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Quebec ( or ), ( ), also Quebec City or Québec City ( ) is the capital of the Canadianmarker province of Quebecmarker and is located within the Capitale-Nationalemarker region. It is the second most populous city in the province – after Montrealmarker, about to the southwest. As of the 2006 Canadian Census, the city has a population of 491,142, and the metropolitan area has a population of 715,515.

The narrowing of the Saint Lawrence Rivermarker approximate to Quebec City and Lévismarker, on the opposite bank, provided the name given to the city, Kébec, an Algonquin word meaning "where the river narrows". Founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America. The ramparts surrounding Old Quebecmarker (Vieux-Québec) are the only remaining fortified city walls that still exist in the Americas north of Mexicomarker, and were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCOmarker in 1985 as the 'Historic District of Old Québec'.

Quebec City is internationally known for its Summer Festival, Winter Carnival, and the Château Frontenacmarker, a hotel which dominates the city skyline. The National Assembly of Quebec, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québecmarker (National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec), and the Musée de la civilisationmarker (Museum of Civilization) are found within or near Vieux-Québecmarker. Among the other attractions near the city are Montmorency Fallsmarker and the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beauprémarker in the town of Sainte-Anne-de-Beauprémarker.

History



Early history: from Stadacona to Seven Years War

Quebec City is one of the oldest European settlements in North America. While many of the major cities in Mexico date from the sixteenth century, among cities in Canada and the U.S.A. only St. John's, Newfoundland and Labradormarker; Port Royal, Nova Scotiamarker; St. Augustine, Floridamarker; Santa Fe, New Mexicomarker; Jamestown, Virginia; and Tadoussac, Quebecmarker were created earlier than Quebec City. However, Quebec City is the first to have been founded with the goal of permanent settlement, and not as a commercial outpost, and therefore is considered to be the first European-built city in non-Spanish North America.

Quebec was founded by Samuel de Champlain, a French explorer and diplomat on July 3, 1608, and at the site of a long abandoned St. Lawrence Iroquoian settlement called Stadacona. Champlain, also called "The Father of New France",served as its administrator for the rest of his life.

It was to this settlement that the name "Canada" refers. Although called the cradle of the Francophone population in North America, the Acadian settlement at Port-Royal antedates it. The place seemed favourable to the establishment of a permanent colony.
Quebec City in 1700
Before Champlain, French explorer Jacques Cartier built a fort at the site in 1535, where he stayed for the winter before going back to Francemarker in spring 1536. He came back in 1541 with the goal of building a permanent settlement. This first settlement was abandoned less than one year after its foundation, in the summer 1542, due in large part to the hostility of the natives combined with the harsh living conditions during winter.

Quebec City was captured by the British in 1759 and held until 1763. It was the site of three battles during Seven Years War - the Battle of Beauportmarker, a French victory (July 31, 1759); the Battle of the Plains of Abrahammarker, in which British troops under General James Wolfe defeated the French General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm on September 13, 1759 and shortly thereafter took the city; and the final Battle of Sainte-Foymarker, a French victory (April 28, 1760). France ceded New France, including the city, to Britain in 1763.

At the end of French rule in 1763, the territory of present-day Quebec City was a world of contrasts. Forests, villages, fields and pastures surrounded the town of 8 000 inhabitants. The town distinguished itself by its monumental architecture, fortifications, muddy and filthy streets, affluent homes of masonry and shacks in the suburbs St-Jean and St-Roch. Despite its urbanity and its status as capital, Quebec City remained a small colonial city with close ties to its rural surroundings. Nearby inhabitants traded their farm surpluses and firewood for imported goods from France at the two city markets.

British rule

During the American Revolution, revolutionary troops from the southern colonies assaulted the British garrison in an attempt to 'liberate' Quebec City now known as the Battle of Quebecmarker. The defeat of the revolutionaries from the south put an end to the hopes that the peoples of Quebec would rise and join the American Revolution so that Canada would join the Continental Congress and become part of the original United States of Americamarker along with the other British colonies of continental North America. In effect, the outcome of the battle would be the effective split of British North America into two distinct political entities. Following the battle, Major General Isaac Brock further fortified Quebec City by strengthening the walls and building an elevated artillery battery known as the Citadelle of Quebecmarker before the War of 1812. A series of Martello towers was also built on elevated terrain beyond the city walls to provide further artillery support effectively turning the city into a fortress. In the end, the city was not attacked during the war of 1812 but continued to house a large British garrison until 1871. The Citadel is still in use by the military and three of the Martello towers are still maintained as museums and tourist attractions.

In 1840, after the Province of Canada was formed, the role of capital was shared between Kingstonmarker, Montrealmarker, Torontomarker, Ottawamarker and Quebec City (from 1852 to 1856 and from 1859 to 1866). In 1867, Ottawa (which was chosen to be the permanent capital of the Province of Canada) was chosen to be the capital of the Dominion of Canada. The Quebec Conference on Canadian Confederation was held here.

Quebec City Downtown map in 1906


20th and 21st centuries

Quebec City was struck by the 1925 Charlevoix-Kamouraska earthquakemarker.

During World War II, two conferences were held in Quebec City. The First Quebec Conference was held in 1943 with Franklin Delano Roosevelt (the United States' president at the time), Winston Churchill (the United Kingdommarker's prime minister), William Lyon Mackenzie King (Canada's prime minister) and T.V. Soong (China'smarker minister of foreign affairs). The Second Quebec Conference was held in 1944, and was attended by Churchill and Roosevelt. They took place in the buildings of the Citadellemarker and of nearby Château Frontenacmarker. A large part of the D-Day Landings plans were made during those meetings.

Capital

Throughout its over four hundred years of existence, Quebec City has served as a capital. From 1608 to 1627 and 1632 to 1763, it was capital of French Canada and all of New France; from 1763 to 1791, it was the capital of the Province of Quebec; from 1791 to 1841, it was the capital of Lower Canada; from 1852 to 1856 and from 1859 to 1866, it was capital of the Province of Canada; and since 1867, it has been capital of the Province of Quebecmarker. The administrative region in which Quebec City is situated is officially referred to as Capitale-Nationalemarker and the term "national capital" is used to refer to Quebec City itself at provincial level.

Geography

Quebec City is located in the Saint Lawrence Rivermarker valley, on the north bank of the Saint Lawrence River near its meeting with the St. Charles River. The region is low-lying and flat. The river valley has rich, arablesoil, which makes this region the most fertile in the province. The Laurentian Mountainsmarker lie to the north of the city.

Upper Town lies on the top of Cap-Diamant (Cape Diamond) promontory. A high stone wall surrounds this portion of the city. The Plains of Abrahammarker are located near the edge of the promontory. Lower Town is located at shore level, below Cap-Diamant.

Climate

Quebec City has a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfb) characterized by cold and snowy winters, warm and rather humid summers, and ample precipitation throughout the year. Quebec City is one of the snowiest cities in Canada (the mean annual snowfall is 316.6 cm) and is almost guaranteed a white Christmas. The prolonged winter season and ample snowfall led to the idea of establishing the Quebec Winter Carnival. The transitional seasons, spring and autumn, are rather short, although autumn produces spectacular foliage colours. The summer is the sunniest, and paradoxically, the wettest time of year.

Temperatures

Cityscape

Panorama of Quebec City's skyline.
Quebec City's six boroughs.
On January 1, 2002, the former towns of Sainte-Foymarker, Beauportmarker, Charlesbourgmarker, Sillerymarker, Lorettevillemarker, Val-Bélairmarker, Cap-Rougemarker, Saint-Émile, Vaniermarker, L'Ancienne-Lorettemarker, Saint-Augustin-de-Desmauresmarker and Lac-Saint-Charlesmarker were annexed by Quebec City. This was one of several municipal mergers which took place across Quebec on that date. Following a demerger referendum, L'Ancienne-Lorette and Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures were reconstituted as separate municipalities on January 1, 2006, but the other former municipalities remain part of Quebec City. On November 1, 2009, the Quebec City re-organized its boroughs, reducing the number from 8 to 6.

Quebec City has thirty-four districts in six boroughs.

Borough Districts
La Cité–Limoilou Latin/Old Quebecmarker · Saint-Jean-Baptiste · Montcalm · Saint-Sacrement · Petit Champlain · Saint-Sauveur · Saint-Roch · Saint-Malo · Maizerets · Vieux-Limoilou · Lairet · Du Colisée
Les Rivièresmarker Lebourgneuf, Duberger, Les Saules and Vaniermarker
Sainte-Foy–Sillery–Cap-Rougemarker Cité universitaire · Saint-Louis · Sillery · Pointe-de-Ste-Foy · Cap-Rougemarker · Airportmarker
Charlesbourgmarker Saint-Rodrigue · Des Sentiers · Des Monts
Beauportmarker Vieux-Moulin · Sainte-Thérèse-de-Lisieux · Villeneuve · Courville
La Haute-Saint-Charlesmarker Lac-Saint-Charlesmarker, Saint-Émile, Neufchâtel, Lorettevillemarker and Val-Bélairmarker


Architecture

Much of the city's best architecture is located east of the fortification walls in Vieux-Québecmarker (Old Quebec) and Place Royalemarker. This area has a distinct European feel with its stone buildings and winding streets lined with shops and restaurants. Porte St-Louis and Porte St-Jean are the main gates through the walls from the modern section of downtown. West of the walls are the Parliament Hill district and the Plains of Abrahammarker.

The Upper Town is linked by the Escalier «casse-cou» (literally "neck-breaking" steps) and the Old Quebec Funicularmarker to the Lower Town, which includes such sites as the ancient Notre Dame des Victoires church, the historic Petit Champlain district, the port, and the Musée de la Civilisationmarker (Museum of Civilization). The Lower Town is filled with original architecture and street designs, dating back to the city's beginnings. Murals and statues are also featured. The Lower Town is also noted for its wide variety of boutiques, many featuring hand-crafted goods.
Quebec City's skyline is dominated by the massive Château Frontenacmarker Hotel, perched on top of Cap-Diamant. It was designed by architect Bruce Price, as one of a series of "château" style hotels built for the Canadian Pacific Railway company. The railway company sought to encourage luxury tourism and bring wealthy travelers to its trains. The hotel is beside the Terrasse Dufferin (Dufferin Terrace), a walkway along the edge of the cliff, offering beautiful views of the Saint Lawrence River.

The Terrasse Dufferin leads toward the nearby Plains of Abrahammarker, site of the battle in which the British took Quebec from France, and the Citadelle of Quebecmarker, a Canadian Forces installation and the federal vice-regal secondary residence. The Parliament Buildingmarker, the meeting place of the Parliament of Quebec, is also near the Citadelle.

Near the Château Frontenac is Notre-Dame de Québec Cathedralmarker, mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec. It is the first church in the New World to be raised to a basilica and is the primatial church of Canada.

Culture

Tourism



Quebec City is known for its Winter Carnival and for its Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day celebrations.

Tourist attractions located near Quebec City include Montmorency Fallsmarker, the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beauprémarker, the Mont-Sainte-Annemarker ski resort, and the Ice Hotel.

Natural science sites

Jardin zoologique du Québec, reopened in 2002 after two years of restorations but closed in 2006 after a political decision. It featured 750 specimens of 300 different species of animals. The zoo specialized in winged fauna and garden themes, but also presented several species of mammals. While it emphasizes the indigenous fauna of Quebec, one of its principal attractions was the Indo-Australian greenhouse, featuring fauna and flora from these areas.

Parc Aquarium du Québec, reopened in 2002 on a site overlooking the Saint Lawrence Rivermarker, presents more than 10,000 specimens of mammals, reptiles, fish and other aquatic fauna of North America and the Arctic. Polar bears and various species of seal of the Arctic sector and the "Large Ocean", a large basin offering visitors a view from underneath, form part of the principal attractions.

Museums



Sport

Teams



Former teams



Sports



The Quebec Nordiques played in the World Hockey Association (WHA) from 1972 to 1979 and then in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1979 to 1995, maintaining a strong rivalry with the Montreal Canadiens, and the Buffalo Sabres. Due to financial problems, the team moved to Denver, Coloradomarker in 1995, becoming Colorado Avalanche. There has been discussion of bringing a team back to the city, but former mayor Andrée Boucher had not supported the project. It is generally expected that Quebec City will need to build a new arena to get a new team, replacing the Colisée Pepsimarker, as well as organizing an ownership group.

The city has a professional baseball team, the Capitales de Québec which currently play in the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball. The team was established in 1999, and originally played in the Northern League. The team has one league title, won in 2006. The team's stadium is the Stade Municipalmarker.

There have been discussions around getting a Canadian Football League team. Quebec City is expected to be in competition with Monctonmarker and Halifaxmarker for the franchise, though a new stadium would likely be needed as well. The local football team, the Rouge & Or of the Université Lavalmarker remains very popular.

Quebec City co-hosted with Halifaxmarker, Nova Scotiamarker, the 2008 IIHF World Championship. Quebec City played host to various games (Group A and Group D) and the semi-finals, the bronze game and the finals. The IIHF World Championships were last held in North America in 1962, by Denvermarker and Colorado Springs, Coloradomarker.

Quebec City was the host of the Special Olympics Canada National Winter Games, held from February 26 to March 1, 2008. This event brought together over 1,000 athletes, coaches and mission staff members from Canada’s 10 provinces and 3 territories as well as more than 600 volunteers. Competitions were held throughout the week in the following sports: curling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing , downhill skiing, floor hockey, figure skating and speed skating. The snowshoeing and cross-country events were held on the Plains of Abrahammarker, one of Canada's most historic sites. The athletes selected for the Games strove for a place in Team Canada’s training group at the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

Sporting events


Media

Economy

Downtown Quebec City at night.
Most jobs in Quebec City are concentrated in public administration, defence, services, commerce, and transport. As the provincial capital, the city benefits from being a regional administrative and services centre: apropos, the provincial government is the largest employer in the city, employing 27,900 people as of 2007. CHUQ is the city's largest institutional employer, with more than 10,000 employees in 2007. In 2008, the unemployment rate in Quebec City was 4.5%, well below provincial and national averages (7.3% and 6.6%, respectively).

Around 10% of jobs are in manufacturing. Principal products include pulp and paper, processed food, metal/wood items, chemicals, electronics and electrical equipment, and printed materials.Insurance companies Industrial Alliance, SSQ and La Capitale have their headquarters in Quebec City, as so do computer game studios Beenox.

Demographics

According to the 2006 census, there were 491,142 people residing in Quebec City proper, and 715,515 people in the city's census metropolitan area. Of this total, 48.2% were male and 51.8% were female. Children under five accounted for approximately 4.7% of the resident population of Quebec City. This compares with 5.2% in the province of Quebec, and 5.6% for Canada overall.

While Montreal is considered by many to have a bilingual population, with many of its residents having a working knowledge of both French and English, Quebec City and its surrounding region are largely Francophone. The large majority of city residents are native French-speakers. At the English community's peak during the 1860s, 40% of Quebec City's residents were Anglophone. Today, Anglophones only make up 1.5% of both the city and metropolitan area's population. However, the annual Quebec Winter Carnival attracts both Francophone and Anglophone tourists alike, so the Anglophone population increases considerably during the duration of the event.

In mid-2001, 13.0% of the resident population in Quebec City was of retirement age (65 and over for males and females) compared with 13.2% in Canada. The average age is 39.5 years of age compared to 37.6 years of age for Canada as a whole.

In the five years between 1996 and 2001, the population of Quebec City grew by 1.6%, compared with an increase of 1.4% for the province of Quebec as a whole. Population density of Quebec City averaged 216.4 people per square kilometre, compared with an average of 5.3, for the province of Quebec as a whole.

At the time of that May 2001 census, the population of the Quebec City authority was 682,757, but was 710,700 when encompassing the Greater Quebec City Area, compared with a resident population in the province of Quebec of 7,237,479 people.

According to the 2001 census, over 90% of the population was Roman Catholic, along with very small Jewish and Protestant populations.

Quebec City's population by year
1931

1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2006
131 000 151 000 289 000 379 000 481 000 576 000 645,550 686 569 715 515


Government

The current mayor of Quebec City is Régis Labeaume, who was elected in a special election on December 2, 2007, following the death in office of Andrée P. Boucher, an independent, on August 24. Jacques Joli-Coeur of the Renouveau municipal de Québec party served as interim mayor between Boucher's death and the by-election.

The current leader of the Renouveau municipal de Québec party, and leader of the majority group on Quebec City Council, is Jean-Marie Matte.

Party Initial Chief Governorship Opposition Seats
Renouveau municipal de Québec R.M.Q. Jean-Marie Matte 1989 - 2005 2005 - 2007 23
Action civique de Québec A.C.Q. Claude Larose N/A N/A 5
Parti Vision Québec V.Q. Marc Bellemare N/A N/A 0
Option Capitale O.C. Pierre Coté N/A N/A 0
Independent Ind. X X X 9
Vacant X X X X 0
Total 37


Education

Université Lavalmarker is located in the western end of the city, in the borough of Sainte-Foymarker. However, the school of architecture of Université Laval is located in Old Quebec. The central campus of the Université du Québec, originally in Sainte-Foy, is also, since the amalgamation, located in Quebec City, as are the Université du Québec's École nationale d'administration publiquemarker and Institut national de la recherche scientifiquemarker, as well as Télé-université, the distance learning component of the Université du Québec à Montréalmarker.

Numerous CEGEPs are located in Quebec city, including Cégep François-Xavier-Garneau, Cégep O'Sullivan, Cégep Limoiloumarker, Cégep de Sainte-Foy and Champlain-St. Lawrence College, as well as private institutions such as Collège Notre-Dame-de-Foy, Collège Mérici, Collège Bart, Collège CDI and Collège Multihexa.

Quebec City has the oldest educational institution for women in North America, the Ursulines of Quebecmarker monastery, located at 12 Rue Donnacona.

Infrastructure

Saint Roch Square in Downtown Quebec City.
The Lower Town by the river


Air and sea

Quebec City is served by Jean Lesage International Airportmarker, located in the West of the city. The city also has a large major port on the St-Lawrence in the first, fifth and sixth boroughs.

Roads

Three bridges, the Quebec Bridgemarker and Pierre Laporte Bridgemarker connect the city with the south shore of the Saint Lawrence Rivermarker, as does a ferry service to Lévismarker, and Orleans Island Bridge connects Quebec City with the Orleans Islandmarker. The city is a major hub in the Quebec provincial road network, fanning out from both sides of the river with an extensive autoroute system.

Several important motorways of the Quebec road network pass by Quebec City, of which Autoroute 40 connects it towards the west to Montreal and Route 175 connects it towards the north to Chicoutimimarker.

Three principal expressways cross the agglomeration from the north to the south (starting from the west): Autoroute Henri-IV, Autoroute Robert-Bourassa, and Autoroute Laurentienne. Three other motorways cross the western part of town (from north to south): Autoroute Félix Leclerc (known by the inhabitants as "Autoroute de la Capitale"), Autoroute Charest, as well as Champlain Boulevard, which goes along the river to the Downtown area, then another Autoroute called Dufferin-Montmorency allows easier access to the extreme east of the city.

Public transit

The Réseau de transport de la Capitale is responsible for public transit in the region. The RTC operates a fleet of buses and will eventually implement articulated buses. The RTC is studying the return of a tram system to help ease overcrowding on its busiest lines as well as attract new users to public transit. The $700-million revitalization project needs approval from higher levels of government since the city does not have the financial resources to fund such an ambitious project on its own.

Rail transport is operated by VIA Rail at the (Gare du Palaismarker). The station is the eastern terminus of the railway's main Quebec City-Windsor Corridor.An inter-city bus station, with connections to the provincial long-distance bus network, is adjacent to the train station.

Public safety

Quebec City is protected by Service de police de la Ville de Québec and Service de protection contre les incendies de Québec. Quebec City has one of the lowest crime rates in Canada. The city reported no murders in 2007, a streak that stretched back to October 31, 2006.

Partner cities



See also

References

  1. According to the federal and provincial government, Québec (with the acute accent) is the city's official name in both French and English. Even though this place name typically retain its accent in English and the city's name is not among 81 locales of pan-Canadian significance with official forms in both languages, as is the case with the province of Quebec/Québec, Quebec is a legitimate and well-established exception in English (as is Montreal). Similarly, Quebec City is common (e.g., per the Canadian Oxford Dictionary (ISBN 0-19-541816-6, p. 1265)), and is used particularly to distinguish the city from the province. According to Editing Canadian English (ISBN 1-55199-045-8, p. 77) the form Québec City makes no sense in either English or French; nonetheless, it is used by the municipal government and other sources (e.g., Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport).
  2. " Historic District of Old Québec". World Heritage; UNESCO. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
  3. Décret concernant la révision des limites des régions administratives du Québec, R.Q. c. D-11, r.2, made pursuant to the Territorial Division Act, R.S.Q. c. D-11
  4. " Canada's largest employers by city, 2007: Quebec City." London: University of Western Ontario. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
  5. " Labour: Labour force characteristics, population 15 years and older, by census metropolitan area." Statistics Canada. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
  6. " Latest release from the Labour Force Survey." Statistics Canada. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
  7. " Québec City: Economy, transportation, and labour force." The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Foundation of Canada, 2008. Retrieved January 12, 2009.
  8. Statistics Canada. Community Profile — Quebec City -1996
  9. Quebec City closing in on a year without murder
  10. Ville de Quebec - Partenariats


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