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Quebec City - the first leg of our "See Canada" quest

Quebec City - the first leg of our "See Canada" quest

Mar 31st, 2009, 03:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 167
Quebec City - the first leg of our "See Canada" quest

Hello Fodorites....

We are somewhat more accustomed to the Europe board and this is my first post here - we moved to Canada just over a year ago and like all good, un-initiated immigrants, landed straight into Toronto. Alas, vocational considerations must take precedence - but I jest, we quite like it here.

One of the many resolves around our move to Canada was that we must see and explore Canada. We have seen some of Ontario on long weekends (and of course, the obligatory week in Muskoka last summer), but now it's time to venture beyond the borders of this fair province.

I have a week off in the middle of May and was thinking of driving up to Quebec city with the tribe (which consists of a wife who knows everything and two iPod armed kids, 12 and 14).
So here are the questions:
1) Is this a good idea in the middle of May? I can deal with temperatures in their mid-teens (the various sites all recommend that one expect this, but their disclaimers of late snow etc. bother me somewhat), but I honestly do not wish to see snow anymore.
2) The “Olde Quebec” seems to be the destination of choice for lodging – are there any home/apartment rentals that are recommended as opposed to the charming hotels (such an adventure would be our normal choice in most European cities)? We quite like the idea of strolling down into the middle of things and picking up fresh produce, etc. in the mornings – not quite sure if this is true of Quebec city, as it would be in say Campo de' Fiori in Rome..
3) I don’t quite know how to put this one, as I do not mean to offend anyone – but is there any untoward behaviour commonly experienced by those of us who look a bit different (of the Russell Peters variety)?

I look forward to your ideas and suggestions in helping shape this trip. We do plan to stopover in Montreal overnight, on our way bit that is not the focus of this trip (unless some of you suggest otherwise). We generally like to go to one place at a time and explore it in an easy, un-rushed fashion.
Warm regards to anyone who has taken the trouble to read through….
ahmedhaff is offline  
Apr 5th, 2009, 03:28 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2,399
It's been a number of years since I visited Quebec City, and we stayed at the Chateau Frontenac, so I regret that I can't offer any advice on your preferred type of accomodation. You don't need to worry about weather there any more than in Toronto. The climates are pretty much the same. Mid-May will likely be pleasant; of course there could be a freak snowstorm, as in any part of the country, but it is unlikely.

I laughed at your reference to Russell Peters. You will be fine. It might not be quite as diverse as Toronto or Vancouver, but there are a variety of people there, as there are in most places here.

Quebec City is wonderful to visit and there's a lot of history, especially relative to many other Canadian cities. Montreal is fantastic too...
taggie is offline  
Apr 6th, 2009, 12:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,759
You will thoroughly enjoy Quebec City and if your family is as charming as your post, the residents will love your whole gang.

The problem with May is less weather than the propensity of the town to be overrun with school trippers. Quebec City is the destiny of choice for Grade Eight students throughout Toronto and many other places. Not that the kids don't make good fellow-tourists, but they put a squeeze on inexpensive accomodation.

We were less than successful at our B&B in downtown Quebec City and I cannot reccomend it at all. I know many do like Leows Concord (?), but I think it is the hotel of choice of the school kids at that time. If you can affor it, even for one night the Chateau Frontenac is marvelous. Even if you don't stay there, go and visit to show your family and do the tour if you can: it is living Canadian history.

Perhaps others will chime in.
LJ is offline  
Apr 6th, 2009, 06:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,352
I cannot help with an appartment. We stayed in an hotel. I recommended Hotel Cap Diamant in the reviews here, But it is up top even higher than the Fairmont.
There is a very large market on the edge of the lower town with stalls for produce, meat etc. We were there mid September so it was overflowing with local produce. In May, who knows.
icithecat is offline  
Apr 7th, 2009, 10:27 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 470
Hi - first I looked up the weather statistics for Quebec City and apparently the "average" high in May is 17C. But, mid May even in Toronto can be highly unpredictable and "averages" are just that. Bring a mix of clothes to be safe.
I also thought I would inquire about your length of stay as you mentioned having one week. Personally I think a whole week is perhaps a bit long for Quebec City. The main area of interest "Vieux Quebec"(the old walled section of town) is relatively compact and can be explored in a a couple of days give or take in my opinion. To fill out the week, you might want to consider a couple of nights in Montreal before or after, or a drive up the St. Lawrence through the Charlevoix region to the Saguenay with an overnight somewhere up there. This area is famous for whale-watching, but that is somewhat seasonal and I'm not sure whether May is a good time - but that information should be available on the web.
There is a Market in Quebec down in the Old Port bordering the River and the lower section of the Old City. I have stopped there only briefly some years ago. Check out http://www.quebec-travelguide.com/old-port/ . One more point - in Mid May there is the very popular Victoria Day long weekend in Canada - you might want to finalize your hotel booking asap if your timing coincides.
I also don't think there should be any concern about the "Russell Peters" issue. Quebec City gets hundreds of thousands of tourists from the rest of Canada and the world, and nearby Montreal is as multicultural as Toronto. I have travelled to the latter city with close family members who are also "different" in this same way and we were never made to give it a thought.
mat54 is offline  

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