Walking through the lower town there were many interesting sights, but one that took my eye was the Room To Let sign in the middle of the tourist precinct. It gave an insight to the cost of living. I cannot read or understand French and cannot comment whether it was a good deal.
With evening falling, we were fascinated to find that the restaurant-infested rue Ste-Louis became alive with young ladies outside doorways accosting passing strangers. As we neared our hotel, this comely young lady caught my eye and suggested to me that we might care to visit the establishment she represented. At about that stage we realised that all was above board, the proposition on offer involved only the temptations of the table!
For all I know this may be common practice in Canada, though I did not experience it elsewhere, but these young ladies (there seemed to be no blokes) hover in the street outside the restaurants. Can anyone enlighten me if this is more widespread, or confined to the “tourist mecca” that is old Québec? I found it quite fascinating: in any event her effort proved successful, as we returned after briefly dropping our ‘day’s tourist collections’ in our hotel alongside.
The Chateau Frontenac is such an imposing building that it's outline dominates Quebec City. Because it is located on the bluff overlooking the St. Lawrence River, it is next door to the impressive fortress of the Citadel, whose cannons long controlled passage on the river. While in Quebec City, you will see many people enjoying the walk along the top of the walls of the fortress as they take in the views of the city. This is the view that greeted us as we finished our walk along the walls on a cold and windy May day. The Spring colours are beginning to emerge and the Chateau stands proud in this view looking east up the St. Lawrence River. Check out my Restaurant tips for a glimpse into what life is like in one of the Bars of the Chateau.
Important Dates for Canadians
July, 1 Canada day (Canadian Independence day)
August, 31 Labor Day
Oct, 31 Halloween
Oct, 25 Thanksgiving
Nov, 11 Remembrance Day
Dec, 25 Christmas
Jan, 1 New years
May, 1 Victoria Day
The above are major holidays in Canada and you will find most offices and banks etc. closed
Let's face it... I'm from California. We're militant about smoking. (i.e. gross, disgusting habit forcing second-hand-smoke death upon the rest of us) But there are TONS of smokers in Quebec. TONS. So just live with it. In my opinion, because they live in a place where people aren't coughing and making remarks to them all the time, they're actually much nicer about being kind with their smoke than in CA.
Art is very prevalent throughout Quebec City! Most every shop offers some sort of artistic endeavor. And one little lane, not too far from Le Chateau Fronenac is famous for the paintings, drawings, and etchings offered by a plethora of different artists.
Apparently closed during fall/winter, the upper portion of the boardwalk along the Terrasse Dufferin offers unparalleled views over the St. Lawrence River.
We followed the example of the locals and ignored the locked gateways. . .it requires a bit of climbing to get back into the old city, but is worth it.
Want to know what's happening in town? What to do this week:
Bilingual Daily News:
All of these sites are in french. I'll had English web sites soon.
Museums in downtown Quebec are excellent, don't miss them! I personally felt the french colonialism was and is still very strong: take a look at the french consulate and look at the floating proud bleu-blanc-rouge, ko-ko-ree-ko!!!
Taxes and tipping
Most goods and services are subject to a federal tax (GST) and a provincial tax (TVQ) in Québec. Foreign residents may be entitled to certain tax rebates on tourism-related goods and services, however. For more information, contact
Visitor Rebate Program
Summerside Tax Centre
Canada Customs and Revenue Agency
275 Pope Road, Suite 104
Summerside, PE C1N 6C6
Tel.: 1-800-668-4748 (inside Canada)
(902) 432-5608 (outside Canada)
Service is rarely included in restaurant and hotel bills. Tips usually range from 10% to 15% of the total bill, excluding tax. Cab drivers, bellhops and hairdressers are usually tipped at the customer's discretion.
Buying alcoholic beverages
Wines and spirits are sold in outlets of the Société des alcools du Québec . Beer and local ciders, along with a limited selection of wines, are available in supermarkets and 'dépanneurs' (convenience stores).
Store business hours
Most stores are open from 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Some may be closed on Sunday or after 6:00 p.m. Monday to Wednesday.
New Year's (January 1 and 2)
Victoria Day (next to last Monday in May)
Québec National Holiday (June 24)
Canada Day (July 1)
Labour Day (first Monday in September)
Thanksgiving (second Monday in October)
Christmas (December 25 and 26)
Currency and credit cards
Legal tender is the Canadian dollar, which divides into 100 cents. Bills come in 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100-dollar denominations; coins in use are 1, 5, 10 and 25 cents and 1 and 2 dollars.
Major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and American Express) are accepted most everywhere. Travellers' cheques can be cashed in major hotels, some restaurants and large stores in major cities; otherwise they should be cashed at foreign exchange offices or banks.
Banks are generally open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. An extensive network of automatic banking machines is also accessible at all times.
Québec, like everywhere else in North America, uses 110-volt, 60-cycle AC electric power. Since electrical outlets are of the American type, visitors wishing to use other types of plugs must bring an adapter.
In 1980 Québec (and all of Canada) traded in pounds and inches for the metric system. You'll notice the road signs are all in kilometres-just multiply by .6 to get the equivalent in miles. Gas is sold by the litre. There are 4.5 litres in one Canadian gallon and 3.8 litres in one American gallon. Time is generally indicated using the 24-hour system: 8 h means 8 a.m. and 20 h means 8 p.m.
If you like museum you must take time to go to Musee de la civilisation.
The picture is an outside wall arts. It's an illustration of a part of our history. You must see that at place Royale.
Throw this guy a few coins, and he will certainly entertain you! That's right... one in the mouth, and one in each nostril!! He was bizarre, yet quite talented! I laughed and laughed!!
I'm just guessing, but woodcarving in Quebec probably has Native American roots. I saw this guy carving away on rue du Petit-Champlain, the city's oldest street.
Enjoy the French ambience - it is kind of nice to have to try to figure everything out! Photo of Place Royale, one of the main squares located in the Lower part of the Old city.
This is 'La rue du tresor', nice place, many paintings.
But Quebec is a great place anyhow, so wherever you go, there is a lot to see and do! Have fun!
Stayed as guest of the Quebec Saint Malo race organisers. Good continental breakfasts. Coffee -...more
Dave and I stayed here for the second half of our honeymoon in August 2007. It is tucked away on a...more
I could also say 3 days in paradise. The room in the new museum part built as we where told in 1730,...more