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The first inhabitants of Québec were Indians and Inuit who migrated from Asia thousands of years ago.
The first Europeans who visted the coasts of Québec's rich St. Lawrence Gulf were Norse, Basque whalers and cod fishermen.

Commissioned by François I, the King of France, Jacques Cartier landed in the Gaspé in 1534. After Cartier claimed control of this vast territory for France, the European presence in New France began to grow.
In the year 1608, Samuel de Champlain settled on the north shore of the St. Lawrence in a place the Indians called Kébec. He founded a trading post on the Place Royale, in what was to become Québec City. Soon after, French coureurs de bois arrived, excited to trade in precious furs.

Colonization of Québec
In 1642 Paul Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve, landed with a group of French colonists at what is now Pointe-à-Callière in Old Montréal.

There he founded a small Catholic mission named Ville Marie. From 1660 to 1713 the settlement of New France accelerated as France established colonies in Acadia, and along the shores of the St. Lawrence. By the late 18th century, Ville Marie had grown from a trading post into the booming port of Montréal.

During the French and English War, the armies of British Major General James Wolfe attacked Québec City on September 13, 1759 and defeated the French troops of Commander Louis Joseph de Montcalm.
This Battle of the Plains of Abraham, in which both generals lost their lives, changes the destiny of New France. Four years later, under the Treaty of Paris, the King of France granted to "His Royal Majesty, the sole ownership of Canada and all its dependencies." This transfer of power and territory from France to England sparked a flood of new colonists from England, Ireland and Scotland.

The Canadian Constitution Act of 1791 established two provinces: Upper Canada (primarily English-speaking Ontario), and Lower Canada (primarily French-speaking Québec) with Québec City as its capital. The British army crushed the Québec Patriot Rebellion of 1837-1838 and in 1841, the Act of Union united Upper and Lower Canada. In 1867, the signing of the British North America Act established the Confederation of Canadian Provinces including Québec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Québec's first commerce was based on fur trading. Until the early 20th century, the economic life of Quebecers centered on agriculture and forestry. As the industrial revolution sparked the rise of manufacturing in the cities, rural Quebecers left the farms to work in the cities, and the process of urbanization accelerated. By 1830, Montréal - the "Paris of the North"- had become Canada's major industrial center, welcoming waves of European immigrants fleeing war and misery in their homelands.

The influence Question
In 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened Montréal up to the world, and in 1967, the world came to Montréal.
The Expo 67 World's Fair highlighted the culmination of Québec's "Quiet Revolution," a period marked by a resurgence of pride in Québec's French cultural heritage, a lessening of the influence of the Catholic Church and a determination to assert Québec's place among modern nations of the world.

In the 1970's, debates over the domination of the French language covered the province. In 1976, the Parti Québécois was voted into power, led by charismatic René Lévesque. In 1980, in a popular referendum, Québec voters rejected the proposition of sovereignty-association with the federal government of Canada.

In October, 1995 a second referendum on Québec independence was also defeated by a slight margin.

With its plentiful natural resources and energy sources, Québec enjoys a high standard of living. Québec excels in the fields of engineering, transportation, telecommunications, aeronautics and aerospace technology, medical research, computer science and biotechnology. Québec exports 40% of its production, mainly to the US. Affirming its prominence as a modern state, Québec is enthusiastically leaping into the 21st century.

Québec has a dynamic economy and is a gateway to North America

Because it is enjoying a strategic location in the Northeast of North America, Québec is a full-fledged member of the major trade and economic networks that make up the continent's economy. Québec offers direct access to over 130 million consumers within a radius of 600 miles.

Québec sends 85% of its exports to the United States.
Some 37% of Québec exports are added-value exports, i.e. aircraft and aircraft engines, transportation equipment, office equipment and telecommunications equipment.

A logical choice for foreign investors

Between 2000 and 2004 (April), more than $10 billion of foreign direct investments have been invested in Québec

Foreign investors can operate a business in Québec under the same conditions as a Québec entrepreneur, as sole owner, a partner in a general partnership or a shareholder in a limited liability company.

They can also directly operate a company in Québec by simply establishing a branch there.
The Canadian and Québec taxation systems include credits for foreign taxes paid, to avoid double taxation.

Just choose the industry that interests you.

A highly positive environment

Québec also has modern transportation networks organized to efficiently serve the North American and international markets.
Maritime transport
Air transport
Rail transport
Road transport

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Avril Betts
Avril Betts, EzineArticles.com Basic PLUS Author
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