November 2-5, 2008
ADASS XVIII Home > Local Information > About Québec City

About Québec City

Quebec City (French: Québec) is the capital of the province of Quebec in Canada. Located at a commanding position on cliffs overlooking the St. Lawrence Seaway, Quebec City's Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the only city north of Mexico with its original city walls.

First settled by Europeans in 1608 in a "habitation" led by Samuel de Champlain, Quebec City is undergoing major construction and repairs in anticipation of its 400th birthday in 2008. Be warned that most hotels are already booked solid through the summer months of 2008 but it will be a celebration that is not to be missed. The generally accepted dates of Champlain's arrival in the city are July 3rd and 4th and will be marked with major celebrations with dignitaries from around the world.

Founded by the French to make a claim in the New World, the name Quebec originally referred to just the city. It is an aboriginal word for "where the river narrows" as the St. Lawrence River dramatically closes in just east of the city. It is situated on 200 foot high cliffs with stunning views of the surrounding Laurentian mountains and the St. Lawrence River. Under French rule (1608-1759), the major industries were the fur and lumber trades. The French lost the city and its colony of New France to the British in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. Much of the French nobility returned to France which resulted in British ruling over the remaining French population. Fortunately, the rulers of the colony allowed the French to retain their language and religion leaving much of the culture intact. The 1840s saw an influx of Irish immigrants during the Potato Famine. Due to cholera and typhus outbreaks, ships were quarantined at Grosse Ile to the east of the city past l'Ile d'Orleans. The bodies of those who perished on the journey and while in quarantine are buried there. The city remained under British rule until 1867 when Lower Canada (Quebec) joined Upper Canada (Ontario), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to form the Dominion of Canada.