Did you know Québec City has been a sought-after destination for several centuries? Before tourism really took off in the area, visitors spent time there, soaking in the romantic character of the city, which feels both European and North American. During a trip in 1842, English writer Charles Dickens called it the “Gibraltar of North America,” entranced by the breathtaking beauty of Cap aux Diamants.
Over the second half of the 19th century, tourists started flocking to the “Vieille Capitale,” spurred on by the newly minted railway, the installation of streetcars, as well as the construction of luxury hotels and restaurants. Great big steamships called at the port. Illustrated travel guides praised the picturesque beauty and main attractions of Québec City, which then acquired its international reputation!
Over time, tourism was formalized and refined with its museums, built heritage, shows and events, Québec City is definitely a city to discover or rediscover, both on foot and by motor vehicle... or even by horse-drawn carriage!
Written by Catherine Ferland, historian, and published in Magazine Y No 2