I am working on two new books at the moment. One is on Old Montreal and the other is Old Quebec City. Below is an except from Quebec City in Winter.
A Winter Wonderland of Timeless Elegance
When winter descends upon Old Quebec, the city undergoes a magical transformation, enveloping visitors in a world of timeless elegance and enchanting beauty. The glistening snow blankets the historic architecture, casting a serene and ethereal ambiance over the cobblestone streets and towering ramparts. The iconic Château Frontenac, a symbol of grandeur and history, stands majestically amidst the winter wonderland, evoking a sense of nostalgia and wonder.
Embracing the winter spirit, the city hosts the enchanting Quebec Winter Carnival, a cherished tradition dating back to 1894. This lively celebration features elaborate ice sculptures, exhilarating winter sports, and the joyful Bonhomme Carnaval, the beloved mascot of the festival. Visitors can also partake in the exhilarating experience of dog sledding through the picturesque landscapes surrounding Old Quebec.
Quebec City in winter is transformed into a wonderland that evokes the magnificence of a holiday card come to life. The historic streets of Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage treasure, are blanketed in snow, lending a silent hush to the cobblestone paths and 17th-century architecture. The air is crisp and invigorating, carrying the scent of wood smoke and the sounds of the Winter Carnival, one of the world’s largest winter festivals. The Château Frontenac stands as a majestic backdrop, its iconic image even more enchanting with a dusting of frost. Visitors bundled in warm attire wander through the Petit Champlain district, where twinkling lights adorn boutique windows and laughter spills out of cozy cafes serving rich hot chocolate and hearty Canadian fare.
The Quebec Winter Carnival: A Celebration of Tradition and Festivity
The Quebec Winter Carnival, often referred to as the “world’s largest winter carnival,” is a jubilant celebration that brings the city to life with a myriad of activities, events, and festivities. Dating back to 1894, the carnival has become an integral part of Quebecois culture, embodying the spirit of resilience and merriment in the face of winter’s chill.
One of the most iconic figures of the carnival is Bonhomme, a larger-than-life snowman who serves as the jovial ambassador of the festivities. With his red cap and wide smile, Bonhomme embodies the warmth and conviviality that characterize the carnival, welcoming visitors with open arms and spreading joy throughout the city.
Quebec City in Winter
The season brings a host of outdoor activities that make the frigid temperatures a delightful playground for the adventurous. The Plains of Abraham, once a historic battlefield, become a site for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, with panoramic views of the St. Lawrence River. Ice skating rinks appear like glassy oases amidst the urban landscape, particularly at Place D’Youville, where locals and visitors alike glide under the open sky. For the thrill-seekers, the nearby Montmorency Falls offer a stunning spectacle, its cascading waters frozen in time, and the opportunity for ice climbing challenges the bravest of spirits. Families delight in toboggan rides down the Dufferin Terrace, squealing with joy against the backdrop of the mighty river below.
As evening descends, the city doesn’t slow down; it sparkles with an ethereal glow. The Winter Carnival bursts with energy, showcasing ice sculptures that glisten under the stars, night parades, and concerts that fill the cold air with music. The historic Le Quartier Petit Champlain transforms into a picturesque scene with its narrow streets and stone buildings alight with soft illumination, inviting passersby to linger and soak in the old-world ambiance. It’s in these moments, amid the quiet beauty and the festive spirit, that Quebec City reveals its winter charm — a blend of history, culture, and the simple pleasure of a season embraced with warmth and joy.