Friday Two Cents: Québec Trip / Québec City



Last week I did not have a chance to post because I was in the middle of my trip to the province of Québec. I had not been to Québec in a very long time and I was fortunate this time to go with a friend from Québec City.

The trip to Québec City was a long one made worse with it raining for more than two-thirds of the over 9 hours it took to get there. I decided to drive because 1) I enjoy driving and 2) I would be going to different places in Québec including Montréal. The journey is usually an eight and a half hour trip yet due to the weather conditions it took just over 9 hours.
As I said I was fortunate to have a friend with me who was from Québec City. I know their mother and she said that I would always have a room welcome for me if I decided to come to visit. Upon arrival at our destination we were warmly welcomed by their family and that is where my education into Québec culture began.
I stayed in the Québec City area for several days and my friend and their family took me around the area as they played tour guide. I soaked up the local culture as well as the sights. I cannot put everything I did into one post therefore I will have to spread out the trip over several posts.
The first place they took me was the old city of Québec. There I saw the narrow streets and buildings and it reminded me of Malta. Québec was built or founded in 1608 and many of the cities in Malta date back even earlier. Yet there was a distinct European feeling I felt in the old city. We walked around the city for a bit and then we went down to Saint Paul Street to see a few galleries and artisans. My friend knows I enjoy art and this was like the artist corner of the city. There was a vibrant francophone culture present and you can see the roots of many of the founding people within the city. You can also see many Irish roots in the names of the streets, shops and pubs. I was not surprised by this because I know Canadian history and Québec is the oldest city in North America, yet some how I could feel it being in that place.
That day was filled with sights and sounds of history coming alive. Even in front of the Château Frontenac where the statue of Samuel de Champlain is located I could just feel history coming alive within me.
I had always known that Québec was a distinct culture within Canada yet not until I was immersed in it did I realize the extent.   Wherever I went in Québec I felt this, this feeling of ‘Joie de vivre’, joy of living, enjoyment of life or love of life. All of these meanings were so true about the people I met there. It felt like everything you do was a gift and you need to enjoy it. I noticed that in Toronto we do not have this philosophy, that you work and then you have fun. You enjoy life at specific times, yet I felt that people in Québec enjoyed life all the time, in everything they did. Work or play, joyous times or sad times. Life was a gift and we must enjoy the moment for this moment will never come again.
This ‘Joie de vivre’ really stuck with me for the entire trip and I intend to continue now that I am back home. I have felt that if you wanted to enjoy life people here in Toronto looked at you odd. You have to be serious at all times and only when it was appropriate can you enjoy life. Well not anymore. I will not have other people dictate that to me. From now on I will enjoy life to develop my ‘Joie de vivre’.

2 Responses to Friday Two Cents: Québec Trip / Québec City

  1. Mama Cormier says:

    Love Quebec City. I’ve been there 9 times on school trips.

    • Paul Gauchi says:

      I went once before this trip and I did not feel this way then. It has changed and perhaps so have I.

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