PlainsofAbraham-thepark-summer-NBC_000Quebec City is mostly renowned for its historic district – namely, Old Quebec – which is among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Yet, Quebec City is a provincial capital where the points of interests outside its fortifications abound. Among the many attractions are the city’s beautiful parks, which some tourists fail to visit because they hesitate to get away from the sublime architectural post card sceneries everybody can’t afford missing in Quebec City. Yet, picnicking, relaxing or doing sports in the five parks below will only be an added value in anyone’s trip!


1. The Plains of Abraham


Although most tourists actually make it to the Plains of Abraham during their trip in Quebec City, it is important to list this park here as it is the city’s most illustrious one. It is also among Canada’s most important historical sites since this is where a decisive battle for the fate of North America took place in 1759 between the French and the British empires during the Seven Years’ War.

The Plains of Abraham nowadays represent a pivotal section of Quebec City where four million people converge every year for sports, relaxation, concerts and festivals. This park is not incredibly large for a city park, but it is also endowed with two British defensive forts – called Martello towers – dating back from the 19th century. One of them was actually restored as a museum. In short, the Plains of Abraham are a must: whether it is for their proximity with Old Quebec or with other points of interest such as the Citadelle and the National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec, the Plains are the perfect spot to spent part of a sunny summer afternoon.


2. Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge


Not so far from the Plains of Abraham is the Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge, a wonderful 24-hectare park with pedestrian paths, colourful gardens, a fountain, a barn, greenhouses and a sugar shack (for maple syrup lovers who make it there in the spring!). The Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge was made accessible to the public in 1970 after the domain had been the residence of Quebec’s Lieutenant Governors from 1870 to 1966. Yet, the historical significance of this site dates back to 1653, when the third governor of New France acquired it and made it a châtellenie, which happened to be the colony’s only land placed under the jurisdiction of a castellan. An interpretive center is located in the heart of the park.


3. Parc linéaire de la rivière Saint-Charles


Quebec City’s most famous body of water undoubtedly is the St. Lawrence River. Yet, there is a magnificent stream that has to be walked along in Quebec City: the rivière Saint-Charles. This majestic stream actually goes through the heart of Quebec City just before ending into the St. Lawrence River. A 32-kilometre linear park was designed along the course of the stream and offers a unique panorama of Quebec City’s upper town on both of its shores. Winter, spring, summer or fall, the park is accessible.

One can do cross-country skiing on 10 kilometres and hiking on 32 kilometres. A bike and roller blade path which spans across 8 kilometres also is accessible. Snowshoeing, kayaking and canoeing are among the other available activities. In fact, kayaking or canoeing along the rivière Saint-Charles will allow one to see the Koubir Kouba waterfall, a Huron-Wendat indigenous reserve and even more. Definitely an option to consider for nature and adventure lovers who want to take some time along a body of water while remaining in Quebec City!


4. Domaine de Maizerets


The Domaine de Maizerets is more than a park: it is a historical site which comprises the Château Ango des Maizerets (which was built in the 17th century), an oratory, a chapel and a 1755 barn. Still, beyond its historical value, the Domaine de Maizerets is a little haven of peace in Limoilou, a neighbourhood which is rapidly changing in Quebec City. With its pond, its marsh, its 350-metre cedar labyrinth, its pool, its observation tower, its large butterfly cage and its 2,500-square metre water garden, the Domaine de Maizerets has everything to please everyone!


5. Parc Victoria


Located in the lower town of Quebec City, the Parc Victoria is a good stop for sports lovers. Its many tennis courts that can be rented for little money, its baseball field, its soccer field and its running track will make you break a sweat on a hot afternoon. Even better, the park is adjacent to the baseball stadium where Quebec City’s professional baseball team – namely, Les Capitales de Québec – plays its home games. Playing sports in the afternoon and watching sports while eating stadium food in the evening sounds good, doesn’t it?

About the author:

Alexandre Duval is a Montreal-based freelance blogger who writes about tourism across Quebec. He both provides information for tourists who are looking for hotels in Montreal, bars and urban activities as well as for those who prefer sweet escapes in parks and rural areas.