Each Season has its Own Style
Québec City is a sought-after tourist destination throughout the year. The changing of the seasons is marked by a new palette of vibrant colours and a slate of different activities. The spring features an impressive outburst of greenery as the region casts off its wintry cloak. To take advantage of the warm summer days, people flock to sidewalk cafés, parks, outdoor concerts and bustling streets. The fall is heralded by a bracing breeze that rustles the leaves in vivid hues of yellow, orange and red. But winter in Québec City, with its abundant snowfall and landscape of crystalline beauty, is something truly special.
Several festivals and celebrations are held during the winter months. The Québec Winter Carnival is one of the world's largest winter carnivals, featuring two night parades hosted by the jovial Carnival spokesnowman, Bonhomme Carnaval; a canoe race over the icy St. Lawrence River; an ice castle in Old Québec; snow and ice sculptures; dogsled races; and a multitude of games and activities for the whole family. The Québec Winter Carnival embodies the magic and spirit of winter in the Greater Québec City area.
Spending Christmas in Québec City is like giving yourself a present. Every year, the region is blanketed in snow in time for the Holidays, prompting local residents and visitors to gather in Old Québec to celebrate this festive season with family and friends. Several parts of the city are bedecked in colourful lights and decorations from early December to mid-February.
The Magic of Winter
Fun in the snow is guaranteed in the Greater Québec City area every winter. Skiers and snowboarders appreciate the first-rate conditions at the four major resorts located on the outskirts of the city. Cross-country ski trails and outdoor skating rinks can be found across the region, from the downtown core to the outlying communities.
Thrill-seekers of all ages can go sledding on the Plains of Abraham. Choose from among a wide range of outdoor activities, including snowshoeing, ice climbing, dogsledding and snowmobiling. The Greater Québec City area is linked to the Trans-Québec snowmobile network that comprises 30,000 km (18,000 miles) of groomed trails..
Many competitive sporting events are held here in the winter. Cross-country skiers can participate in the Loppet Mont-Sainte-Anne, which consists of three races: 5 km, 25 km and 50 km. Every year, Québec City hosts the LG Snowboard FIS World Cup. X-treme athletes can test their mettle during Grand défi des glaces, an ice canoe race where competitors must make three trips across the St. Lawrence River. Shortly after the Québec Winter Carnival ends in February, young hockey players from several countries come to take part in the International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament.
Come visit the Ice Hotel to experience a contemporary expression of Northern life. This combination igloo and enchanted castle is a fascinating display of human ingenuity and the majesty of Mother Nature.
Located only 10 minutes from the Old Québec, the Ice Hotel is a fairytale setting where the very décor is sculpted from ice and snow. There are 36 themed rooms and suites, some of which have a fireplace. Among the things to see and do include the Icy Café, chapel, art gallery, Ice Bar where cocktails are served in glasses made of ice and indoor ice slide.
Now you can appreciate the joys of winter in every part of the city
Merging one's existence with the winter dates back to the founding of the city over four centuries ago. Local residents have integrated the year's coldest season into their way of life, shaped it in their image and made it part of their culture. You are hereby invited to discover the wonders of this time of the year at the many enchanting sites, exciting festivals and thrilling athletic events in the capital of snow, ice and joie-de-vivre!