Travelling with Disabilities

Person in wheelchair at Place Royale
Place Royale, Lee Cory

How is Walking Around Old Québec for Disabled?

Old Québec is a must-see when visiting Québec City but those beautiful cobblestone streets can be troublesome for people with reduced mobility.

The Petit-Champlain and Place-Royale districts located close to the cruise terminal and St. Lawrence River contain mostly cobblestone streets. Getting around in a motorized wheelchair shouldn’t be a problem but it will take a little extra time. People sensitive to vibrations or using a manual wheelchair may prefer to have a travel companion to assist them. Outside this neighbourhood, you’ll find mostly asphalt streets lined with sidewalks—but be careful: some of them are uneven.

How do I get from Lower Town to Upper Town in a Wheelchair?

The city centre occupies a rocky promontory that overlooks the river. This means that Old Québec is divided into Upper Town and Lower Town, which are connected by a flurry of stairs and steep slopes. For your comfort, it’s best to do all your sightseeing in one area before heading to the next:

Lower Town: Petit-Champlain, Place Royale, Old Port, Musée de la civilisation, boat excursions, etc.
Upper Town: Château Frontenac, streets within the fortifications, the Citadelle, the Plains of Abraham, etc.

One easy way of getting back and forth between Lower Town and Upper Town is to take the wheelchair-accessible funicular connecting Petit-Champlain and the Dufferin Terrace.

Is there any Wheelchair-Accessible Transportation Available?

Bus Rouge double decker bus (Old Québec Tours): This is a great way to see Old Québec because you’re free to hop on and off along a route that hits all the must-see attractions. Two spaces with anchor points are available for wheelchair users and the bus is equipped with an access ramp. Note that you must be able to board and exit the vehicle on your own.

RTC (public transit): Most buses on high-frequency routes 800, 801, 802, 803, 804, and 807 have an access ramp. As with the double decker buses, you must be able to board and exit the vehicle on your own.

Paratransit (STAC): STAC allows you to reserve a paratransit trip 24 hours in advance.  You will require a user number (you can get one if you are already a paratransit user in another Québec municipality).

What Are the Advantages for Disabled Parking Permit Holders?

Disabled parking permit holders can park in front of an automatic pay station for free for up to three hours. They can also park for an unlimited time in spaces with time restrictions of 30 minutes or more.

What Attractions Are Fully Wheelchair-Accessible?

Most attractions in modern buildings are fully accessibleMusée de la civilisationMusée national des beaux-arts, the CitadelleMonastère des AugustinesParliament, the Plains of Abraham Museum and the Huron-Wendat Museum are some of the accessible attractions on offer. On Île d'Orléans, a stop at Cidrerie Bilodeau should be hassle-free.

As for outdoor sites, many are partially accessible. Minutes from downtown, Baie de Beauport instantly feels like you're on vacation. This is one of the few places where you can rent a paddle board for people in wheelchairs. Montmorency Falls Park offers breathtaking views from its suspension bridge atop the falls. A little farther east is Canyon Sainte-Anne where you can discover the falls and suspension bridges using a specialized shuttle service. The flat and safe paths also make it quite accessible for visitors. 

For a fully accessible outdoor experience, head to the wild landscapes of Réserve faunique de Portneuf.

More Tips

For more tips on accessibility, consult the Québec for All website, a database of tourism businesses (attractions, restaurants, and hotels) across Québec.

Feel free to contact the businesses to check on accessibility before going.

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