Quebec is the second-most populous province of Canada. Quebec province's capital, Quebec City, is the seventh-largest metropolitan area in Canada and the second-largest in the Province of Quebec after Montreal. The region has a predominantly French-speaking population with French as the official language. Quebec's contribution is substantial for the Canadian economy, with the region's economic output is about 20% of Canada's total GDP. If you are planning to stopover in Quebec here are some interesting facts about the region and the city. If you are planning to see more of Canada check out our article for interesting facts about Canada
1.Quebec is a French-speaking region in an English-speaking country
Even though Canada is a predominantly English-speaking country, the official language of Quebec is French. In 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier claimed the region in the name of the king of France and then made permanent settlements much later in 1608. After settlement, the English privateers captured Quebec in 1629, but only 3 years later in 1632, the English king agreed to return the land back France in what is called the "surrender of Quebec" which then lead Quebec to become a royal province of France in 1663. However, the English came back add took the region in 1759 but kept the french culture. In 1774, French became the official language under the Quebec Act, thus Quebec becoming a French-speaking region.
2. Quebec has a sovereignty movement
Quebec has a political and nationalistic ideology that advocates independence from Canada. The long-standing tension between French and English in Canadian history fuels a sovereignty ideology. The movement believes that the best way of preserving the unique culture and the region's identity is by becoming an autonomous region. Quebec held two referendums in 1980 and 1995 to decide whether the region should pursue independence. However, the majority rejected seeking independence on both occasions.
3. The city is covered in snow for the majority of the year
There are roughly four to five months when Quebec City is entirely free of snow. These months range between June and October. The first snowfalls in October and lasts till April. Even though the summer months are the best to visit, the city comes alive during the winter season too. Many describe the city as a snowy wonderland. Quebec offers various festivals and activities for its visitors during the cold season.
4. The French spoken in Quebec is different than the French in France
The French in Quebec is called Quebecois and is nearly identical in the formal aspects of France French. However, there are some differences in the informal parts of the language. The reason for this is that many of the first settlers were from rural areas in Paris and had different dialects than Paris French and the interaction and infusion of english words in to the French language occurred at different times in history for the French in Paris and the French in Quebec. So the two languages developed their own paths to their current modern form.
5. Plains of Abraham is a historic battlefield
The Plains of Abraham is one of the biggest attractions of Quebec City because it is the historic site of the Battle of the same name, which happened on 13th September 1759. It was a pivotal moment in Canadian history as the British invasion force defeated the French troops in, which ultimately led to Quebec City's surrender to the British. Today the park is a place for relaxation and outdoor festivals.
6. Quebec is the largest producer of Maple Syrup in the world
Indigenous people in North America were the first to use Maple Syrup, which was then adopted by the European settlers. Today, Canada and the USA produce all of the world's Maple Syrup. And Quebec is by far the largest producer, responsible for around 70% of the world's output which is controlled by the Federation of Maple Syrup. There is a currently a dispute between some individual Maple Syrup farmers and the Federation who complain that they can't sell their own syrup to the free market on their own because it's illegal to do that in Quebec.
7. Poutine is originated from Quebec
Poutine is a dish consists of French Fries and cheese curds topped with brown gravy. The dish's origin goes back to the 1950s in Quebec. In the beginning, Poutine had a negative perception in the society, and some used it to mock Quebec society. Later it became a symbol of Québécois culture and rose in popularity throughout the world.
8. Quebec hosts the largest winter carnival in the world
The Quebec Winter Carnival or Carnaval de Québec is the biggest of its kind in the world. The carnival begins in early February and ends in mid-February, and it has been held annually since 1955. It attracts around one million tourists each year. Parades, ice palaces, masquerade balls, and feasts are some activities held during the festival period.
9. Quebec City is home to the most photographed hotel in the world
Château Frontenac Hotel in Quebec City is the most photographed hotel in the world. Opened in 1893, the hotel houses 611 rooms and four restaurants. The hotel is in the historic district of Quebec City, allowing quick access to other major attractions of the city such as Ursulines Monastery, Citadelle of Quebec, and Plains of Abraham.
10. Quebec has a 2-week construction holiday
Quebec has a two-week, paid summer holiday in its construction sector, which begins on the second last Sunday of July each year. Quebec legislated an annual holiday for the construction industry in 1970, and it first came to effect in the summer of 1971. Non-construction workers also take their holidays during this period, making it the busiest time of the year for Quebec's tourism industry.