Québec

 

Québec is Canada’s largest province by land area and its second most populous; Québec City is the provincial capital, though about half the population live in the Greater Montreal area. Aerospace, IT, mining, pulp and paper and the timber industry dominate its economy.

 

 

Québec City - a fortified city on the banks of the St Lawrence River – was founded by Samuel Champlain in 1608, though the area had been explored by French navigator Jacques Cartier as long ago as 1535. It has been described as the centre of French heritage in North America and an attraction for people of French descent to become immersed in their culture.

 

 

The city retains its colonial core with Vieux-Québec designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Treasure - including the imposing Chateau Frontenac Hotel and the Citadelle of Québec.

 

Other attractions:

 

  • The fortifications – with more than 4km of walls and gates

  • The Quartier Petit Champlain with its cobblestone streets, boutiques, galleries and restaurants, and the Place Royale dating back to the founding of the city.

  • The Québec Winter Carnival (late January/early February)

  • The St Lawrence River and Vieux-Port de Québec (cruise ships dock here) with its public market, park, aquarium and the Promenade Samuel de Champlain

  • The Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré shrine – North America’s oldest place of  pilgrimage

  • The Québec Summer festival of the arts (July)

  • Parliament Hill with the National Assembly and the Fontaine de Tourny

 

 

Montréal

 

A centre for commerce, finance, industry and world affairs, Montréal is a centre for television and film production, one of the largest inland ports in the world and the headquarters of a number of international bodies.

 

Festivals are a major feature of the city’s events calendar among them:

  • The Montréal Jazz Festival (late June/early July)

  • Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix (June)

  • International Festival of Film and Art (March)

  • Beer Festival (June)

  • Just for Laughs comedy festival (July).

 

Among other attractions:

 

  • Place des Arts – home of the Montréal Symphony Orchestra, Opera de Montréal and Les Grand Ballet Canadiens

  • Once dubbed a “City of Hundred Steeples’ Montréal is renowned for its churches, including no fewer than four Roman Catholic basilicas

  • The Museum of Fine Arts

  • The Old Port with its dining, shopping and cruises

  • The Montréal Tower, at Olympic Park, is inclined at a far more dramatic angle than the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and from its summit the view extends more than 80km.