Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Action in Quebec

For most of 2008, while my home address might have said “Toronto”, I would find myself sleeping 800 kilometres away in Quebec City. Everywhere I went, most people spoke French and even I found myself speaking it better than I ever did before or since.

The city is built around a 400 year old walled city filled with heritage homes and buildings. It was a wonderful place to live as there was always something happening. It was tricky in the winter, though, as this area gets a lot of snow – and that winter they got record breaking snowfall. Every few days, it seemed, another 30 centimetres (a foot) of snow would fall. But unlike areas outside the walls, space was limited. If you plowed the snow off of the roads, the sidewalks would be covered. If you then shovelled it off the sidewalk, then the streets would be full again. The only thing to do, then is use a machine to vacuum all of the snow up and spit it in to the back of a big truck. I would hear this truck go by my room the night after every snowfall. As we got 600 cm that winter (about 18 feet), this happened a lot.


Just outside the walls of the city was a public space where year round. In the winter people would skate on the skating rink and as it got closer to spring and the maple sap began to flow, soon the little cabane à sucre (sugar shack) would open, selling tire d’érable (in English we call it “sugar on snow”) made by cooking maple syrup a bit until it thickens just a bit more and then pouring it over clean snow to cool it. The result is sweet and delicious.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

In the summer, it would be a place where people would hang out while street musicians played. Skateboarders and BMX bike riders would also come by and play.


As it was the 400th anniversary of the city’s founding when I was there, there was lots of entertainment to be seen from morning to night.


While this was my longest work assignment away from home, this also remains my favourite location to be assigned to work and I would gladly return.

Inspired by Lens-Artists Photo Challenge Photo Challenge #9: Action.


16 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Action in Quebec

  1. I love your maple syrup and snow story. I long for snow and would gladly help with the shoveling etc. A lovely presentation with your own experience woven in between the photos. I enjoyed this

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I admit to being less than fond of winter – to the point that I could switch places with you from Nov-March 😉 But seeing how much people who don’t have it appreciate it inspires me to appreciate it a bit more. Every winter I try to find a way to enjoy it and thus far I haven’t been terribly successful. Maybe this will be the year I learn to love winter and share it here!

      1. yes I did and feel such a connection with the snow. I hope you will a snowy adventure this year and write about it and I get to read it. I plan to visit my best friend in Calgary next year, fingers crossed I get to come in winter. Yes Nov-Mar, sometimes till April too! We have too much sun, I”d gladly send some your way!

  2. Lucky you to be at such a beautiful place at the right time. I am wondering how exciting the celebrations would be! Man I would equally love to be sent there for work assignments.

    1. It was really a great time to be there. It’s a beautiful city any day of the year but there was so much happening in the celebration and such a good feeling in the city. It was a pretty big deal for people there as it’s listed as the oldest continuously-inhabited city in Canada.

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