We’ve done projects across BC, the prairies and Ontario, but we’ve held off with Quebec until we were fully confident we could offer the tours both in French and English, and were familiar enough with Quebec’s unique and thrilling history to do it justice.
It wasn’t for lack of desire. Quebec’s history stretches back centuries further than English Canada’s, and the highly distinct culture that has most developed there has so much to offer the world. Quebec also has a turbulent military history that is a story that I (as a military history buff) have been itching to study.
Our company also has a special connection to Quebec: our Chief Operating Officer, Sean Edmunds, is the direct descendant of Zacharie Cloutier, patriarch of one of the first families to settle in New France in 1635. The town of Beauport, today part of Quebec City, has turned Cloutier’s home into a provincial heritage site, and Sean was born nearby.
Chris, our CTO, and I visited Montreal and Quebec City last summer, exploring the winding streets and taking hundreds of photographs.
We brought on Stephanie Sukhareva, a historical tour guide and Quebec native, to build our tour in Montreal: The Golden Square Mile. The tour focuses on the Scottish-Protestant oligarchs who built their homes on the lower slopes of Mont Royal, overlooking Old Montreal. Its a fascinating story that vividly illustrates the extreme inequality prevalent in Canada in the late 19th Century, not just across class lines, but ethnic lines as well, as the original Francophone inhabitants of Montreal were actively excluded from the ranks of the economic elite.
With the translation help of Sean’s brother, Ben, we’ve launched the short introductions for each spot on the tour and will be adding the comprehensive essays for each one in the near future.
Old Quebec in Quebec City is easily the best preserved and most intriguing heritage district in North America. Our tour tells the story of New France, from Jacques Cartier to the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. It begins in the Lower Town, where Samuel de Champlain founded his l’Habitation in 1608, and climbs the promontory to the Upper Town, and finally the Fortress. It’s a thrilling tale, but one where we only scratched the surface of over two centuries of history. We hope to be adding more tours here in the future, especially one that takes the user in the footsteps of Wolfe and Montcalm during the decisive Battle of the Plains of Abraham.
Take the time to check out the tours and photos and let us know what you think! Now that we’ve finally launched coverage in Quebec, we think we’ll be doing a lot more in the not too distant future.