15 Sites Witness to our British and Irish Heritage

Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Citadelle of Québec.
Jeff Frenette Photography

1760. New France came under British rule with the end of the Siege of Québec and the famous 1759 clash between Montcalm’s French Army and General Wolfe’s English forces, known as the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

The British Regime had a powerful influence on the architecture, defensive system, and urban fabric of Québec City. Come explore this rich heritage! 

  • Attractions

    1 Parc de la Chute-Montmorency

    British Heritage

    Site where General Wolfe’s British troops camped in the lead-up to the famous Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

    DON’T MISS:

    • The spectacular 83-metre-high waterfall
    • The remains of Wolfe’s redoubt dating to 1759
    • Manoir Montmorency, formerly known as Kent House in honour of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (father of Queen Victoria), who stayed there and hosted high-society receptions between 1791 and 1794
    • The permanent exhibition in the Manoir Montmorency about the history of the falls, the house and its inhabitants over the centuries
  • 2 Plains of Abraham

    British Heritage

    Site of the 1759–1760 clashes between French and British forces and the British victory that changed the fate of North America.     

    DON’T MISS:

    • The magnificent historic urban park
    • 2 of the city’s Martello towers. These round stone towers were built by the British in the early 19th century, to ward off possible American attack
    • The immersive projection of the 1759 and 1760 battles of the Plains of Abraham
  • 3 Artillery Park

    British Heritage

    Royal Artillery Regiment Headquarters until 1871 and strategic site of various defensive works, both French and British. 

    DON’T MISS:

    • The 3 historic buildings: the Dauphine Redoubt (1712), the officers’ quarters (1818), and the foundry of the Dominion Arsenal (1901)
    • Guides in period costume personifying the former inhabitants of this historic site
    • The large scale model built for the British Military between 1806 and 1808, showing the urban and military layout of Québec City at the time  
  • 4 Fortifications of the Old City

    British Heritage

    The walls and gates surrounding most of the Old City were built for defence by the French in the 17th and 18th centuries and improved by the British in the 18th and 19th centuries. Québec is the continent’s only remaining fortified city north of Mexico, for which it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    DON'T MISS:

  • 5 Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site

    British Heritage

    This wooden promenade, built on the former site of Château Saint-Louis, is located at the foot of the renowned Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.

    DON’T MISS:

    • The archaeological site containing vestiges of the official residence where, for over 200 years,  French and British governors made decisions critical to the history of all of North America 
  • 6 Saint Matthew’s Cemetery

    British Heritage

    Québec’s first protestant cemetery (1771).

    DON’T MISS:

    • The urban cemetery converted into a neighbourhood park
    • Gravetones of governors, military officers, fur traders, sailors, shipbuilders, craftsmen that tell the story of life in Québec City in the 18th and 19th centuries
    • The free iPhone historian-guided tour app from the App Store 
  • 7 Cathedral of the Holy Trinity

    British Heritage

    The first Anglican cathedral to be built outside the British Isles was constructed between 1800 and 1804. Designed by British Artillery officers and modelled on the famous church St Martin-in-the-Fields in London.

    DON’T MISS:

    • The King's Gift: an exhibition of the superb silver Communion Service given to the Cathedral by King George III
    • The Royal pew, with the Arms of King George III
    • Monuments to British officers and aristocrats, including the Duke of Richmond, who gave the famous ball before the Battle of Waterloo
    • very rare English chamber organ, built in 1790 in London 
    • The fine stained-glass windows, many of which were made in London
  • 8 St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

    Scottish Heritage

    The oldest congregation of Scottish origin in Canada (est. 1759).

    DON’T MISS:

    • The Governor's gallery formerly reserved for the Governor of Canada
    • The wooden box pews, arranged in a semi-circle around the pulpit
    • Official reproductions of Flags of the Fraser Highlanders
    • The First Organ (Harmonium) used in Worship over 100 years ago
    • The pipes and drums of the 78th Fraser Highlanders historical society, who rehearse in the church every Thursday night, carrying on a Scottish tradition
  • 9 Citadel of Québec

    British Heritage

    The largest fortress built by the British in North America and the Governor General of Canada’s official residence.

    DON’T MISS:

    • National Historic Site of Canada, constructed by the British between 1820 and 1831
    • Traditional changing of the Guard by the Royal 22e Régiment in scarlet tunics and bearskins, a ceremony held in only 4 locations worldwide: London and Windsor in England and Ottawa and Québec City in Canada
    • The Museum of the Royal 22e Régiment
  • 10 Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site

    Irish Heritage

    The Port of Québec’s quarantine station from 1832 to 1937—in its day the principal gateway for immigrants arriving in Canada.

    DON’T MISS:

    • Re-living the experience of the immigrants, mainly from Ireland, who crossed the ocean in search of a brighter future
    • The cemetery and the Celtic Cross which commemorate more than 5000 Irish immigrants who died of Typhus on Grosse Île in 1847-1848, while fleeing the Great Famine in their homeland
    • Tours of historic buildings and landmarks such as the disinfection building, Catholic and Anglican chapels, hospitals, cemetery, and the Irish Memorial 
  • 11 Morrin Centre

    The Morrin Centre began its existence as the “common gaol”, or prison, from 1813–1867 before being converted into Québec City’s first English-language institute of higher education on the initiative of Scottish-born local physician Dr. Joseph Morrin. Today it is home to the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec (est. 1824), Canada’s oldest learned society

    DON’T MISS:

    • Guided tours of the cells of the former “Quebec City Common Gaol,” the Morrin College chemistry lab, and one of the world’s most beautiful Victorian era libraries. Its collection of literary treasures includes books dating to the 16th century
    • The « teatime » activity in summertime
  • Monuments

    12 Celtic Cross

    Irish Heritage

    This 1997 gift from the Irish to the people of Québec City commemorates the generosity shown to the Irish immigrants who flooded into the city in the 1840s.

  • 13 Churchill-Roosevelt Monument

    British Heritage

    This monument commemorates British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1943 and 1944 visits to the city for two pivotal Second World War conferences at the Citadel and the Château Frontenac.

  • 14 Place de L’Institut-Canadien and Chaussée des Écossais

    Scottish Heritage

    This pedestrian walkway commemorates the Scots’ historical contribution to Québec City’s development.

  • 15 Wolfe's Monument

    British Heritage

    James Wolfe, leader of the British troops, was killed at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham on September 13, 1759. A monument was later erected on the spot where he died.

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