North America

Why Québec is the new cool

I’m Gwen, STA Travel’s Brochure Production Manager and newly-ordained Québec convert.

Last month, I was lucky enough to jump on a Canada trip to Montreal and Québec. Not the typical backpacker east coast/west coast fare, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. And I certainly didn’t think that I’d be blogging about light shows, but here we are. Bear with me, it’s pretty illuminating.

On our last evening in Montreal, we were sitting in the atrium of Notre Dame Cathedral. The pews were full, and groups of people were milling around the sides in hushed whispers, waiting for the main event. There was also a talking confession box in the corner that most people seemed to pass by without a second glance (which was odd on their part, I thought.)

The lights went down, and a single beam appeared on the imposing fresco that sheltered the organ in the front. Silence. The scene was set. Seconds later, the music ruptured into action – a huge, full-bodied O Fortunate-type noise filled the room. And with it, the most intricate sound and light show I’ve ever seen. Not that I’ve seen many, but I knew it was good.

I was stunned. Just days earlier, I was walking through a forest in Mt. Tremblant while being guided by the sights and sounds of Tonga Lumina, another sound and light show that I had written off beforehand as just ‘something to pass the time’.

Québec was full of surprises like that. There was the street art collective we came across in Montreal that turned murals into gifs, the giant vintage store-come-cafe-come-art space that hung the bottom half of mannequins from the roof to display their (awesome) 90s shoes, and a farmers’ market in Québec City that had insanely generous taster portions of ice cider and maple whiskey.

Montreal street art wall

And like most Canadian cities, we were never too far from jaw-dropping natural scenery. Within a couple of hours of Montreal, we were zooming around the pine forest of Mt Tremblant on an e-biking tour (normal cycling with a turbo setting – I’ll take one to go, please) and zip-lining through the canopies.

Montreal landscape
Eco tours

Québec was incredibly cool, inspiring and so unexpected. I’m officially a convert, it’s hard to imagine not coming back. (Getting my snow shoes ready as we speak).

So why not go against the grain and embark on a mini adventure in Montreal and Quebec? To find out more head over to our Canada Tours page here >