The province of Quebec is quite large, covering one-sixth of Canada, but is only sparsely inhabited in the upper three-quarters. Its strong French heritage and customs set it apart from Canada's other provinces. French explorer Jacques Cartier arrived in 1534, and Samuel de Champlain arrived in 1603 to build French settlements. Soon after, Jesuit missionaries followed and in 1663, Louis XIV of France dubbed the area "New France". The British won control of Canada in the French and Indian War in 1763; however, Parliament passed the Quebec act in 1774, ensuring the continuation of French civil law in Quebec. In 1974, Quebec proclaimed French as its official language. (Many residents of Quebec do not speak English, so it will make for a more pleasant vacation to learn a few French phrases before traveling into the province.) While Quebec is a signor to the original Canadian constitution, it has since refused to accept changes made during the 1980's and 1990's.
Quebec City is located on a cliff overlooking the north shore of the St. Lawrence River. The best way to explore this four-square-mile city is on foot. The Citadel, (which is the largest fortified base in North America still occupied by troops), can be seen in Upper Town Quebec City, along with many other stately homes built of granite in the 1800s. The town of Ste-Agathe-des-Monts boasts wide sandy beaches perfect for swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing, as well as ski hills for winter sports. Mont-Tremblant is home to a ski resort which is consistently rated among the top in North America. Others areas of interest include the Charlevoix valley, the village of Baie-St-Paul, the resort town of La Malbaie, and the Gaspe Peninsula.
Quebec is bordered on the east by Newfoundland and Labrador and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, and on the west by Ontario and Hudson Bay. It is bordered on the north by the Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay, and on the south by New Brunswick and the states of New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine in the USA.
In Quebec, not only will you find fine French cuisine, but also Asian and Italian influences. One specialty of Quebec is mouthwatering local cheeses. The mildest time to visit Quebec is June through September, although the region is superb for winter sports enthusiasts. Other recreational activities include fishing, rafting, and horseback riding.
Quebec Government Links
Quebec Tourism Links
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Canada Maps - Quebec