W E L C O M E to City Hall or, as it’s known here, Hotel de Ville de Québec. This historic seat of local government was inaugurated on September 15, 1896 in what is now referred to as the Old Québec or, Vieux Québec. The building slopes downward as it was built on a hill and was once home to the Jesuit College from the 1730s to 1878. The architect for this stately looking building was one George-Émile Tanguay. The complex is fronted by the town square which is also the home to the Catholic cathedral—Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral (directly across from City Hall)—as well as Holy Trinity, the Anglican cathedral—which is the first Anglican cathedral built outside the British Isles. So, as you can see, Québec is up there in having a lot of ‘firsts’ and rightly proud of each and every one of them.
What a lot of people don’t know about Québec City is that, right in the heart of Vieux Québec (Old Québec) is a postage stamp of land that is forever Scotland. This tiny parcel of historical land is home to the Scottish Kirk (Church of Scotland) and St. Andrew’s church—a church built in the reign of George III. The church, built between 1759-1810, sits right next to the equally historic Morrin Centre, which is home to the English Literature and Historical Society. The Morrin Centre is also home to hundreds of historical books and document and yes, a Gaol too! The third building in this triptych was, at one time, another church, but is now the Institut Canadien housing yet another library. So, as you can see, and what you have to remember is, Québec City was built not just by the French, but the British and Irish too.
They built a new multi storey carpark and created a park around it for tourists and locals alike, right on the waterfront in the Old Port area right where the cruise ships come in. But they made the car park both a hanging garden and, a view point. Giving the roof over to greenery not cars. All in all, it’s a lovely place to park up, and hang out with your kids for a couple of hours, as there are water features in the park. Or, it’s a starting point for visitors to the old quarter, or a walk along the sea front. And yes, that is another visiting ship. The Italian training ship Amerigo Vespucci. And yes, with a crowd of hopefuls wanting to get onboard—but there’s a three hour long queue. Enjoy the view! This is all so much nicer than what use to greet the cruise ships coming in … what was, an ugly open car park. What do you think?