The life of former Quebec City mayor Jean-Paul L'Allier was honoured by family, friends and Quebec politicians Saturday afternoon in the heart of the city he led for 16 years.

L'Allier, who was also a provincial cabinet minister, died on Tuesday following a short illness at the age of 77.

His official funeral was held at Notre-Dame Basilica in the province's capital.

The former mayor was seen as a visionary who devoted his life to public service and helped make Quebec City an international tourist destination. 

Former Quebec premier Lucien Bouchard says L'Allier was a role model.

"The City of Quebec was not the same after he left," Bouchard said.

Born in Hudson, ​L'Allier served as mayor of Quebec City from 1989 to 2005. He was re-elected in 1993, 1997 and again in 2001. 

The funeral was led by Archbishop Gérald Cyprien Lacroix. Other attendees included Parti Québécois leader Pierre-Karl Péladeau, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and former PQ minister Louise Harel.

"The interests of Quebecers were always in his mind and anchored in his heart," said Péladeau.