With its steep-sloped streets, colourful houses piled one on top of the other, and its fun-loving and welcoming character, Saint-Jean-Baptiste is the festive neighbourhood par excellence!
How to Get There
The Saint-Jean-Baptiste district is easily accessible on foot from Old Québec. Just leave the fortifications through the Saint-Jean Gate and cross avenue Honoré-Mercier.
The 800, 801 and 807 lines lead to Saint-Jean-Baptiste, at the Honoré-Mercier/D’Aiguillon and Station D’Youville stops.
Sandwiched between Old Québec and Montcalm, rue Saint-Jean, the main shopping street, runs through the entire neighbourhood. Over barely 1 km, you can find everything you need to please everyone, and then some!
Foodies will go crazy for the little bistros that feature local cuisine, as well as all the food-related shops: fine bakeries, grocery stores, chocolate stores, health-food counters, cafés, gelateria… In fact, the J.A. Moisan grocery store, open since 1871, prides itself on being the oldest grocery store in North America!
The culinary adventure continues with a bit of bar and pub-hopping, where the flowing taps of microbrewery beers from Québec City and all over the province await you. Live music, jam sessions, poetry readings, artistic performances: Saint-Jean-Baptiste's stages welcome a host of events to get your feet moving and liven up your nights.
Along rue Saint-Jean, fill your bookcases with second-hand treasures and beef up your music library with tips from passionate record dealers.
Finally, shopping on rue Saint-Jean wouldn't be the same without a visit to the many little shops, where you can find something to wear or decorate your place with taste and originality. Local brands and handmade items steal the show and you'll see for yourself where the stylish inhabitants on the street get their looks from!
A Bit of History
Originally a faubourg of Old Québec (a faubourg is a district located outside city walls) from the 17th century, Saint-Jean-Baptiste has always been a working-class district, inhabited by craftsmen and merchants. The area was ravaged by fire in the 19th century, but quickly bounced back and became a lively and tolerant district, open to social mixing and diversity in every shape or form.