Walking Tour of Quebec City, Canada
This beautiful place, on the St Lawrence River, is the most European city in North America. It was also the scene of the most important battle in Canada’s history, when, in 1759, British forces, commanded by General James Wolfe, defeated the French and General Montcalm, on the Plains of Abraham. This pivotal engagement decided the future of Canada, although Quebecois have stubbornly preserved their rich, French heritage, despite English sovereignty. Vieux Quebec, the walled Old City, is a wonderful city for walking so feel free to detour off the walking tour to sample some of the other charming streets.
My walk begins just outside the Old City, on Grande Allee est, at Parliament Hill, where the stately, Provincial Parliament Buildings and their landscaped grounds overlook the city below. Walk downhill on Grande Allee est and through the St Louis Gate into the walled city. Rue St-Louis, as the street is now named, continues eastward to the Place d’Armes, where the imposing Chateau Frontenac, one of the most recognizable hotels in the world, sits. Save a visit to the hotel for later, when you can enjoy lunch or a beverage on the terrace.
At the square turn left, on Rue du Tresor, which leads to Notre Dame Basilica. The church was built in 1647 and contains artwork from this period. After your visit, take Rue de Buade to the left (east), toward the city walls, and then turn left onto Rue du Fort, then right on Cote de la Montagne, which winds its way downhill to Lower Town (Basse-Ville). Or you can take the steep stairs, to the right as you descend.
Next, take a right onto Rue Notre Dame which leads into the adorable Place Royale. Be sure to visit Our Lady of Victory Church, on the square. The center of the square contains a bust of King Louis XIV. Also note the murals on the walls of several buildings in the square.
From the square, take the stairs down to Rue St-Pierre, turn right and stop for a moment at Rue Sous-le-Fort. The view uphill from here, toward the funicular and the Chateau Frontenac, is particularly enchanting. However, continue walking south on Rue St-Pierre to Rue du Marche Champlain and turn right. Ahead, on your right, is the Maison Chevalier, the former home of a ship-builder, which offers an exhibit showcasing how people lived in Quebec during earlier centuries.
When you exit the home, turn right to the end of this street and then take a sharp right turn onto Rue de Petit Champlain, a street lined with numerous shops. It eventually leads to the base of the funicular. Take the funicular to Upper Town and turn left to walk along the Dufferin Terrace, which offer fabulous views of Lower Town, the Port, and the St Lawrence River. When the terrace ends, you may continue walking along the cliff using the Promenade des Gouverneurs. When you’ve had enough of these views, return to the Chateau Frontenac and then to Rue St-Louis. Turn left, but before leaving the Old City, take a left on Cote de la Citadelle to visit the fort complex. The grounds are well-kept and attractive, so stroll around the area before returning to Rue St-Louis.
Now turn left and walk through the gate to Grande Allee est. On your left, as you climb the hill, are the famous Plains of Abraham, now the Parc des Champs de-Betaille, where the Battle of Quebec was fought. At this point, you are back where the walking tour began.