For many, the imposing Saint-Jean Gate at Place D’Youville is the gateway to Old Québec and a lively zone celebrated for its mix of heritage, culture, and festive events.
Never a Dull Moment
A stroll along rue Saint-Jean is a must for anyone visiting Québec City. Starting from centrally located Place D’Youville, a string of boutiques, restaurants, churches, and historic buildings create a unique and eclectic ambiance. And when the street is closed to traffic in summer, pedestrians take over and a festive atmosphere reigns.
An Important Crossroads
Religion, politics, and education converge at Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, home to City Hall and just steps from Notre-Dame de Québec Cathedral-Basilica and the historic Séminaire de Québec. In summer, you can watch the performances of the public entertainers while the charming wooden kiosks of the German Christmas Market settle there from late November to end of December.
A Magical Skating Rink
The ice rink at Place D'Youville is the perfect place to experience Québec City's winter. From mid-November, put on skates and enjoy its magical atmosphere.
A Religious Heritage Unique in North America
The neighbourhood’s many churches bear witness to Québec City’s rich religious heritage. One such example is the Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral, which serves the oldest Catholic parish north of Mexico. Designated a national historic monument of Canada for its architectural value, the Basilica-Cathedral stands on the same site it has occupied since 1647. It houses the only Holy Door outside Europe.
The Oldest Educational Institution in Canada
Founded in 1663, Séminaire de Québec is a true hidden treasure. The buildings housing the school were designated a national historic site of Canada in 1929. They are arranged around a central courtyard that visitors can access through a gate a few steps away from rue Saint-Jean. Much of the Séminaire de Québec is invisible from the street and it is well worth spending some time admiring it.
The City Hall
The City Hall was built here on the former site of a Jesuit college and opened its doors in 1896. The building, a national historic site of Canada, is where city council meets. The grounds and public square beside City Hall house the Jura Clock, a gift from its namesake Swiss canton on the occasion of the city’s 400th anniversary, and are also a popular gathering place and venue for various events throughout the year.