Old Quebec Walk, Quebec City

Old Quebec Walk (Self Guided), Quebec City

The historic part of Quebec City known as Old Quebec (French: Vieux-Québec), sometimes also referred to as the Latin Quarter (Quartier Latin), is the neighborhood centered around Cape Diamond (Cap Diamant), located on the eastern edge of Quebec hill promontory. The area comprises Upper Town (Haute-Ville) and Lower Town (Basse-Ville) and is currently listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

In 1608, French explorer Samuel de Champlain chose the land of today's Upper Town to set up Fort Saint Louis, the precursor of Quebec City. After the British Conquest, the territory was occupied mainly by British government officials and Catholic clergy, while merchants and artisans, both French and English, settled in the Lower Town. Much of Quebec's traditional architecture – dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries – is concentrated in the old part of the city.

Among the most notable buildings here is the Church of Our Lady of Victories (Notre-Dame-des-Victoires), constructed between 1687 and 1723, as well as some civic buildings like the Quebec City Hall (Hôtel de Ville) and the Museum of the Central Hospital of the Augustinian Convent of Quebec (Musee des Augustines de l'Hôtel-Dieu de Québec).

The ancient stones and winding streets give this area a distinctly European feel. The abundance of shops and restaurants, as well as hotels, such as the imposing historic Frontenac Castle (Château Frontenac), makes the Old City a very popular tourist destination. Also adding to its appeal, albeit modern in terms of architecture, is the Museum of Civilization (Musée de la Civilisation).

The Upper and Lower towns of Old Quebec are connected by numerous staircases, the most notable of which, undoubtedly, is the "Breakneck Stairway". Among other things, this staircase is renowned for the marvelous view opening from its top and the vicinity of the Old Quebec funicular, which links the Upper Town to the historic Petit-Champlain street copiously lined with small boutiques.

If you're in the mood for a bit of Europe organically blended into the Canadian setting, or perhaps would like to have some insight into the New World's history and enjoy great food along the way, you can find all of this and more in the old part of Quebec City. Just embark on our self-guided walking tour and see for yourself!
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Old Quebec Walk Map

Guide Name: Old Quebec Walk
Guide Location: Canada » Quebec City (See other walking tours in Quebec City)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 18
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Author: susan
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Museum of Civilization (Musee de la Civilisation)
  • Quebec City Mural (La Fresque des Quebecois)
  • Notre-Dame-des-Victoires (Our Lady of Victories Church)
  • Chevalier House (Maison Chevalier)
  • Petit-Champlain Street (Rue du Petit-Champlain)
  • Louis Jolliet House (Maison Louis Jolliet)
  • Old Quebec Funicular (Funiculaire du Vieux-Quebec)
  • Breakneck Steps (L'Escalier Casse-Cou)
  • Dufferin Terrace (Terrasse Dufferin)
  • Chateau Frontenac
  • Rue du Trésor
  • Notre-Dame de Québec
  • City Hall of Quebec City (Hotel de Ville)
  • Museum of the Central Hospital of the Augustinian Convent of Quebec (Musee des Augustines de l'Hôtel
  • Morrin Centre
  • Jesuit Chapel (Chapelle des Jesuites)
  • D’Youville Square (Place d'Youville)
  • Artillery Park Heritage Site
Museum of Civilization (Musee de la Civilisation)

1) Museum of Civilization (Musee de la Civilisation) (must see)

The Museum of Civilization is found in the heart of Quebec City's port district, not far from the shores of the St. Lawrence River. Inaugurated in 1988, the museum explores the history (much as the present and the future) of human civilization and that of Quebec, in particular.

Architecturally, the venue comprises several historic buildings, such as the former Bank of Quebec edifice, the Guillaume-Estèbe house (Maison Guillaume-Estèbe) – now home to the museum shop and administration, and the vaulted cellars of the Pagé-Quercy house. Albeit generally in line with the traditional style of this part of the city, the museum's main building's modern exterior – the roof, the windows, and the bell tower – strikingly contrasts the neighboring architecture.

Designed by Moshe Safdie, the mastermind behind Montreal's revolutionary Habitat 67, the museum's front entry is tucked away into an incline, which gives it a bit of a natural touch, with a glass roof and greenery sprouting along the sides. Once inside, you will find yourself in a well-lit spacious lobby, clad in glass and dominated by Astri Reusch's "La Débâcle" sculpture. This environmental piece is said to be inspired by the springtime accumulation of ice in the St. Lawrence river.

The three-story building accommodates ten different exhibits simultaneously, three of which are permanent and rooted in the region's history. The one called “The Time of Quebecers” (“Le Temps des Québécois”) is a summary of significant events that have shaped modern Quebec, from the days of the first nations and Inuit culture to the present.

Located in the basement are the so-called “discovery spaces”, interactive activity sites intended mainly for the young audience. Here, the exhibit called “Once upon a time” allows children to dress up as their favorite characters and recreate tales in an interactive environment, while the on-site Creaform lab introduces visitors to the issues of the digital world such as robotics, basic programming, and electrical circuits.

Vast on the inside, the museum is capable of holding hundreds of people at a time, so you'll never feel cramped. There's something for everyone, regardless of age and specific interests. Many exhibits offer "hands-on" experience. Although both English and French tours are available, visitors are free to walk through and explore on their own.

If you arrive at 4 pm for the last hour, you can get in at a half price, but note: to see the core exhibits, you should allow yourself at least three hours. Alternatively, you can get a discount if you visit this museum and the National Museum of Fine Arts (Musée National des Beaux-Arts) on the same day.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10 am-5 pm
Quebec City Mural (La Fresque des Quebecois)

2) Quebec City Mural (La Fresque des Quebecois)

Reaching nearly three stories high and 4,520 sq feet (420 sq meters) in size, the Quebec City Mural is the largest and most historical trompe l'oeil in Old Quebec, found in an iconic location in Petit Champlain district.

Inaugurated in 1999, this colossal painting vividly illustrates the 400+year history of Quebec City and its important figures and took twelve artists from France and Canada, supervised by experts (historians, geographers, and others), to be created. The site – at the corner of Notre Dame street – was perfectly chosen, as there are no adjoining buildings to obscure the painting; anyone, who so wishes, can spend hours capturing its details.

The immense fresco features 16 prominent Quebec citizens, including historical figures like Jacques Cartier, Samuel de Champlain, and Lord Dufferin, as well as some cultural icons like singer/songwriter Félix Leclerc and politician Louis-Joseph Papineau.

Also depicted here are some famous local buildings with prominent individuals peeking through the windows, architectural landmarks like the Breakneck Stairway (L'Escalier Casse-Cou) and the Frontenac Castle (Château Frontenac), as well as climatic peculiarities – the four seasons of Quebec. Given its proximity to a bookstore, the fresco also honors dozens of authors and artists of Quebec origin.

The popularity of this painting kicked off a trompe l'oeil craze around the city, resulting in many buildings being covered in similar, historically-meaningful murals over the years.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Notre-Dame-des-Victoires (Our Lady of Victories Church)

3) Notre-Dame-des-Victoires (Our Lady of Victories Church)

Walking through the Lower Town (Basse-Ville) in Quebec City, there's a good chance of spotting a small Catholic basilica, crowned with a steeple surmounted by a spire on Royal Square (Place Royale). The neoclassical church of Our Lady of Victories (Notre-Dame-des-Victoires) is the oldest stone church in Canada and one of the oldest in North America. It was built from 1687 to 1723 on the remains of the second home of Samuel de Champlain, founder of the city.

Originally dedicated to baby Jesus (l'Enfant Jésus), the church got the name of Our Lady of Victory following the Battle of Quebec that took place in 1690, in which the English expedition commanded by Major-General William Phips was forced to retreat. In 1711, the name was changed again, this time to plural – of Victories, after the bad weather sank the British fleet commanded by Admiral Hovenden Walker. The church was largely destroyed by the British bombardment preceding the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, in September 1759, but was completely restored in 1816.

Nowadays, it is listed as a historic monument and remains a popular tourist site and a place of worship. The extensive restoration performed on the building in recent decades brought it back to the original French colonial style. Despite multiple remodelings over the course of several centuries, some of the original elements of the structure, dating from the 1600s, like the fragment of the wall in the basement and the turret on the facade, are still in place.

The austere interior is decorated with several paintings from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, among which are the works of Van Dyck, Rubens, and Boyermans. Also, there are unique frescoes on the sides of the main altar, retracing the history of the church and the city, created by local painter Jean-Marie Tardivel. The most striking element of the interior, however, is the replica of the 17th-century vessel Le Brézé, which brought French soldiers to New France in 1664, commanded by Marquis de Tracy; recovered from the church ruins in 1759, it is now hanging suspended from the ceiling.

In 2002, the church served as a filming location for the “Catch Me If You Can” movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.

Opening Hours:
Wed-Sat: 12 am–4 pm; Sun: 9:30 am–4:30 pm
[Masses] Sun: 10:30 am / 12 pm
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Chevalier House (Maison Chevalier)

4) Chevalier House (Maison Chevalier)

The historic Chevalier house (Maison historique Chevalier) is a classical piece of French urban architecture in New France.

The structure incorporates three separate buildings from three distinctive periods. In the centre is the former home of the shipowner Jean-Baptiste Chevalier (Maison de l'Armateur Chevalier) built in 1752, twinned with the neighboring mansard house Frérot (Maison Frérot) built in 1683 or 1695, and the Chesnay House (Maison Chesnay) dating back to 1660 or 1675.

All three houses were destroyed by fire and then rebuilt in 1762. The entire complex was partially remodeled following the British Conquest of the territory and used for commercial purposes. From 1807, the property was rented to an innkeeper who called it London Coffee House, by which name it was known until the early 20th century.

During the 1950s, the buildings escaped demolition after being purchased by the government of Quebec as part of the major restoration project in the Royal Square area. In 1965, the complex was classified as a historic monument and turned into a museum.

With the Frontenac Castle's top showing in the background, the Chevalier House makes a good photo op for an architecture buff as it encapsulates much of the area's historic heritage. During the Quebec Carnival in February, it is also often used for traditional music evenings.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Petit-Champlain Street (Rue du Petit-Champlain)

5) Petit-Champlain Street (Rue du Petit-Champlain) (must see)

A quaint narrow street at the foot of Cape Diamond (Cap Diamant), Petit-Champlain (Rue du Petit-Champlain) is a centerpiece of the tiny neighborhood of the same name, called after Samuel de Champlain, the French explorer who founded Quebec City in 1608.

Running just 814 feet (or 260 metres) long, Petit-Champlain (which means “Little Champlain”) should not be confused with Champlain street further west, located in the small district of Cap-Blanc. The 1889 rockslide severed the two streets from each other.

At the southern end of Petit-Champlain, you will find a large (100 square metre/900 square foot) trompe-l'œil mural covering the side of a three-story building at No. 102. The fresco highlights the history of the neighbourhood, including the 1759 bombardments, the landslides, and the many fires that ravaged the area over the years.

At the other end of the street is the famous Breakneck Staircase (L'Escalier Casse-Cou), named so for its steepness – affording a picture-perfect view of the area.

Just beyond the staircase is the lower entrance to the Old Quebec Funicular (Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec). This electric cableway has been operating since 1879, running up and down Cape Diamond at a 45-degree angle, covering a total distance of 64 metres (210 ft).

In 2014, Petit-Champlain was recognized as “the most remarkable street” in Canada according to both public and professional polls held during the event organized by the Canadian Institute of Planners.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Louis Jolliet House (Maison Louis Jolliet)

6) Louis Jolliet House (Maison Louis Jolliet)

The historic Louis Jolliet House, at 16 Petit-Champlain Street, today serves as the main entrance to the Old Quebec funicular. Designed by architect Claude Baillif, this was one of the earliest residences in Old Quebec built a year after the great fire of 1682.

The fire, which had almost completely razed the Lower Town, eventually prompted the authorities to require that all buildings be made of stone and fitted with firewalls. Among other things, this decision resulted in the spread of the first suburbs outside the city walls since poorer settlers could not meet the new costly requirements and were thus forced to move out.

The owner of the house, Louis Jolliet, an explorer, cartographer and hydrographer, lived here until his death in 1700. He was the first Quebec-born Canadian to make history. During one of his expeditions, Jolliet discovered and mapped the Mississippi River, being the first person of European parentage to accomplish such a feat.

Heavily damaged during the British Conquest and by a number of fires that happened later on, the house underwent several transformations that have reduced its state of authenticity. Nonetheless, some of its original features, attributing to the urban architecture of the French Colonial period, have survived.

The commanding location – at the top of Sous-le-Fort street – gives this property a privileged place in the urban landscape and, together with the access to the funicular, adds more value to it in the eyes of multiple visitors. As of 1985, the building has been an integral part of the Old Quebec UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Old Quebec Funicular (Funiculaire du Vieux-Quebec)

7) Old Quebec Funicular (Funiculaire du Vieux-Quebec) (must see)

The Old Quebec Funicular (Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec) is a cable railway that links the Upper and Lower Towns (Haute-Ville and Basse-Ville) of Old Quebec between Dufferin Terrace (Terrasse Dufferin) and Petit-Champlain Street (Rue du Petit-Champlain).

Apart from being quick and convenient, let alone scenic, this form of transportation is also a valuable piece of heritage. The funicular first opened in 1879. Before its conversion to electricity, in 1907, it operated a hydraulic system whereby water had to be transferred from one reservoir to another to make it function.

On July 2, 1945, a major fire damaged the structure, necessitating its rebuild, which was completed a year later. Another two renovations, in 1978 and 1998, resulted in two cabins being made fully autonomous, operating automatically as an elevator. Technically speaking, this is now more of an inclined lift than a funicular.

Small as it may seem, the funicular offers an amazing way to "see things". When traveling uphill, you get in through the Louis Jolliet House and then, after getting your ticket (which takes roughly 10 minutes on a summer afternoon), click-clack 64 meters (210 feet) up at a 45-degree angle whilst enjoying a beautiful view of the Lower Town, the St Lawrence River, and the iconic Frontenac Castle (Château Frontenac).

Indeed, being here makes it one of a kind experience that you won't get in many other places worldwide. The ride itself may be short, but the fun of it is long-lasting!

For extra pleasure, there is an on-site gift shop and café.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Breakneck Steps (L'Escalier Casse-Cou)

8) Breakneck Steps (L'Escalier Casse-Cou) (must see)

Built in 1635, the legendary Breakneck Stairs or Steps (Escalier Casse-Cou) is the oldest stairway in Quebec City. Named so for its steepness, the staircase was previously known as Champlain Stairs (escalier Champlain), Beggars' Stairs (escalier du Quêteux), and Lower Town Stairs (escalier de la Basse-Ville).

The first steps and landings were made of wood and were much narrower and steeper than today. In 1889, the staircase was replaced with a larger iron one, expanded from a single to three parallel flights, designed by the celebrated local architect and engineer, Charles Baillargé. The stairs that we see now, however, resulted from the major overhaul in the late 1960s.

While not Quebec City's longest staircase (59 steps only), the Breakneck Stairs is probably the city's most useful as it provides a shortcut between Côte de la Montagne street in the Upper Town to the corner of Petit-Champlain and Sous-le-Fort streets in the Lower Town. Despite the ominous name, coined by British tour guides in the mid-19th century (and made official in the 1960s), no serious injuries have ever been reported on the stairs.

The upper level, near Côte de la Montagne, hosts a few artisan kiosks. Tourists adore this location for the wonderful view it affords. As you gaze down upon Petit-Champlain – one of Canada's most picturesque streets, stretching along the foot of the cliff – you may think you are looking at a postcard come to life.

In the winter, the scene is even more sublime with the Christmas lights twinkling and snow gently falling. In the summer, the ultimate experience on the Stairs consists of eating or having a drink at one of the restaurant terraces located on different landings. And when it comes to taking pictures, any time of the year is good, on any of the landings, for a personalized postcard made.

At the bottom of the Stairs, you will find several boutiques, including the famed confectionery La Fudgerie, plus a number restaurants and other delights.
Dufferin Terrace (Terrasse Dufferin)

9) Dufferin Terrace (Terrasse Dufferin) (must see)

The Dufferin Terrace (Terrasse Dufferin) is a wide, wooden boardwalk wrapping around the front of the Frontenac Castle (Château Frontenac) towards the Citadel of Quebec. The abundance of gazebos and benches here, not to mention the panoramic views of the St. Lawrence River, the South Shore, and Orleans Island (Île d'Orléans), makes this place an equally loved leisure spot by both locals and tourists.

Remarkably, the use of wooden planks gives this whole thing an “air of summer”, even in the middle of winter when the famous Terrasse Dufferin Slides, a huge (150-metre/490-foot) toboggan on the south end of the terrace, is open during the Quebec Winter Carnival (Carnaval de Québec), from late January to mid-February.

The promenade was built in 1838 and was first known as Durham Terrace. It was enlarged in 1854 and then remodeled, in 1878-1879, under the direction of the then Governor General of Canada, Marquess of Dufferin, whose name it now bears. Each of the six gazebos found on this boardwalk has a name – going north-south, it is Frontenac, Lorne, Princess Louise, Victoria, Dufferin, and Plessis.

Underneath the terrace is the archaeological site of Saint Louis Fort and Castle (Château Saint-Louis), featuring the remains of the former seat of power occupied by the French and British governors of the territory from 1620 to 1834 (when it was destroyed by fire) – it is now open for viewing through the three specially built-in peek-a-boo windows.

Also, at the southern end of the terrace is the entry to the Governors' Promenade, a walkway to the Plains of Abraham built into the cliffs below the Citadel. Nearby, a few old guns recall the strategic position of the place once guarded by artillery batteries.
Chateau Frontenac

10) Chateau Frontenac

One of the most astonishing buildings in Quebec, renowned for its fortress-like architecture and majestic location – sitting on top of the Cape Diamond (Cap Diamant) ridge, the Frontenac Castle (Château Frontenac) proudly holds the title of the "most photographed hotel in the world".

Opened in 1893, this was one of the first grand railway hotels built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in the country, whose 18-floor grandness, augmented by the 54-meter (177-foot) elevation that it sits at, rivaled any European hotel of the day and grabbed the attention of travelers visiting the city.

The Châteauesque style of the building was later replicated in other grand railway hotels erected throughout Canada from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries. American architect Bruce Price drew inspiration from Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian architecture, incorporating into his design such elements as turrets from Scottish castles and bastion towers of French châteaus. The hotel was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1981 and expanded on three occasions, most recently in 1993.

The building is named after Louis de Buade de Frontenac, who served twice as the Governor General of New France, and it sits on the site previously occupied by Saint Louis Castle (Château Saint-Louis). The remains of this former seat of the French and later of the British governors of the territory now lie in front of the hotel as an archaeological site.

Over the years, the Frontenac Castle has welcomed many guests of honour among whom were the likes of Queen Elizabeth II, Charles Lindbergh, and other dignitaries and celebrities. Alfred Hitchcock used the building as the setting for his 1953 drama "I Confess", however, the most memorable historic events associated with the hotel are the two Quebec Conferences, held in 1943 and 1944, during which U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King discussed Allied strategy for WWII including plans for the invasion of Normandy.

If you ever book a room here, ask for a high floor – the 18th floor offers a particularly stunning city view!
Consider taking a hotel tour, offered every day, as there are some good anecdotes and stories to hear from the hotel's history.
Rue du Trésor

11) Rue du Trésor

The cobblestone street linking the Frontenac Castle (Château Frontenac) and the Our Lady of Quebec (Notre-Dame de Québec) Cathedral-Basilica is one of the oldest streets in Quebec City, dating back three centuries. During the French colonial regime, colonists used to come to this street to pay their dues at the Royal Treasury that was located here, hence the name – Treasury street (rue du Trésor).

More recently, this quaint little street, with a distinctive European cachet, has become especially atmospheric thanks to the open-air art gallery established here in the 1960s. It started off with a group of art students deciding to exhibit their paintings. Other artists, interested in displaying their works to tourists and amateur art lovers, soon followed suit. In time, the street became so popular as a venue for selling art that a designated association (the Association des Artistes de la Rue du Trésor) was founded to promote and supervise business activities on the site.

The gallery operates all year round. To handle the flow of visitors, the artists are often present here until 9 pm every day, from mid-May to mid-October, but are free to set their own hours. During the rest of the year, some of them are also present on holidays, as well as weekends, when large crowds are expected.

If you're looking to buy a souvenir, this could be just the right place. Here, you can find pretty much every form of graphic media – from picturesque watercolours of local scenes to oil paintings, engravings, reproductions, and abstract etchings of something completely indefinable. The artists may talk to you all day long, but there is no pressure to buy. And since the prices are good, you can actually find a little something to take home.

Crossing Treasury street at its upper end is yet another artistic hub in its own right – Saint Anne street (rue Sainte-Anne). Here, numerous caricaturists and portraitists practice their craft in a picturesque setting. The art can be hit-or-miss but the street itself is well worth checking out.

Do not take photos of the displayed items, as the artists are very protective of their work being copied, and rightfully so. Note: not all vendors take credit cards.
Notre-Dame de Québec

12) Notre-Dame de Québec (must see)

The Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of Quebec City (Notre-Dame de Québec) is the oldest church in Canada. It sits on the site of the former chapel of Our Lady of Recovery (Notre Dame de la Recouvrance), which was built by Samuel de Champlain in 1633.

This is also the first church in Canada to be ranked as a minor basilica – by Pope Pius IX, in 1874.

Over the years, the cathedral has been destroyed twice by fires: the first time during the Siege of Quebec, in 1759; and then in 1922, gutted by arson by the members of the Canadian faction of the Ku Klux Klan.

The church was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1989. Inside, you will find a chancel lamp donated by Louis XIV and impressive adornments such as stained glass windows, paintings of the Virgin Mary dating back to the French colonial regime, the old bishop's throne, and a stunning gold-plated baldaquin canopy suspended above the altar.

From 1654 to 1898, some 900 people were buried in the church crypt; among them four governors of New France and twenty bishops of Quebec, including François de Laval, Quebec's first bishop. It is also rumored that Samuel de Champlain himself is buried somewhere nearby; archaeologists have been searching for his grave for decades.

In 2014, when the cathedral celebrated its 350th anniversary, a holy door – a special entrance portal traditionally located within the Papal major basilicas in Rome – was installed here, being the only one of its kind in North America and one of eight across the entire world.

See the basilica during the day, but consider the laser light show in the evening. The line to get in is very long, so buy your tickets online and pick them up at the office the night of the performance. Not the cheapest 30 minutes, but well worth it if you want to see the magnificent building shine in a whole new way.
Entry is free for self-guided visits; it is also possible to visit the crypt on a guided tour, for a charge.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 7 am–4 pm; Sat: 7 am–6 pm; Sun: 8 am–5 pm (winter);
Mon-Sat: 7 am–7 pm; Sun: 8 am–7 pm (summer).
City Hall of Quebec City (Hotel de Ville)

13) City Hall of Quebec City (Hotel de Ville)

The City Hall of Quebec City (Hôtel de ville de Québec) is the seat of the local government and a National Historic Site of Canada since 1984; it was also listed as a World Heritage Site in 1985.

Prior to its construction, from 1842 to 1896, the municipal authorities met at the home of the British Army Major General William Dunn, and before that – at various other places.

The building sits on a hill that, from the 1730s to 1878, was occupied by the Jesuit College (Jesuit Barracks), which was then demolished to make way for the new City Hall. The latter, designed by architect Georges-Émile Tanguay, was the second permanent city hall in the Old City. Its architectural plan sparked fierce debate, at the time, between the mayor and the city councilors. Nonetheless, the building was completed in 1895 and was finally inaugurated on September 15, 1896.

The City Hall features traditional for the late Victorian period eclectic mix of Classical, Medieval, and Châteauesque styles, with some elements of the American Romanesque Revival influence. The overall exterior catches the eye as it contrasts the more habitual French and British styles of architecture observed in the local public buildings.

The H-shaped edifice has various heights; its center and sides are accentuated by towers with steeply-pitched roofs. An indoor parking lot is hidden underneath the gardens – a parterre of greenery, created in 2014, featuring water jets and a clock (a gift from the Swiss Canton of Jura, designed and manufactured by Richard Mille).

The whole area has tons of atmosphere and is very beautiful in the evening.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Museum of the Central Hospital of the Augustinian Convent of Quebec (Musee des Augustines de l'Hôtel

14) Museum of the Central Hospital of the Augustinian Convent of Quebec (Musee des Augustines de l'Hôtel

The Museum of the Central Hospital of the Augustinian Convent of Quebec is found in a renovated 17th-century building that perfectly blends historical Quebec gray stone with bright contemporary glass and steel features. The museum collection comprises 40,000 artifacts from the local Augustinian nunnery (Monastère des Augustines) and its hospital, including a full historical nun's habit as well as centuries-old medical devices and other effects allowing visitors to delve into the complex history of this monastic order.

The Augustinian nuns first came to Quebec in 1639; practicing nurses, they healed the sick and encouraged the First Nations peoples to convert to Christianity.

The hospital was originally established in the village of Sillery for the purpose of meeting the colony's healthcare needs, in 1637, by Marie-Madeleine de Vignerot, the Duchess of Aiguillon, who was a niece of Cardinal Richelieu (the one featured in “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas). It was moved to its present location, in Quebec City, in 1644, prompted by repeated attacks by the Iroquois. Here, the hospital served the French colonists and eventually became a leading medical institution in the city, the first of its kind in Canada and indeed in North America.

The vaulted cellars that support its three-storey wings were built in 1695. Nearby, surrounded by the stone walls, is the Augustine cemetery, the garden, and the cloister. The hospital chapel, which opened in 1803, was extensively remodelled (both, the façade and the interior) in later years. In 1936, the building was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.

The hospital continued to be operated by the Augustinian sisters until 1962, by which time their number had dwindled, compared to the convent's heyday. Still, several of the nuns still live on the site even today.

Presently, the hospital operates as a teaching hospital, affiliated with Laval University's (Université Laval) medical school.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10 am–5 pm (Jan 6–Jun 19)
Hour-long guided tours take place at 2 pm, from Tuesday to Sunday, and cost an extra $5.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Morrin Centre

15) Morrin Centre (must see)

One of the most famous cultural landmarks in Quebec City, the Morrin Centre is dedicated to educating the public about the history of English-speaking Quebec and showcasing the present-day culture of local English speakers.

Here you will find the private English-language library of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, located on the premises since 1868, and comprising over 20,000 books, a small collection of archives, manuscripts, films and videos, electronic records, nearly 800 artifacts, plus the Stephens collection of decorative items and tea-ware related to the English families of Quebec City.

The centre is found in a former prison building – Quebec City Common Gaol – which operated from 1814 to 1861. The property was sold to Doctor Joseph Morrin in 1868, who turned it into a college for young English speakers, designed by architect Joseph-Ferdinand Peachy, which served in this capacity until 1902. The heritage building was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1981.

Visitors to the Morrin Centre can take a guided tour of the building (in either English or French) during which they can see the dark dank cells where prisoners spent their sentences for crimes ranging from drunkenness to murder to stealing tea! There is also an original darkroom that may be the world's oldest in existence.

Any place that can boast of having been a prison, a college, and a library, is well worth visiting and guarantees time well spent. Here, apart from jails, you can learn a little bit more about Quebec history, too.

Opening Hours:
[Administration] Mon-Fri: 9 am-5 pm
[Library] Tue: 12-8 pm; Wed-Fri, Sun: 12-4 pm; Sat: 10 am-4 pm
Jesuit Chapel (Chapelle des Jesuites)

16) Jesuit Chapel (Chapelle des Jesuites)

The Jesuit Chapel stands on the former grounds of the Jesuit college in Old Quebec. It was built from 1818 to 1820 to a design by architect François Baillairgé.

Initially, the chapel was served by priests from the Notre Dame Basilica-Cathedral whose congregation ran the Jesuit College after the Jesuit order was expelled from Quebec in 1773. In 1842, the Jesuits were allowed to return and, in 1856, moved into a house nearby. A year later, the chapel was enlarged (with new windows added on each side), but it would not be handed over to the Jesuits until 1907.

In 1930, architects Ludger Robitaille and Gabriel Desmeules designed a new façade for the building and changed the shape of its roof. In 1949, the chancel was altered (with the nave galleries removed) and the chapel was dedicated to the Canadian Martyrs; their statues and relics are found inside.

The chapel's interior, whose decoration began with the construction of the counterfeit vaulting, underwent a series of modifications over the years. Its centerpiece, the main altar made by Eugène Taché in 1888, is complemented by a number of stained glass windows created in 1916 by Bernard Leonard.

Presently, the building houses a charity, on the ground floor, underneath the chapel, dedicated to improving the living standard of the migrants arriving in Quebec.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
D’Youville Square (Place d'Youville)

17) D’Youville Square (Place d'Youville)

Located in one of the city's busiest junctions, D’Youville Square (Place D’Youville) is a former major marketplace that is now a bustling crossroads marking the boundary between Old Quebec and Quebec Parliament Hill.

The site of today's square has been a busy forum since the 1730s when it was part of the Saint Jean suburb. Between 1877 and 1931, the area was known as Montcalm market (Carré Montcalm), and after the latter was demolished to make way for the construction of Montcalm Palace, was subsequently renamed Montcalm Square.

The square officially took the name D'Youville in 1965, in memory of Marguerite d'Youville, Canada's first Catholic saint. It is still habitually referred to as D’Youville Market (Carré D'Youville). The adjacent D’Youville Street (Rue d'Youville) leads to the chapel of the Sisters of Charity of Quebec, a community founded by Marguerite d'Youville in 1849.

Owing to its more recent redevelopment, the square now has a large promenade area with trees and benches, serving as a meeting spot. The counterscarp wall, part of the old fortifications removed in the 19th century, has been highlighted by black granite blocks. Starting in October, part of the square turns into an ice rink, much to the delight of local skaters, while in summer it becomes one of the sites of the Quebec summer festival.

On the western side of the square stands The Muses (Les Muses), a bronze sculptural group by Alfred Laliberté, donated to the city by the Government of Quebec for its 375th anniversary, in 1983. The depicted six muses represent Music, Oratory, Poetry, Architecture, Sculpture, and Painting.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Artillery Park Heritage Site

18) Artillery Park Heritage Site

Strategically positioned, overlooking the west side of Quebec City across the St. Charles River, Artillery Park (Parc de l'Artillerie) is a former major military site established in the late 17th century. Attesting to its legacy now are the four vastly different buildings through which one can trace the history of the city from the French colonial period to the 1940s. The most striking of the four is the Dauphine Redoubt with massive white supports plunging down the side of a hill.

Built from 1712 to 1748, the redoubt served as army barracks both before and after the British Conquest and eventually became home to the superintendent. Nowadays, during the summer, one can see characters in period costumes bringing the barracks back to life with demonstrations and tours of the property decorated to reflect various periods in the building's evolution.

Here, on display, there is also a fascinating model of Quebec City. Created by military engineer Jean-Baptiste Duberger for strategic planning, between 1795 and 1810, it offers an unparalleled source of information on the layout of the city in the years following the British Conquest.

While walking around the park is an enjoyable activity as such, the on-site museum is charming and well-presented, with lots of artifacts, making it easy to understand and appreciate the history of the area.

Consider getting a self-guided audio tour. It takes about two hours to go through the entire complex, and you can pace yourself.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10 am-5 pm (May 18-Nov 3)

Walking Tours in Quebec City, Quebec

Create Your Own Walk in Quebec City

Create Your Own Walk in Quebec City

Creating your own self-guided walk in Quebec City is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Houses Walking Tour

Historical Houses Walking Tour

Often referred to as the cradle of New France, Québec City has one of the richest architectural heritages in North America and is particularly evocative of Europe in its atmosphere. Most of the city's architecture, however, had to be adapted to harsh winters and the lack of specialized workers and materials in the colony; as such, most houses were designed as simple and efficient before...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Qucbec City's Historical Churches Walking Tour

Qucbec City's Historical Churches Walking Tour

The first religious buildings in Canada were established by the Récollets and Jesuits, in 1615 and 1625, respectively, when they first arrived in New France. Later on, the French colonists brought along their culture and architectural traditions, and the establishment of British and evangelical society triggered further major developments in Quebec City.

Over the course of the 17th and 18th...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Quebec City Introduction Walking Tour

Quebec City Introduction Walking Tour

Cresting a cliff above the St. Lawrence River, Québec City (French: Ville de Québec) is the soul of the province of Québec – a place all its own; a country within a country with its own traditions, architecture, and French-speaking population.

The Algonquian people had originally named the area Kébec, which means "where the river narrows", because the Saint Lawrence River...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles