Lifestyle

The Belle Province of Quebec, cradle of French America in Canada

The Belle Province of Quebec, cradle of French America in Canada

Between Montreal, Quebec and the Saint-Laurent river, the Belle Province is a magical destination in all seasons. Go Canada !

Zoom on Montreal

Built on an island, this landmark city combines old Europe and the New World. For an instant overview, hike up to the Mont-Royal plateau, the green lung of Montreal, from where you will discover the emblematic Olympic stadium. Then make a bee line for place Jacques Cartier, baptized in homage to the French navigator. You can also jump into the future by going to the Biosphere. There, it's the environment that creates the show, and in the afternoon, visit the Notre-Dame basilica where Céline Dion got married. A little further, the Museums of the Beaux-Arts, Pointe-à-Caillère and Contemporary Art showcase cultural life. Don't miss the Place Royale, animated by horse-drawn buggies, boutiques, restaurants, the stroll will continue in front of the booksellers alongside the Vieux-Port or old Harbour. You will still have time to hop on a bateau-mouche boat for a cruise along the Saint-Laurent river that throws itself in the Atlantic. A very romantic spot for spectacular sunsets.

Montréal, the olympic stadium
Built for the Summer Olympic games of 1976, the Montreal stadium is today part of the landscape. © DR
Montréal Jacques Cartier place
In the historical center, place Jacques Cartier is overlooked by the City Hall. © DR

Le Vieux-Québec

This historical district of old Quebec witnessed the premices of French America. Created by Samuel de Champlain, an explorer originally form Honfleur, in Normandy, is filled with religious buildings such as the Sanctuary of Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Cœur, a masterpiece in the Gothic style, as well as the museums of the Fort, Civilisation and Francophone America that tell the story of European colonisation. Another site that is the pride of this fortified city, Château Frontenac. A Canadian symbol transformed into a deluxe hotel, it majestically overlooks the Saint Laurent river. After lunching on the terrace, head for the place Royale where the first house dates back to 1608, then pursue your discovery of the region while exploring the nearby town of Wendake. Its Museum of First Nations will give you an insight on the traditions of the Huron-Wendak native American people.

Québec royal place
In Quebec, the Place Royale looks like many of the small towns of metropolitan France. © DR
Québec Porte Saint-Jean
On the fortified wall of Porte Saint-Jean, the Quebec landscape offers a panoramic vision. © DR

The national parks of Canada

Quebec is the land of wide open spaces, and nature is very moving. In mid-town Quebec, the vast Plains of Abraham, located in the Parc des Champs-de-Bataille, where the British and French battled, are an oasis of greenery—only 30 minutes by car are required to gain access to the natural reserves of Grands-Jardins, Hautes-Gorges and Rivière-Malbaie, the paradise of cariboo, fox, eagles and beavers. Ski resorts, dogs sledding and snowshoe strolls, you can have a lot of fun in the snow. We would like to remind nature buffs that the black bears of the region are not cute little stuffed animals…

Shopping... the new fashionable sport !

And how about discussing shop-ops ? In Canada, this is the new fashionable sport. And in all the big cities, the problem of intense winter cold has been resolved by organising a real underground pedestrian network swarming with boutiques, cafés and cinemas where all your whims will be granted. In the old part of Montréal, Marché Bonsecours has switched its offices into appealing window-displays. Commercial life is also very active along the streets of Sainte-Catherine, Crescent and Sherbrooke where leading brands, art galeries and gastronomical experiences will seduce you.

Quebec national parks
National Canadian parks invite its visitors to daily adventure. © DR
Saint-Laurent river cruises
On the Saint-Laurent river, cruiseships sail by Mille-Îles, a region sprinkled with châteaux. © DR

Address book

In Montreal

  • Schwartz’s : Bought back by Céline Dion, people come here from around the world to enjoy a pastrami sandwich of smoked meat. www.schwartzsdeli.com
  • The  Jean Talon market : Pick up your maple syrup and souvenirs in the largest covered Canadian market. www.marchespublics-mtl.com/marches/jean-talon
  • La Baie d'Hudson : A true shop-op, this department store on rue Sainte-Catherine is as beautiful as a museum. www.labaie.com

A Québec

  • Aux Anciens Canadiens : Since 1675, this ancestral homestead enables gourmets to discover Quebec's local cuisine. www.auxancienscanadiens.qc.ca
  • Les Délices de l’Érable : a huge concept-store to find maple syrup of all types. www.deliceserableetcie.com
  • Laurier : With its hundreds of boutiques, the largest commercial avenue of the city runs through several districts.

Feel like going to Canada ?

Avec Voyageurs du Monde. Holiday tour « Quebec Winter » of 9 days, from 2 200 € to 2 900 €, including flights, access to the business lounge in Roissy, private transfers, car rental for 6 days with a GPS, 2 nights at the Petit Hôtel de Montréal, 2 nights in Quebec, at Saint-Pierre, l’Auberge Distinctive, 3 nights at the Domaine Kabin Sutton, in a chalet, free entrance tickets for l'Observatoire and the Spa Scandinave Les Bains de Montréal, 1/2 dog sledding experience with a francophone guide and one day or skiing and relaxing at the Spa Balnéa. www.voyageursdumonde.fr

Hut in Canada
Everyone dreams of a log cabin in Canada. © DR

Quebec, a grandiose adventure at the heart of the Great North