Cities in Six— Quebec City, Quebec

Visual, Virtual, Visiting---Six Photos at a Time

Quebec City is the capital of the province of Quebec, and Canada’s twelfth-largest city.  European settlement began on the site in 1608 and took the Algonquin name that meant “where the river narrows.”   That river is known today as the St Lawrence.

The city’s old sections retain a European flavour.  The Historic District of Old Québec was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.  I visited the city for the first time in 2008, 400 years after its founding.

Château Frontenac. 

The iconic hotel, one of a series of swanky railway hotels built across Canada by CPR in the late 1800s, sits majestically above the Old Town and the St Lawrence River.  The hotel is a National Historic Site.

Port City.  The Port of Quebec is the oldest port in Canada.  These days the majority of freight continues upstream to Montreal, but Quebec City’s port remains popular with cruise vessels.

Vieux-Québec.  The Old Quebec neighbourhood is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The neighbourhood includes an upper and lower section, linked by stairs and a funicular railway.  The cobbled streets, vintage architecture, shops, and eateries make this a popular destination for tourists.

Ramparts and gates.  Quebec City is the only North American city north of Mexico to retain its defensive walls.  The walls, dating back to the 17th century, encircle the Upper Town of Old Quebec.  Kent Gate, one of four remaining gates, was built in 1879.

Plains of Abraham.  A defensive Martello tower rises from the edge of the famous plain.  This tower, one of three remaining in Quebec City, was built between 1808 and 1812 and has never seen action in battle (the Battle of the Plains of Abraham occurred in 1759)


Two bridges.  The 1041-metre Pierre Laporte bridge (in the background) was opened in 1970 and is the longest main span suspension bridge in Canada.  The riveted steel-truss Quebec Bridge (in the foreground) is 987 metres and is the eastern-most complete crossing of the St Lawrence River.  The bridge opened in 1919, and now carries rail, road, and foot traffic.  The Quebec Bridge is infamous for collapsing twice during construction, causing a loss of 88 lives.

Travel note:  Quebec City is about 260 kilometres northeast of Montreal.  The Jean Lesage International Airport is 13 kilometres west of the city centre.  Trains from Montreal and Ottawa arrive at Quebec City’s chateau-style train station daily.