Homestay in Quebec City – Quebec – Canada
The narrowing of the Saint Lawrence River proximate to the city’s promontory, Cap-Diamant (Cape Diamond), and Lévis, on the opposite bank, provided the name given to the city, Kébec, an Algonquin word meaning “where the river narrows”. Founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America. The ramparts surrounding Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec) are the only fortified city walls remaining in the Americas north of Mexico, and were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 as the ‘Historic District of Old Québec’.
According to the federal and provincial governments, Québec is the city’s official name in both French and English, although Quebec City (or its French equivalent, Ville de Québec) is commonly used, particularly to distinguish the city from the province. The city’s famous landmarks include the Château Frontenac, a hotel which dominates the skyline, and La Citadelle, an intact fortress that forms the centre-piece of the ramparts surrounding the old city. The National Assembly of Quebec (provincial legislature), the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec), and the Musée de la civilisation (Museum of Civilization) are found within or near Vieux-Québec.
The climate of Quebec City is classified as humid continental (Köppen climate classification Dfb).
Quebec City experiences four distinct seasons. Summers are warm and occasionally hot, with periods of hotter temperatures which compounded with the high humidity, create a high heat index that belie the average high of 22–25 °C (72–77 °F) and lows of 11–13 °C (52–55 °F). Winters are often cold, windy and snowy with average high temperatures −5 to −8 °C (23 to 18 °F) and lows −13 to −18 °C (9 to 0 °F). Spring and Fall, although short, bring chilly to warm temperatures. Late heat waves as well as “Indian summers” are a common occurrence.
On average, Quebec City receives 1,190 millimetres (46.85 in) of precipitation, of which 899 millimetres (35.39 in) is rain and 303 millimetres (11.93 in) is the melt from 316 centimetres (124.4 in) of snowfall per annum. The city experiences around 1,916 hours of bright sunshine annually or 41.5% of possible sunshine, with summer being the sunniest, but also slightly the wettest season. During winter, snow stays on ground from about December to April.
Quebec City is known for its Winter Carnival, its summer music festival and for its Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day celebrations.
Tourist attractions located near Quebec City include Montmorency Falls, the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, the Mont-Sainte-Anne ski resort, and the Ice Hotel.
Jardin zoologique du Québec, reopened in 2002 after two years of restorations but closed in 2006 after a political decision. It featured 750 specimens of 300 different species of animals. The zoo specialized in winged fauna and garden themes, but also presented several species of mammals. While it emphasized the indigenous fauna of Quebec, one of its principal attractions was the Indo-Australian greenhouse, featuring fauna and flora from these areas.
Parc Aquarium du Québec, reopened in 2002 on a site overlooking the Saint Lawrence River, presents more than 10,000 specimens of mammals, reptiles, fish and other aquatic fauna of North America and the Arctic. Polar bears and various species of seals of the Arctic sector and the “Large Ocean”, a large basin offering visitors a view from underneath, form part of the principal attractions.
There are a number of historic sites, art galleries and museums in Quebec City, such as Citadelle of Quebec, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Ursulines of Quebec, and Musée de la civilisation.
As well as having a number of local sports teams, Quebec City has hosted a number of sporting events. The Special Olympics Canada National Winter Games was held in the city from 26 February to 1 March 2008. Quebec City co-hosted with Halifax, Nova Scotia, the 2008 IIHF World Championship. Regular sporting events held in the city, include the Coupe Banque Nationale, a Women’s Tennis Association tournament; Crashed Ice, an extreme downhill skating race; Quebec City International Pee-Wee Tournament, a minor hockey tournament; and the Tour de Québec International cycling stage race.
In December 2011, Quebec City hosted the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final at the Pavillon de la Jeunesse at ExpoCité.
The city has a professional baseball team, the Capitales de Québec which plays in the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball. The team was established in 1999, and originally played in the Northern League. The team has six league titles, won in 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. The team’s stadium is the Stade Municipal.
Other teams include the local football team, the Rouge & Or of the Université Laval; the junior hockey team, Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League; the Canadian football teams, Quebec City Monarks and Quebec City Rebelles of La Ligue de Football de Québec; the women’s hockey team Quebec Phoenix of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League; and soccer club Quebec Arsenal of the W-League.
The city had a hockey team, the Quebec Nordiques, which played in the World Hockey Association (WHA) from 1972 to 1979 and then in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1979 to 1995, maintaining a strong rivalry with the Montreal Canadiens. Due to a disadvantageous exchange rate with respect to the US Dollar, the team moved to Denver, Colorado in 1995, becoming the Colorado Avalanche. The Quebec Remparts are a major junior team in the QMJHL and play in the Colisée Pepsi.
A professional basketball team, the Quebec Kebs played in National Basketball League of Canada in 2011 but folded prior to the start of the 2012 season.
The New Quebec City Amphitheatre is being built with the hope of getting an NHL franchise (relocation or expansion) in Quebec City. The project is being funded regardless of whether an NHL team arrives in Quebec City. It is also hoped that the arena can help Quebec City win a future Winter Olympics games bid. It will replace Colisée Pepsi as the main arena in Quebec City.
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