Quebec City Tour: Notre Dame des Anges

Gateway to Quebec’s smallest municipality For most people in Quebec City, Notre Dame des Anges refers to the ironically-named street where you could pick up prostitutes in the days before Saint Roch was cleaned up and gentrified. Few locals realize there’s another place of the same name in their midst. Notre Dame des Anges is […]

Posted in: Canada, History by Patrick Donovan Comments Off on Quebec City Tour: Notre Dame des Anges ,

Saint Roch Contemporary

New buildings in Saint Roch, Quebec City

Posted in: Architecture, Canada by Patrick Donovan 2 Comments

Canada’s Only Good Boulevard

Canadian cities fail miserably grandiose urban planning. Every single effort at creating a monumental boulevard has resulted in something mediocre. University Street in Toronto, which runs straight into the Ontario provincial parliament building, has a nice median and a good visual terminus, but it’s ruined by drab furnishings and even more banal buildings. Montreal’s René-Lévesque […]

Quebec City Tour: Le Campanile

In the early 1980s, New Urbanism arose as a reaction to suburban sprawl, advocating a return to traditional city planning. The Campanile area, laid out in 1986, was built according to these ideas. This dense neighbourhood lies beyond the low-density suburbs of Sainte-Foy on the edge of Greater Quebec. Just when you think you’ve hit […]

Posted in: Architecture, Canada, Public Space by Patrick Donovan Comments Off on Quebec City Tour: Le Campanile , , , ,

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 […]

Railway Stations in Quebec and Montreal

Gare du Palais, Quebec In the 19th century, Montreal boomed as an industrial railway hub while Quebec City fell into obscurity. Quebec remained poorly connected by rail to the rest of the continent until the 20th century. A grand chateau-style railway station, called Gare du Palais, was built in 1915 to inaugurate the new railway […]

The Revolving Fortunes of Rotating Restaurants

From the 1940s to the 1980s, vast areas of North American cities were demolished and replaced with freeways and large concrete skyscrapers. This process, which came to be known as Urban Renewal, did not hit Quebec City quite as hard as Montreal or other cities in Canada. Though the old city was left untouched, over […]

Posted in: Architecture, Canada, Society and Culture by Patrick Donovan 1 Comment

Quebec City Tour: Montcalm

To many people in Quebec, Montcalm ward is synonymous with old money and big houses. It is actually quite a diverse and interesting area, with everything from cheap student flats to landscaped boulevards with mansions. The term “climbing the social ladder” takes on a rather literal meaning here—the lower part of Montcalm is more modest […]

Posted in: Canada by Patrick Donovan Comments Off on Quebec City Tour: Montcalm ,

Wolfe vs. Wolfe-Montcalm

The Plains of Abraham are famous for the confrontation between the armies of Wolfe and Montcalm, a decisive battle leading to Britain’s conquest of New France. Several centuries later, a confrontation over a street name is taking place on this lamp-post bordering the park. Federal and Municipal authorities can’t agree on whether to call the […]

Posted in: Canada, History by Patrick Donovan Comments Off on Wolfe vs. Wolfe-Montcalm ,

Finding Your Way in Quebec City

I tracked down five types of street signs within the traditional limits of Quebec City. The oldest signs are these attractive blue and white ones. The highest concentration of such signs are in Saint-Jean-Baptiste. This type of sign with a curious mix of embossed lower case and capital letters is the next in our chronological […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada by Patrick Donovan 5 Comments , ,

Quebec City Tour: Limoilou

Poster advertising keytar legend “Gils” at Limoilou’s Pub Chez Jean The image above summarizes my perception of Limoilou: a neighbourhood locked in time where mullets, keytars, and bikers rule. I don’t go there often, and when I do I always experience culture shock (but I suppose it also makes me laugh). Largely planned and built […]

Posted in: Canada, Society and Culture by Patrick Donovan Comments Off on Quebec City Tour: Limoilou ,

Caution: Satan at Work

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada by Patrick Donovan Comments Off on Caution: Satan at Work , ,

The Old Town and the Sea

The St. Lawrence River in Montreal. Photo by Matt Hobbs If we don’t get a handle on runaway greenhouse warming, sea levels are predicted to rise by approximately 20 feet, or seven meters. If you think this won’t affect Quebec, think again. Using the Google Maps API and NASA climate projection data, a clever person […]

Posted in: Canada, Environment by A.J. Kandy Comments Off on The Old Town and the Sea , ,

Quebec City Tour #5: Saint Sauveur

Saint Sauveur, like neighbouring Saint Roch, has a tangible working class past, but this is where similarities end. Saint-Roch is in the throes of gentrification and is rapidly becoming a new downtown. Saint-Sauveur has retained its modest rundown feel, but is one of the few places attracting a noticeable immigrant presence in lilywhite Quebec City. […]

Posted in: Architecture, Canada by Patrick Donovan 1 Comment ,