Dufferin Terrace, Quebec City

I was so disappointed to learn that “to duffer” is not considered to be a verb in Quebec. It would be so wonderful, after all, if Dufferin Terrace were a terrace made for dufferin’, which is to say, acting like an old duffer.


Disappointingly, Dufferin Terrace is actually named after some dreary 19th Century provincial governor, and not for the act of duffering.

Nevertheless, it has a great deal to offer, for duffers and non-duffers alike. It is a wide boardwalk overlooking the St. Lawrence. You can – and people do – stroll, jog, or play music on Dufferin Terrace.



Or you can sit on one of the benches and take in the view.


Did I mention dog walking?


Romantic assignations are another possibility.


Here’s another view of the Terrace. Those glass cubes offer a look at the remains of the 17th Century fortress that once existed on this spot.


The Terrace is also a good place to get a view of the Chateau Frontenac.


The Chateau to me has the look of a castle but it is actually a hotel built by the Canadian Pacific Railway and opened in 1893.


For the security-minded, the Terrace has a row of cannons.


When we had done enough duffering on the Terrace, we walked back through the old city to our B&B.



In an out-of-the way corner we passed this sculptural tribute to Quebec’s logging heritage.

I wish we had given ourselves more than just two days to spend in Quebec City, though we wished for more time everywhere we went in the province. Speaking of which, our next stop was to be the village of Cap Chat on the Gaspé Peninsula. More on that in the next post.


52 Comments on “Dufferin Terrace, Quebec City”

  1. Great post, I don’t know much about Quebec, seem to remember learning about St Lawrence. The old city looks interesting, and the Chateau Frontenac is pretty grand for a hotel….perhaps we could help out by sending over some duffers, we have a few here…

  2. Lovely post – really enjoyed seeing Quebec, because I’ve never been there. But it’s so important to people from here who have children off on the other side of the Atlantic. Quebec or Montreal are where they all (mostly) go to work. I hope there will be more about Canada in later posts, Jason?

      • Perhaps I have mislead, Jason. This is a long, slow process we are considering. In Britain, children immigrate to Canada or Australia for a better life. What I’ve found here is that if the French have kids who want to immigrate for reasons of ‘bettering themselves’ the only place they can go that ‘economically dynamic’ is Quebec (because the French don’t learn English readily). And it is really true – I have been welcomed so warmly as a Canadian (because the children/grandchildren live in Quebec). And then they found out that I was an English-speaking Canadian!!!

  3. What a lovely stroll. I would enjoy duffering along there observing all the duffers. I thought those glass boxes was some thoughtful Designers idea to keep you out of the wind and cold so you could duffer there in relative comfort during winter storms before you explained what they were. My imagination does stretch.

  4. Dufferin’ gains new meaning in the winter when the Dufferin Terrace becomes a toboggan run. Even more meaning when it is time for Carnival. The mascot is a big far snowman (think Michelin man in ice) wearing a red tuque and a multi-coloured sash called a ceinture fleché. For inner warmth he carries a flask shaped like a long pole full of caribou, a drink that might just have a touch of alcohol…

  5. Very nice photos. Dufferin was perhaps himself an old duffer but he did a great deal to save the quaint look of Quebec City. They wanted to modernize, pull down the walls, remove the gates, etc…He convinced people that they should keep them mostly after he had Queen Victoria give a large amount for restoration.

  6. This post reminds me of reading Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache books. She does such a wonderful job describing places, and one of the books spends quite a bit of time in the old part of Quebec City. I love the idea of those glass cases, and seeing the old remains of previous buildings. That is a city I need to visit.

  7. Jason, thank you for giving so many people a taste of what Quebec City — and the province as a whole — has to offer. The city is a World Heritage site and a fabulous tourist destination. Montreal has one of the world’s top botanical gardens and not far away are other outstanding gardens. Do I need to mention that Quebec is my home?

    • Judy and I could never forget that you live in Quebec, but it may be worth mentioning for others now and again. Of course, we only gave a taste of one part of Quebec City – there is so much more, as you know. We were there about 15 years ago with our boys. That trip was more focused on the Citadel and Plains of Abraham (boys like cannons and battles).

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