Quebec City Tour: Suburbia


This is Sainte-Foy, one of Quebec City’s numerous suburbs, where I grew up. Yes, it could be anywhere in North America. 80% of the population in Greater Quebec lives in low-density burbs like this one, with anonymous detached homes on large grassy lots. This demographic majority has redefined the public image of Quebec City, a city often depicted as an enigmatic hotbed of conservatives by the press. The fact that these conservative values are largely relegated to the suburbs has been mapped through demographic research.

Though all Quebec suburbs may feel similarly insipid to some, there is a pecking order for locals. Sainte-Foy is near the top. People from Sainte-Foy look down on people from Charlesbourg, who in turn look down on people from Beauport, who look down on people from Duberger, who look down on people from Neuchatel and Loretteville, who look down on people from Val-Bélair, who look down on people from Vanier. Vanier is the bottom of the suburban barrel, home of the “Coupe Vanier” (AKA Coupe Longueuil AKA The Mullet). Only Cap-Rouge and Sillery are high enough on the pecking order to look down on Sainte-Foy.

But that’s just the north shore, which leaves out the “farmers” on the south shore. And there’s Quebec’s city centre, which looks down on all these suburbanites, their screaming populist politicians, and their “my power centre is bigger than your power centre” pecking order. So who’s the big fish now? Well, let’s not forget Montreal, who thinks the “gros village” of Quebec has its head up its ass for even thinking of itself as a city. But Montreal has “les 450” to reckon with, and that takes us into a whole new pecking order.

So who’s right?


This entry was written by Patrick Donovan , posted on Tuesday June 03 2008at 04:06 pm , filed under Canada, Society and Culture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Response to “Quebec City Tour: Suburbia”

  • Circeus says:

    I didn’t know my little (by comparison) home town of Saint-Émile had stopped being a suburb. I think it’s somewhere near Vanier, but we looked down on Lac-Saint-Charles instead :p