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Quebec City Guide

Updated: December 13th, 2023

Set along the majestic St. Lawrence River, this historic haven of Quebec City beckons explorers to immerse themselves in a blend of early indigenous and the European legacy that has shaped its essence. As the capital city of the Canadian province of Quebec, it is a huge part of Canadian history. With our Quebec City Guide, we invite you to traverse the enchanting streets of this Quebecois city, discovering its rich past, vibrant present, and promising future.

About Quebec City

About Quebec | Quebec City Guide

Quebec City is a testament to the confluence of history and modern allure. Steeped in a rich tapestry of First Nations heritage and European influence, this captivating destination invites visitors to follow the early inhabitants and pioneers who shaped its character. With cobblestone streets that echo tales of centuries past and a skyline that blends historic architecture with contemporary vibrancy, Quebec City emerges as a living testament to the enduring spirit of exploration and cultural fusion.

Early Inhabitants

Before the arrival of Europeans in Quebec City, the land was inhabited by various Indigenous groups for thousands of years, each with rich cultures and traditions. Here's a glimpse into this fascinating pre-colonial era.

The Paleo-Indians

The first people to arrive in the region were the Paleo-Indians, who crossed the Bering Land Bridge around 11,000 years ago. They were nomadic hunter-gatherers who adapted to the changing climate and landscape.

The Laurentian Archaic Peoples

As the climate warmed, the Laurentian Archaic peoples emerged around 7,000 years ago. They developed a more complex lifestyle, including fishing, hunting, and gathering wild plants.

The Iroquoian and Algonquin Peoples

Around 2,000 years ago, the Iroquoian and Algonquin language families arrived in the region. These groups developed advanced farming techniques, built permanent villages, and established complex social structures.

The Stadaconan Peoples

During European contact in the 16th century, the Stadaconan people inhabited the area where Quebec City now stands. They were skilled fishermen, farmers, and traders who lived in longhouses and villages along the St. Lawrence River.

The Stadaconan people were part of a vast network of Indigenous trade routes, exchanging goods and knowledge with other regional groups. They also interacted with Viking explorers who reached the area around 1000 AD.

The Arrival of Europeans

While European contact with the region began earlier, the founding of Quebec City as a permanent settlement is generally attributed to Samuel de Champlain, a French explorer, in 1608. He established a trading post on the site of present-day Quebec City and named it "Habitation de Québec."

However, it's important to note that European presence in the area predates this event:

  • 1534-1535: French explorer Jacques Cartier first landed in present-day Gaspé and claimed the territory for France, marking the beginning of European involvement.
  • 1605: The French established a temporary settlement at Port Royal in Acadia, paving the way for further exploration and colonization.

Therefore, while 1608 marks the official founding of Quebec City and the start of a continuous European presence, European contact and exploration in the region began earlier.


According to Census 2021, Quebec City's population is currently around 549,459. Like the rest of Quebec, most of the city's inhabitants speak French. Census data also shows that only 10,130 Quebec City locals speak English. A total of 7,795 people are reported to speak both of Canada's official languages.

Where is Quebec City on the Map?

Quebec City is located on the North Side of a point where the Saint Lawrence River narrows and meets the Saint-Charles River. It sits around 255.2km northeast of Montreal, closer to the heart of the Quebec province. As a result, it experiences a more temperate climate, arable soil, and hugely picturesque natural wilderness surrounding the city's metropolitan area.

Climate/Weather in Quebec City

Due to its proximity to multiple large bodies of water, Quebec City weather is relatively mild for Canada. Summers are generally rainy and temperate, with winters bringing the snow and chill that brings the historic architecture of places like Old Quebec City to life in ways you can't find in other cities. The Quebec weather is famous for having a very European, partly cloudy feel. Still, it has plenty of sunny days, allowing its people to enjoy the region's natural beauty even more.

According to, Quebec City summers last just under four months, from late May to mid-September. During the summer, the average daily temperature tends to reach a high of around 25°C and a low of around 16°C. In addition, most of the city's annual rain falls during this time, making the greenery of the city's surrounding nature shine.

The winter in Quebec City is classically Canadian, with most days staying below 0°C (32°F). During this time, the coldest month is January, with the average daily low at around -14°C and the daily high at about -6°C. The freezing temperatures of the Quebec City winters allow the locals to enjoy the ice skating and ice climbing afforded to them by the nearby rivers.

Jobs in Quebec City

Quebec City boasts a dynamic job market with diverse opportunities catering to professional ambitions. With a balanced mix of traditional industries and emerging fields, Quebec City opens its doors to professionals seeking not just employment but a fulfilling journey in a city that values innovation and expertise.

Much like its nearby Quebecois counterpart, Montreal, Quebec, is a hub of industry and economic activity. In-demand jobs in Quebec City can vary depending on your field and experience level. However, here are some general trends and sectors to consider:

  • Tech & IT
  • Healthcare
  • Business & Finance
  • Construction & Skilled Trades
  • Tourism & Hospitality
  • Education & Childcare

Top In-demand Jobs in Quebec City

Below are just some of the top-demand jobs in Quebec City, along with their NOC codes, and average salaries according to

Occupation NOC Code Average Salary in CAD
Accountant NOC 11100 90,000
Software Developers NOC 21232 125,136
Registered Nurse NOC 31301 72,500
Family Physicians NOC 31102 295,050
Business Analysts NOC 21221 31,629
Early Childhood Educators NOC 42202 39,673
Cooks NOC 63200 38,949
Electricians NOC 72011 68,309
Elementary School Teachers NOC 41221 73,799
Public Relations Managers NOC 10022 85,000

Learn more about in-demand jobs in Canada.

Cost of Living in Quebec City

Cost of Living in Quebec City | Quebec City Guide

Quebec City's unique blend of cultural richness and modern amenities offers a cost of living that strikes a harmonious balance. Residents enjoy a relatively affordable lifestyle compared to other major Canadian cities. Check out the table below to get an idea of the cost of living in the city compared to Vancouver.

Cost of Living According to Numbeo Quebec City Vancouver
Renting an Apartment in the City 1,305.00 CAD 2,850.95 CAD
Renting a 3 Bedroom Apartment Outside City Centre 2,053.50 CAD 5,187.53 CAD
Gasoline per litre 1,76 CAD 1,99 CAD
A Loaf of Fresh Bread 3,86 CAD 4,07 CAD
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 76,26 CAD 86,62 CAD
A Meal at Inexpensive Restaurant 25,00 CAD 26,00 CAD

Neighborhoods in Quebec City

Due to its historical background, the high average standard of living, and its place as the provincial capital, Quebec City has many fantastic neighborhoods for locals and newcomers alike, catering to all needs and interests. Here are a few options you will have when settling in Quebec City.

Old Quebec

Nestled within the heart of Quebec City, Old Quebec stands as an enduring testament to the city's rich history and cultural heritage. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this iconic neighborhood transports residents and visitors to a bygone era with its cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and the unmistakable charm of yesteryear.


Home to almost 20% of Quebec City's population, Limoilou is a vibrant centre of life and culture. Boasting some of the best restaurants and nightlife in the province, this area is a hot spot for young professionals. It is also a haven for artists and those seeking a lively atmosphere.


Cap-rouge offers the perfect suburban lifestyle for those with young families. Close enough to the city to get the benefits of city life but far enough away to leave the noise and chaotic nature of city life behind at will.

Ile d'Orleans

For those seeking a tranquil haven beyond the city limits, Ile d'Orleans beckons with open arms. Whether savoring the flavors of local produce, immersing oneself in artistic expressions, or simply basking in the island's natural beauty, this enchanting retreat offers a respite where time seems to slow and the beauty of Quebec's countryside unfolds in all its splendor.

Transportation in Quebec City

Before you immigrate to Canada and settle in Quebec City, it's a good idea to do some research about the city's transport options. While most people in Quebec prefer to drive via their transport, the city provides fantastic public services to help you get around. The Quebec city bus service is overseen by the Réseau de Transport de la Capitale (RTC) - a division of the Quebec government.

Quebec City is also home to Jean Lesage International Airport, the primary airport of Quebec. It currently offers flights to over 360 destinations across Canada, the USA, Central America, and Europe.

Things to Do in Quebec City

Quebec City, with its rich history and vibrant culture, offers many activities that cater to every taste. Whether you're a history buff, a foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast, here are some must-do activities to make the most of your time in this enchanting city.

Explore Old Quebec

Wander through the cobbled streets of Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Immerse yourself in the city's history as you explore iconic landmarks like Château Frontenac, Place Royale, and the city walls. The historic charm and architectural wonders will transport you to a bygone era.

Experience Culinary Delights in Quartier Petit Champlain

Indulge your taste buds in Quartier Petit Champlain, where charming cobblestone streets are lined with bistros, cafes, and specialty shops. Savor exquisite French cuisine, indulge in sweet treats, and explore local flavors that make Quebec City a gastronomic delight.

Stroll Along Dufferin Boardwalk

Take a leisurely stroll along the Dufferin Boardwalk for breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence River. Capture the essence of Quebec City against the backdrop of the river, and witness the iconic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac standing proudly on the skyline.

Visit Montmorency Falls

Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Montmorency Falls, just a short drive from the city. Admire the cascading water from the suspension bridge, or take the scenic cable car for a panoramic view. Nature lovers and adventure seekers alike will find solace in this majestic natural wonder.

Take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

Embark on a romantic journey through Old Quebec with a horse-drawn carriage ride. Let the clip-clop of hooves echo through the historic streets as you enjoy a guided tour, narrating tales of the city's past in a charming and nostalgic setting.

Visit the Museum of Civilization

Delve into Quebec's rich heritage at the Museum of Civilization. From interactive exhibits to captivating displays, the museum offers a comprehensive look at the cultural evolution of Quebec, providing insight into the city's past and present.

Education in Quebec City

Education in Quebec City

Quebec City's educational landscape extends to a multitude of schools, providing quality education at every level. From elementary to secondary schools, the city's education system is designed to foster intellectual growth, creativity, and a sense of community. Parents can choose from various educational options, ensuring each child receives a tailored and enriching learning experience.

When it comes to tertiary education, Quebec City stands as a beacon of academic excellence, offering a diverse range of educational opportunities that cater to both local and international students. The city's education landscape is rich and varied from esteemed universities to specialized institutions, emphasizing innovation, research, and cultural diversity. Below are the city's institutions of higher learning.

Laval University

Laval University, a cornerstone of higher education in Quebec City, stands tall as one of Canada's leading institutions. Renowned for its research prowess and commitment to academic excellence, Laval University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs across various disciplines. The campus, characterized by innovation and a dynamic student community, provides an ideal intellectual exploration and growth environment.

The National Institute of Scientific Research (INRS)

The National Institute of Scientific Research (INRS) is a hub for cutting-edge research and advanced studies, significantly contributing to scientific knowledge and technological advancements. With a focus on fostering innovation, INRS attracts scholars and researchers from diverse fields, contributing to Quebec City's reputation as a center for scientific excellence.

National School of Public Administration (ENAP)

The National School of Public Administration (ENAP) plays a crucial role in shaping public service and governance leaders. Recognized for its commitment to excellence in public administration education, ENAP offers specialized programs that prepare students for impactful roles in the public sector. The school's emphasis on leadership and governance contributes to the development of professionals who drive positive change.

Learn how to get a Canadian Study Permit to study in Quebec City.

Immigrate to Quebec City

If you wish to immigrate to Canada and settle in Quebec City, you should know that the Canadian province of Quebec has its own provincial nominee programs. Your options are:

  • Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP)
  • Quebec Experience Class (PEQ)
  • Business Immigration

Learn more about how you can immigrate to Quebec.


What is the Fastest Way to Move to Quebec City?

This generally depends on your credentials and purpose for moving to Quebec City. Check out our handy guide on the fastest ways to move to Canada.

Do You Have to be a French Speaker to Live in Quebec?

No. However, as most of the population are French speakers, Quebec city's instruction medium is French. Learning basic French before you move to Quebec City would be beneficial.

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