Friday, August 11, 2017
Summer is always an exciting season in Québec City: fireworks, festivals, music, fragrant flowers, afternoons spent on patios, chocolate-dipped ice cream cones and pop-up art installations. Visit the tourist sites and take an obscene amount of photos of Château Frontenac, and when you’ve worked through your must-do list, it is time to work on a different list: Québec City’s Pop-Up Urban Spaces.
Spend a day exploring the city by visiting some of the best pop-up public spaces and getting to know some of the local neighbourhoods as well.
Each year, architecture students from the University of Laval create an ephemeral space which highlights urban agriculture. This year SPOT is located at l’Îlot des Palais in the Old Port (8, rue Vallière) and features places to sit and relax, a restaurant-bar and a number of different activities for everyone to enjoy.
Neighbourhood: Vieux-Port (Old Port)
Connected to Bibliothèque Gabrielle-Roy (350, rue Saint-Joseph Est), Place Jacques-Cartier is a favourite urban space among locals in summer. Relax on the urban vegetation terrace, and escape the heat in the beer garden. It is easy to lose track of time at Place Jacques-Cartier.
Hugging the St-Charles River, Marina Saint-Roch is an ideal place to relax, enjoy a picnic and being in nature. A delightful urban escape. This summer, make plans to enjoy the pop-up urban furniture and dine at La Bécanne à Bouffe which will be stationed here throughout the summer.
Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville
Situated in the heart of Vieux-Québec, Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville is a small square in front of City Hall and Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral. Watch street performers, or use the small colourful metal tables and chairs to enjoy a coffee or light lunch. A quiet place to relax on a busy day of exploration.
Neighbourhood: Vieux-Québec (Old Québec)
Located in the quiet pedestrian portion of rue du Parvis between boulevard Charest and rue Saint-Joseph Est, Place Pixel features video game character table tops, chairs, an area for kids; and at times, live music and local food tastings.
Enjoy the square of Saint-Charles de Limoilou church (500, 8e Avenue) which features urban gardening, learn about the history of the district and enjoy Limoilou’s famous yellow piano. There will also be several live music performances throughout the summer.
Parvis de l'église Saint-Jean-Baptiste
Not far from the city walls of Vieux-Québec is the neighbourhood of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, a great local hood for shopping, drinking and eating. Take a break between two shops to enjoy this place with urban furniture and plants.
La Grande Tablée
A 42-seat communal table featuring ephemeral art work can be found in Parc de l’Université-du-Québec. An initiative by Sushi Taxi proprietor Christian Genest, La Grande Tablée is perfect for an impromptu picnic, reading, or as an afternoon workspace.
A new addition to this year’s urban public spaces, L'Oasis Saint-Vallier is tucked along rue Saint-Vallier near the intersection with rue Bagot. Earthy, fresh and made of natural wood, this public space is a refuge for locals and tourists alike who flock to Saint-Sauveur’s micro-restaurants and brewery.
Tucked behind PECH-Sherpa (Foster Care Services) l’Éphémère is a hidden gem, an urban space one stumbles upon accidentally, unless, of course, you know it is there. A series of events and activities are held throughout the summer, free of charge. Bring your kids and enjoy!
About Pamela MacNaughtan
Travel writer and photographer, Pamela has a deep love of all things Québec City. She is an anglophone from Ontario who prefers living in Québec. An avid city explorer and chocolat chaud connoisseur, Pamela accentuates the finest experiences in the city.