Rediscovering Winter in Quebec City

I am in Quebec City for the weekend.  The old town in Quebec City is like a small piece of Europe dropped into Canada.  The old town has been preserved with the old fortress walls and cannons pointed out over the St. Lawrence River.  Its streets are narrow, steep and winding.  The buildings, made out of stone, are full of character. The old town is home to churches, a seminary, the City Hall, and the Chateau Frontenac.  Quebec City is a photographer’s dream; everywhere we look, there are frames full of beauty; spires and copper trimmed roofs set against a blue sky; winding streets punctuated with curvaceous window frames; gated courtyards; and parks with sculptures, statues and murals.

Quebec City is a walking city.  I came here last summer with my daughter and we walked six and seven hours a day.  That is what one does in Quebec City; walk, eat wonderful food, and walk some more. This is my first time in Quebec City in the winter and I am enchanted.  The City’s sites are thrown into greater relief because of the backdrop of white snow.  Icy surfaces glitter in the sunlight like jewels.  The St. Lawrence River, dark and brooding in the summer, is a sea of ice in the winter.  In the distance, the ice looks solid and white, but off the Terrace at the Chateau Frontenac, the river is open with large slabs of white ice moving quickly with a current that is hidden  in the summer. This weekend, the river of ice is dotted with canoes!!  People are rowing across the river in small canoes between and over slabs of ice!! 

I love the Québécois; warm, animated and full of life.  My husband and I went out for a walk late last night.  The City was transformed with lights shining out of the windows of hotels, bistros and pubs, and on spires, copper roofs, and rock walls.  It was biting cold (-10 degrees C) but the streets were full of people; teenagers travelling in small packs, families with children, young and old; all bundled in jackets, scarves and hats; enjoying the wonders of a clear winter night.  The Québécois; a people who have learned how to live in a harsh environment; a people who embrace the dark and cold; a people who find joy in every day life.  Vive la difference!

About kp

I am a woman and a mother, a sister and a wife. I have called myself a socialist and a feminist, an environmentalist and an activist, a pagan and an atheist. But, at this stage in my life, none of these labels feel right. I am searching; trying to find an inner calm; trying to make peace with life's disappointments; trying to answer the big questions in my own small life.
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5 Responses to Rediscovering Winter in Quebec City

  1. How fun, and rejuvenating. Keep up the good non-work, young woman! And, we’d love to see your pictures! It sounds so lovely.

    • kp says:

      Hi there…I was just on your site!! It is funny that you are calling me a young woman because that is how I feel. Looking at the crystalline snow in the sun tranported me back in time to my parent’s backyard when I was about 10. I have missed the snow this year. Ontario has had an eerily mild winter so we had very few snowy days in southern Ontario. Snow makes me feel like a child!!! Who knew??

      • Hi Kim,

        I’ve been going thru about 25 old photo albums, dated from 1985-2005 (when I stopped using my 35mm camera) and the waves of emotion have been startling. (I’m taking all the photos out and am going to give my children each a custom-made-with-love ‘highlights of their lives’ photo album, with the rest in shoe boxes for when they (and their children) want to see them.) But that’s not what I’m commenting about! Just can’t seem to control my fingers…

        I, too, noticed when just looking at the pictures that I miss the snow and the cold. And the fun of snow–digging out the driveway, or my daughter digging trenches so the dogs could go to the bathroom! And the beauty–snow can make garbage heaps beautiful. Which reminds me that truly, Love is in charge of the universe. And you are a young lady! :)


  2. Sven says:

    I just caught this, Kim. Sounds like such a lovely place. I was in Montreal a little over a year ago and had such a terrific time with the Québécois. Amazing people, amazing area!

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