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Located on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, Québec City is the capital city of Canada's Québec province. Known for its classical architecture and a distinctive European feel, like most of the province, Québec City (Ville de Québec) is the second most populous city in the province after Montreal and the eleventh most populous city in Canada. The Historic District of Old Québec's fortified city walls are the only ones of their kind left standing in northern North America, and in 1985, were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Québec City was the first city in Canada to be established with the goal of becoming a permanent settlement rather than a commercial outpost such as St. John's, Newfoundland, or Labrador and Port Royal, Nova Scotia. In 1535 the French explorer Jacques Cartier built a fort where he remained in residence for a year. He returned in 1541 to build a permanent settlement, however, it was abandoned in 1542.
Today, Québec City is one of Canada's largest cities. As of 2016, it had a population of 531,902, with 800,296 concentrated in its metropolitan center. Most of the city is French-speaking. Native English speakers represent only 1.5 percent of the city's population. The city is divided into 34 districts and six boroughs. In 2002, several nearby towns were annexed to accommodate growth.
Québec City is located along Canada's St. Lawrence River near the confluence with the St. Charles River. Due to its location along these waterways, most of the area is flat and low-lying. However, the Laurentian Mountains north of the city offer increased elevation.
Quebec City is the most European of any city in North America, they speak French all the time. There is a part of town called Old Quebec which is really like being in France. The architecture is just gorgeous, food, shopping. I'd say Quebec city is the most beautiful city in North America I've seen.
Quebec has three national parks. These are Forillon, Mingan Archipelago, and La Mauricie. In total, these parks cover 927 km² (358 sq. miles). These parks are renowned for their camping sites, hiking trails, and wildlife observation opportunities. Whether you live in a city center or a rural community, Quebec offers you easy access to pristine areas of nature through its National Parks.
Across both city and rural environments, real estate and housing rental prices in Quebec are considered low. Montreal, Quebec’s largest city, has an average home price of 72 percent of the Canadian average. The differential in monthly rent is also comparative. Overall, Montreal is ranked as the fourth least expensive city out of 68 top cities in North America. Quebec City is ranked as the most affordable of the top 68 cities in North America. In terms of housing alone, the average price of a family home in Quebec City is 55 percent of the average home price in Canada. Real estate prices outside of the major two cities are even lower. It is not uncommon to find homes in the 1,200 to 1,500 sq. foot (111 to 139 m²) in rural communities for sale below the USD $120,000 range.
Over the last 20 years, some 66,000+ jobs have been created in Quebec City, bolstering what has become one of the backbones of Canada’s national economy. In addition, unemployment has historically been below the national average. In terms of industries, public administration, manufacturing, commerce and tourism lead the way. The five reasons listed here are just the start of what you’ll find in Quebec City. So, what else is waiting for you? There’s beautiful scenery, thriving culture, diversity, sports, stunning architecture and so much more.
The cost of residential electricity in Quebec is the lowest in Canada, and by some accounts, the lowest in all of North America. The average cost per kWh in Quebec is $0.073. This can be compared to the national average in Canada, which is $0.174. Depending on what American city is used for comparison, the cost of residential electricity in Quebec is one-quarter to one-half of that in the United States. This low price holds steady whether you reside in Montreal, Quebec City, or any of the rural communities across the province. In terms of how the electricity is sourced in Quebec, the majority is generated with hydroelectric dams. This qualifies the electricity used in Quebec to be labelled as coming from a renewable source.
You should know that Quebec has repeatedly ranked as one of the safest provinces in all of Canada (if not the safest), with a crime severity index (CSI) score that falls well below other popular provinces like Alberta and British Columbia. CSI is a measure that takes into account how often a crime is committed and how serious the crime was, so it’s a good indicator of safety. Quebec City has also fared particularly well within the Quebec province when it comes to occurrences of crime. In fact, one report from 2019 found it to have the lowest CSI of all Census Metropolitan Areas, and the city has been named the safest metropolitan area in all of Canada to raise children in.
Many people in Quebec City choose to own and drive an automobile, but a wide variety of alternatives exist for those who don’t. The city is a haven for cyclists with well-lit and well-defined bike paths in place for people to commute to and from parts of town. There’s also a local bus network, Réseau de transport de la Capitale, that’s affordable and offers routes throughout the metro area. Via Rail Canada provides train transport that’s efficient and connects Quebec City to other places throughout Canada. And should you need to fly, Jean Lesage International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the entire country, with service to destinations across the globe.