Uncover Quebec With These Fascinating Quebec Fun Facts

Explore the rich tapestry of Quebec with our fun and exciting list of Quebec Facts. From its vibrant culture and stunning landscapes to historical milestones, discover the essence of this Canadian province.

Fun Quebec Facts
Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

Quebec is one of the most overlooked and underappreciated provinces in Canada, at least when it comes to Canadians. Much of Canada’s largest province gets more visits from overseas visitors than it does from its fellow Canadians.

With dazzling beauty, unique culture, and world-class wildlife experiences, Quebec is the most unique of Canada’s provinces, not just because of its size and sheer breadth of wilderness but because it’s also Canada’s only Francophone province.

If you’ve ever been fascinated by Quebec and have wanted to dive into its secrets, these facts about Quebec will help to quench your curiosity. And with any luck, have you booking a trip to explore “La Belle Province.”

Quebec sits in a truly interesting area, bordering the most populated province, Ontario, on the east and straddling the mouth of the Gulf of St. Lawrence next to Newfoundland and Labrador in the north and New Brunswick in the south.

Quebec is a land of wonder, where whales fill the waters and maple syrup flows like water. So hang tight as we explore some of the most amazing fun Quebec facts.

Fun Quebec Facts

A woman walks towards a cute lighthouse in Quebec's St. Lawrence region
Lighthouse in Riviere du Loup, Quebec – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar

There’s way more to Quebec than can be listed in any single article, but if you want some Quebec facts, we’ve laid out the most fun, exciting, and mind-blowing factoids and tidbits to help you win your next Quebec trivia night. With so many incredible places to visit in Quebec, we’ll break down these facts into categories to help you find the facts that you’re looking for.

  • Quebec is huge! It’s Canada’s largest province and makes up one-sixth of the country’s total land area.
  • Quebec is second only to Ontario when it comes to population size. In fact, there are more than 9,000,000 people who live in the province of Quebec.
  • The provincial capital, Quebec City, is the oldest city in Canada. The city was founded by French explorer Samuel de Champlain on July 3, 1608.
  • Pancakes and syrup! Canada produces 70% of the world’s pure maple syrup, and of that number, 90% of the product comes from Quebec. In a typical year, Quebec produces approximately 30,241,654 litres of maple syrup
  • The name “Quebec” was first used to represent the region in 1608. It’s derived from an Algonquin word, “Kebec,” which translates to “where the river narrows.” This refers to Quebec City’s unique position along the massive St. Lawrence River below Ile d’Orleans.
  • Quebec City might be the capital of Quebec, but the province’s largest city is actually Montreal. The city includes Montreal Island, Jesus Island to the north, and several communities on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. Montreal is the second largest city in Canada.
  • Quebec’s most famous food is poutine. This dish of French fried potatoes covered in Quebec cheese curds and smothered in gravy is one of the most popular foods in Canada. The dish is credited to Drummondville’s Jean-Paul Roy, who first sold poutine in 1964.
  • Quebec shares more borders than any other province in Canada. To the northeast, it borders Newfoundland and Labrador; to the southeast, Quebec borders New Brunswick. But along its southern border, it also borders the US states of New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. Let’s not forget that to the west, Quebec also shares a border with Ontario.
  • Canada’s first commercial brewery was launched in Quebec City by Jean Talon in 1668. The brewery was called “La Brasseries du Roi.”
  • Quebec is one of the world’s largest producers of wild blueberries. Much of the fruit is cultivated in the beautiful Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, where visitors can cycle along the popular “blueberry trail.”
  • Montreal Smoked Meat is a kosher-style deli meat made from brisket and a very specific combination of herbs and spices. It was first developed in the early 1900s and has become world-famous. The brisket is house-cured, house-smoked, house-steamed and hand-sliced. It is then piled high between two slices of rye bread and served with yellow mustard.

Quebec Geography Facts

A fly fisherman casts his rod at the base of Montmorency Falls in Quebec
A fly fisherman casts his rod at the base of Montmorency Falls in Quebec – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar
  • Far eastern Quebec contains the Appalachian Uplands. This is the northern extension of the Appalachian Mountain range, which extends as far south as northern Georgia in the United States. The Appalachian uplands include Anticosti Island, which sits in the Gulf of St. Lawrence just southwest of the Gaspe Peninsula.
  • The Canadian Shield, the largest mass of exposed Precambrian rock on the face of the planet, covers more than four-fifths of the province of Quebec. This massive rock base covers the entire region of the St. Lawrence lowlands, the Laurentides, all the way to the Arctic Ocean.
  • The Laurentian Mountains, which cover a large area north of the St. Lawrence River between Quebec City and Baie Saint Paul, are believed to be the oldest mountain range in the world.
  • The St. Lawrence River divides southern Quebec from east to west and stretches all the way from the edge of Lake Ontario to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It is one of North America’s most important waterways, allowing the Great Lakes to connect to the Atlantic Ocean.
  • More than half of Quebec is covered in forest. In fact, the forests in Quebec cover more than 900,000 km2. They are home to moose, deer, foxes, coyotes, wolves, and more wildlife.
  • The St. Lawrence River is the 16th largest river in the world by volume and the second largest river in North America after the Mississippi. The river contains both fresh and saltwater and is home to porpoises, seals, puffins, and many whale species, including beluga, humpback, fin, grey, and the massive blue whale.
  • Quebec’s population is very dense and very spread out. More than four-fifths of Quebec’s population lives within an area about 300 kilometers long and 100 kilometres wide, stretching from Quebec City to Montreal. 
  • Quebec’s Cote Nord, which stretches along the St. Lawrence River, is one of the longest coastlines in the world. It’s a rich habitat for birds and marine wildlife and even contains one of Quebec’s most unique landscapes at Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve.
  • Quebec contains more than 3% of the world’s fresh water. These massive reserves occupy 12% of the province’s surface.

Facts About Quebec Culture

An Indigenous dancer at a pow wow in Wendake, Quebec
An Indigenous dancer at a pow wow in Wendake, Quebec – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar
  • Of Quebec’s population of 9,000,000 people, half are believed to be descended from the original 10,000 French settlers who arrived between 1535 and 1763.
  • Quebec is home to the largest French-speaking population outside of France
  • Quebec is Canada’s only Francophone (French-speaking) province, but French is not the only language spoken here. About 10% of Quebec’s population are of Anglophone British descent. Another 10% are Indigenous (First Nations and Inuit), along with Greek, Haitian, Portuguese, Asian, and Eastern European.
  • Indigenous Peoples make up just over 1% of Quebec’s population. The First People of Quebec, for the most part, make up First Nations (Abenaki, Huron, Wendat, Algonquin, Innu, Cree, Maliseet, and Wolastoqiyi) as well as the Metis and Inuit Peoples.
  • Until recently, Quebec was considered to be a predominantly Catholic province. In 2017, Quebec residents identified as 74% Catholic. Those numbers have shifted drastically in the past few years. Today, only 54% of Quebec residents identify as Catholic, while 10% identify as other religious groups, including Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist.
  • Quebec has a heavy sports culture. Both Quebec City and Montreal have been home to National Hockey League teams, the Quebec Nordiques and the Montreal Canadians (The Quebec Nordiques were sold in 1995). The Montreal Alouettes are a professional football team in the Canadian Football League, and the Montreal Expos were part of Major League Baseball until 2004. Montreal also hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1976.
  • The Montreal Olympic Stadium has the largest seating capacity in Canada. The stadium has a seating capacity of over 66,000 spectators.
  • Tourtiere is a traditional meat pie in Quebecois culture and one of the most popular staples in Quebec cuisine.
  • Approximately 1.5% of the population of Quebec speaks English as their only language. More than one-third of the population is bilingual, speaking both English and French.
  • The official flag of Quebec, the “Fleur de Lyse,” was adopted in 1948. It features lily flowers against a blue background divided by a white cross. The flowers symbolize purity, and the blue represents heaven.
  • Molson Canadian Beer is produced in Montreal. It was founded in 1786 by the Molson family and still operates from the original brewery site on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River in Montreal.
  • Quebec has produced a wealth of celebrities, including Celine Dion (singer), Maurice Richard (hockey legend), Glenn Ford (actor), Anna Hopkins (actor), Norm Macdonald (comedian), Leonard Cohen (musician), Jacques Villeneuve (race car driver), and many more.

Facts about Quebec History

  • The origins of Quebec date back to 1534 when the French explorer Jacques Cartier landed at present-day Gaspé and took possession of the land in the name of the king of France. 
  • The original name of Quebec City was Stadacona. It was established as a fort by Samuel de Champlain at Cape Diamond, where the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac currently sits.
  • The first three cities to be established in Quebec were Quebec City (1608), Trois-Rivieres (1616), and Montreal (1642).
  • Quebec, or “New France,” as it was originally known, once covered a massive area that included Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and extended as far south as Louisiana.

Quebec Travel Facts

A Fin whale takes a breath in Tadoussac, Quebec
A Fin whale takes a breath in Tadoussac, Quebec – Photo credit: Kevin Wagar
  • The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac Hotel in Quebec City holds the Guinness World Record as the most photographed hotel in the world.
  • The Quebec Winter Carnival Festival, which is known locally as “Carnaval,” is believed to be the largest winter festival in the world. It takes place over a ten-day period each February in Quebec City. The festival often hosts as many as a million people.
  • Montmorency Falls, which is located just outside of Quebec City, is a jaw-dropping 84 metres tall, more than 30 metres taller than Niagara Falls. It is the launch point for the popular Train de Charlevoix.
  • Montreal is home to the largest underground city in the world. The RESO, or “Ville Souterraine de Montreal,” rivals Toronto’s PATH system and spans nearly 32 kilometres. There are more than 120 access points and 60 Metro connections, as well as shops, restaurants, and hotels.
  • The famed acrobatics show Cirque du Soleil was founded in 1984 in Baie Saint Paul. This tiny art community in Charlevoix was founded by Guy Laliberte and Gilles Ste-Croix and has produced more than 40 different shows around the world.
  • The province of Quebec is home to three Parks Canada National Parks, including Forillion National Park on the Gaspesie Peninsula, Mingan National Park Reserve on the Cote Nord, Sagueneay-St. Lawrence Marine Park and La Mauricie National Park near Shawinigan.
  • Quebec’s provincial park system can be a bit confusing as 28 parks are listed as “National Parks” but are managed by SEPAQ (Société des établissements de plein air du Québec), a provincial organization, and three are run by Nunavik Parks, in Quebec’s far north. SEPAQ parks include some of the province’s most popular destinations, including Jacques Cartier National Park, Bic National Park, and Temiscouata National Park.
  • Montreal hosts the annual Montreal Formula One Canadian Grand Prix and has been a staple in Formula One racing since 1961. The province was home to some of the sport’s most famous drivers, including Gilles Villeneuve and his son Jacques Villeneuve.
  • The Montreal International Jazz Festival holds a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest jazz festival in the world.
  • Notre-Dames-des-Victoires Church in Quebec City is the oldest church in Canada. This Roman Catholic church is in a picturesque square in the Old City and is part of the oldest Catholic parish in North America.

These Quebec Facts Are Just A Taste Of The Province

These fun facts about Quebec are just the beginning of what this wonderful province has to offer. Whether you’ve been to Quebec before or you’re planning your first trip, the natural beauty, festivals, and wonderful and creative people of the province will win your heart.

Do you have a favourite attraction or restaurant in Canada? Head over to the We Explore Canada Facebook Community and join the conversation! You’ll find an amazing group of people passionate about travel in Canada who love to share their local secrets.

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