The Arts District
A perfect balance between bourgeois and bohemian, the Montcalm neighbourhood attracts epicureans, sports fans, and art and culture lovers in a magnificent historical environment. Head to the Upper Town for a highly entertaining and tasty experience!
From Old Québec, the Montcalm neighbourhood is no more than a 10-minute walk away along Boulevard René-Lévesque Est. You can also get there on Métrobus 800, 801 and 807, getting off at the Cartier stop, and on bus line 11 if you're coming from the ferry terminal.
Bookstores, theatre, museums, movies, art galleries: in Montcalm there's something for culture lovers of every stripe. Don't forget to visit the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ), a real architectural gem showcasing both Québec and international art. To keep up with the latest films, head to Cinéma Cartier, the only movie theatre downtown; it can get pretty busy on weekends.
In July, Montcalm comes alive to the beat of the Festival d’été de Québec: for 11 days, the city becomes a giant outdoor concert hall, with an enticing program of world-famous and local talent. When night falls, watching your favourite artist perform on the Plains of Abraham is a dream come true!
Throw in the Périscope theatre, galleries, bookstores with as many second-hand books as new ones, and the rich music and dance programming at the Grand Théâtre de Québec, and you start to see why Montcalm is nicknamed Québec City's art district! On Cartier Avenue, paintings even end up on street lamps, whose monumental lampshades are decorated with reproductions of works from the MNBAQ collection.
But there's more than just food for thought around here: it's a great place to eat as well. Friendly bistros stand alongside low-cost chains, pubs, bars and cafés. Stopping by Halles Cartier is a safe bet for foodies: you can find all manner of things to eat from morning until night under the same roof.
Cartier Avenue's lovely shops are ideal for your latest purchases or just window shopping. In the summer, its amazing urban terraces are a hit, and with reason!
The district is called Montcalm for a reason, named after the Lieutenant General who led the French troops during the famous Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. The plains, stretching out over 98 hectares, now forming a massive city park, is the place where the fate of New France was decided. Impressive, no?