Visiting Quebec City, Canada With a Dog!
Ah, Quebec City … the capital of the province of Quebec, Canada ’s francophone stronghold. A stunning city, filled with a rich history, seeped in drama, and in stories worth the telling. Quebec City is a place where the new and the old mingle and mix and where North Americans can get a feel for Europe without having to cross the Atlantic Ocean . The streets of the old town are cobble stoned, the shops and architecture reminiscent of “La Vielle France ” … Old France and not England, making this city unique in many ways. In places, time seems to have stopped. The city has worked very hard to preserve its rich heritage. The Old Upper and Lower Town is a large open air museum where people work, play and live. If you are a foodie – than this town is for you!
We go because my Grandma lives there. Up in the Plaines of Abraham a historic site where the French lost to the British during the Battle of the same name; one of the many stories that contribute to some degree to the split within this nation between the Francophone’s and Anglophones. Sadly bitterness remains although, it seems that talk of separatism has quieted these days.
Grandma maintains and keeps the family home. She is one capable woman because that is one big house! She adores me so visits are always a good time. I get to sleep in her bed (something I am never allowed to do at home) and she makes the most amazing meals like ratatouille and fillet mignon and such … AND I get to run around on wool carpet and up and down stairs … I love it!
What is even lovelier is how dog friendly the city is. I think that the bipeds were truly surprised. The truth is the citizens of that city have embraced canines with all their collective hearts. The first time this was obvious was when we went for a walk on the Plaines of Abraham near grandma’s house. Not only am I allowed everywhere on the paths and trails (on leash), but they even provide poop bags at many handy dispensers! I had a fabulous time climbing up and down little walls, looking at the Saint Lawrence River from my perch near the statue of Governor General Grey … I also played on the old canons that line the sport fields and sniffed many flowers and greeted many a fellow canine or biped. The only place I was not allowed was the designated roller blade and “in line skating” path … understandable. There are water fountains and loads of big trees for shade. It is an absolutely wonderful walk if you are lucky to be there on the rare occasion the sun is shining.
In addition to the “Plains” we went for a long walk around the historic Old Town . What a fun time with all the old streets and centuries of smells and odours. The horse and carriage rides, the tourists and the art at every corner and they love flowers! Oh my! Let me tell you, we saw some truly spectacular flowers on balconies, under windows, framing front doors … Oh what a sight!
The most recognizable landmark of Quebec City must be the Château Frontenac currently a Fairmont Hotel. It sits, a mighty regal presence over the entire old city dominating the skyline. You would think it has been there forever but the truth is it dates back only to the 19th century as part of a Château series of hotels being built across Canada for the Pacific Canadian Railway (We also have one in Ottawa called the Château Laurier). Oh what a gem! We went in and had a look around and it was like being transported back in time – in fact much of the staff is dressed in period costumes and act as non-official guides. You can take a guided tour and find out all the fun stories (some ghost stories too!) and hear of all the famous people that have stayed and learn about those moments that changed history within the Château walls. I had such a good time, even if I was stopped every few feet by staff and customers alike to be petted and cooed over.
One of the nice things is that for me, a small dog … I could sit at the indoor patio at the Starbucks inside the Frontenac and warm up from the cold winds outside. It is rare to find a spot indoors where a canine can relax … even if in hiding. But it should come as no surprise after all; the Frontenac has its own dog! Yes they do … Santol is a greeter and works there 5 days a week. He works for both the MIRA foundation and the Fairmont . How cool is that? And he was featured in a book with his fellow greeter Catie! If you didn’t love Faimont – you should now! There are six greeters so far at these luxury hotels. Mom bought the book and read it to me while dad got the coffee …and it is awesome! She hopes that next time Santol will be there so I can get a picture with him! I have his Pawtograph in my book. We have decided we will even stay a night at the hotel, just so we can write a full review! Yippeee!
After we warmed up – we went to the massive and stunning boardwalk of the Château Frontenac. This is an amazing place where you can see the Saint Lawrence River below and the roof tops of the entire old town. From there we took the cute and highly efficient funicular down to the Lower Town . Oh what fun! The bipeds had to pay $2 each but I got to go on for free! It is a short ride but so very picturesque and I totally understand why people would take it to go back up from Lower Town . After all not everyone is as crazy as we are … we actually enjoyed taking the hundreds of steps back up! Québec City boasts nearly 30 sets of stairs that link the Upper Town with the Lower Town . Don’t believe me … you should read up! Each stairway has its own personality and history.
Unfortunately for us the weather got really bad and we had to give up on plans to discover more of this magnificent city and the local area – in particular a hike in the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency to see the falls etc. But we will be back!! So after a lunch at grandma’s we got back in the car and headed home to Ottawa . We out drove a tornado in the area of Trois-Rivières and got caught in a shocking storm that forced dad to drive at a snails pace with the four way lights flashing, but in time we made it home safe and sound to tell our tale.
In case you are still not convinced you should take the time to discover Quebec City – I leave you with a list of Dog Friendly accommodations (after all not everyone can stay at Grandma’s!), attractions (not already mentioned in this post) and even restaurants. Note that these were dog friendly at the time of this post. Call ahead to make sure this is still the case. Let us know if something has changed!
Clarion Hotel Quebec -3125 Hochelaga Delta Quebec Hotel -690 Boul Rene-Levesque E Hilton Quebec -1100 Rene Levesque East Hotel Dominion 1912 -126 St Pierre L’Hotel du Vieux Quebec -1190 rue St-Jean Le Dauphin Quebec Hotel & Suites -400, du Marais Quality Suites Quebec -1600 Rue Bouvier BEST WESTERN PLUS City Centre/Centre-Ville -330 De La Couronne Loews Le Concorde Hotel -1225 Cours Du General De Montcalm
Parc de la Chute-Montmorency -2490, avenue Royale Beauport CSA Historical Walking Tour -4, rue Toussaint Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site -100 Saint-Louis St. Horse and Carriage Tours -Place d’Armes or rue d’Auteuil Le Promenade des Ecrivains (Writer’s Walking Tour) -1588, avenue Bergemont Parc Nautique de Cap-Rouge Boat Rentals -4155, chemin de la Plage-Jacques-Cartier Quebec – Levis Ferry -Rue Dalhousie, Lower Town Rue du Tresor Open Air Artist District -Rue du Tresor Voir Quebec Walking Tours -12, rue Ste-Anne
Artillery Park Heritage Site -2 D’Auteuil Street Battlefield Park -835 Wilfrid-Laurier Avenue Cartier – Brebeuf National Historic Site -175 l’Espinay Street Domaine Maizerets -2000, boulevard Montmorency Dufferin Terrace -at Chateau Frontenac Saint-Louis Forts and Chateaux National Historic Site -2 D’Auteuil Street
Le Promenades du Vieux-Quebec -43, rue De Buade
In review: Visiting Quebec City, Canada with a dog is a great idea. A fine time for history loving canines and humans. A must see stop and one of Canada ’s most picturesque cities. I recommend that you go in the warmer months when outdoor activities are available. Quebec City is one of the coldest spots in the nation and the winter months are not a time for canines to visit (unless you are a Husky), especially the really little ones. Check the weather for the time of year you wish to visit!