region of Quebec in 1535 on behalf of the king of France. He and his men came across an Iroquois village called Stadaconé, which existed before the foundation of Quebec. The city of Quebec was, however, officially founded on the site of this village in July 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, who remained there as governor of New France.
This settlement was to become the beginnings of French-speaking culture in North America, however, the French merchants visiting the land were opposed to the formation of a colony in the Saint Lawrence Valley. In 1615, Champlain came back to Quebec after a short time in France and brought with him religioius representatives, who would ensure that New France was catholic. Things took a slightly different turn for the explorer Champlain at the moment when in 1620he was named “commandant” of the Quebec settlement under the authority of the king. He constructed a fort at the top of the Cape Diamond promontory, on which the city’s Upper Town is now located, named it Château Saint-Louis in honour of King Louis XIII of France.
As of 1627, the New France colony was to be modelled on the seigneurial system. The memory of Samuel de Champlain, who died on Christmas Day in 1635, is forever linked to the history of the city itself. In 1636, with the addition of new cannons to the fortress, Quebec became a defeinsive city. The year 1759 saw the siege of Quebec and the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, as a result of which the capital of New France was ceded to the British and Quebec’s history under French rule was over. By 1763, the majority of French assets in North America were ceded to Great Britain. The former capital of New France was now the capital of the Quebec Province. From 1859 to 1865, before its definitive relocation to Ottawa, Quebec City was the capital of the United Province of Canada, a role which it shared with Toronto.