Old Quebec City, Quebec

Old Quebec City

Quebec City is the capital of Quebec and, after Montreal, the second largest city in the province. Quebec's Old Town (Vieux-Québec) is the only North American fortified city north of Mexico whose walls still exist. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, as the "Historic District of Old Quebec". Founded in the early 17th century by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, la vielle capitale celebrates its 400th anniversary in 2008, and its history shows. In Quebec’s Upper and Lower Towns, above and below the cliff, you can find at least 11 architectural styles, ranging from Classical Revival (1790-1820) to International Style (1930-1965). The area is also home to the Plains of Abraham, where a pivotal battle between the French and English in 1759 shaped the future of North America.

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Did You Know?


Judges' Comments

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Audio Nominations

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Email Nominations

Laurent Tremblay

Quebec City is the first city in Canada. She is a bridge between Europe and America.

Fred Malara

The Marquis de Montcalm’s Museum: He's one of two dead generals who by chance had history thrust upon him and whose questionable decision in 1759 forged Canada’s continued national character and schizophrenia. Montcalm personifies one half of Canada’s linguistic loonie. His unassuming and almost forgotten tomb and name also embody our national tendency of humility and anonymity. What would Canada be if Montcalm won the day on Sept 13th?

Lewis Lurie

A few years ago, returning to Montreal after a visit to Tadoussac, in the Saguenay, approaching Quebec City from the east, some distance away, we were confronted by this breath-taking, spectacular sight: the walled city of Vieux- Québec. The only walled city within the Canada-U.S. boundary - as well as being one of the oldest cities therein - it is most certainly one of the Seven Wonders of Canada. Sans aucun doute!!

Brooke Ferris

The restoration of the old city has captured our past beautifully.

Paul Dionne

The Old-Quebec is absolutely beautiful, since 400 years the Old-Quebec still with European architecture a romantic and a beautiful place in Canada!

Janis Grant 

Quebec City is the best remaining example of 16th & 17th French architecture in Canada. For this reason alone it is unique. It is the site of a world-changing event, i.e. the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, which commenced the decline of French influence in N. America and ultimately allowed the Americans to rebel against the British since they no longer needed a British army to defend them against the French.  Quebec City is beautiful, its site is militarily one of the best in the world and it is the most outstanding francophone site in Canada. I feel that francophone sites have not been strongly represented in looking for the 7 Canadian wonders.

William Zebedee

I nominate this city, not only for its history and beauty, but it’s where I proposed to my wife.  While sitting on the VIA train, waiting in the station, I turned to her and asked.  She said yes. I’m happy to say that was five-years ago this coming August, and we’re still happy and full of memories of Quebec City.

Louise Anina Morin

Declared by UNESCO a World Heritage, the historical & beautiful City of Quebec (1608) and its fortress, with these impressive stone gates which welcome you, as you travel towards the old city, the colorful "caleches" and more.

Bernard Beausoleil

I nominate the longest cantilever bridge in the world to day, the Quebec Bridge. Oh, and I also nominate other Quebec City marvel, our cherished Château Frontenac. Hell, why not just nominate Quebec City, period! Arguably the most beautiful city in North America, just as beautiful at 400 years old.

Paul Couet

Quebec City - the Old town and the Chateau Frontenac on the top of the Cap Diamant.  The view of this Castle-like hotel and city when you are coming by ship on the St-Lawrence or from across the River in Levis is a testament to history, geological features, the narrowing of the mighty St- Laurent and the birth of Canada (at least the birth by the establishment of a permanent European settlement).

Roger Lafrance

Quebec City is the only walled-in city in North America and one of the oldest if not the oldest.  Walking along the old cobblestone streets, you can feel the history oozing out of the buildings. Walking through the Plains of Abraham, where such an epic battle took place and looking down at the great St-Lawrence River is an awesome feeling.

Michelle Viscount

The old walled city of Quebec!  A step back in time to be sure - the oldest city in Canada, gastronomie worthy of royalty, events year round, belugas up the St. Lawrence - and that unmistakable joi'de vive!   Nothing, to me, can quite surpass it as a prime destination regardless of the season.  If only I spoke french!

Timothy Travis

Quebec's Old City has the charm of a European town with a distinctly Canadian flavor. Here is where European settlers first sampled maple treats, where the battle that created Canada was fought and where our National Anthem was composed. And if you've ever spent a winter in Quebec, you'll wonder how and why they ever managed to carve it out of the frozen wilderness! A beautiful city rich in Canada's history, legacy and culture.

Did You Know?

  • In 1608, Champlain named the settlement 'Kébec’, an Algonquin word meaning ‘place where the river narrows’.

  • In 1775, Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold led American troops in an unsuccessful attempt to capture the city.

  • In the nineteenth century, Governor General Lord Dufferin persuaded the city to not demolish the fortifications of Old Quebec – a relatively early example of heritage conservation.

  • During the city’s famous Carnaval de Québec winter festival, one way to keep warm is by drinking ‘caribou’, a mix of whisky blanc and port often carried around in hollow plastic canes. The city also has a thriving summer festival, le Festival d’été international de Québec.



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