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Observatoire de la Capitale, The Best View of Quebec City

The Observatoire de la Capitale offers a view of Quebec City like no other. Nestled at the top of a 31-story office skyscraper, Édifice Marie-Guyart (also known as Complexe G), this attraction features a 360 degree view of the entire city from its expansive windows. Not only is it the tallest building in Quebec City, but it is the tallest building east of Montreal in Canada! While regular office employees visit this building to go to work, visitors to Quebec can take the elevator to the top floor, 221 metres above the ground, to experience incredible views.

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Designed in the Brutalist style, this massive concrete structure was completed in 1972. It was actually quite difficult to take this photograph from directly beneath the building – I had to bend my body waaaay back to do so (it was either that or lay on the ground, which wasn’t exactly appealing to me). It might not be a super tall building compared to the ones in other major cities, but being at the top of the tallest building in Quebec City means that nothing will get in the way of your view.

The elevator to the top

Once you purchase your tickets at the front desk, you can proceed to the elevator. Make sure you get on the right elevator as they all don’t go up to the 31st floor. It is pretty obvious which elevator is the correct one – there’s a huge sign on it promoting the attraction! The elevator ride was really fast to the top.

When we got to the top, we were greeted by a lady who took our tickets and engaged in friendly conversation with us. She was always available to answer any questions that we may have had. It was refreshing to have such a warm welcome! We walked to the right and made our way around the four corners of the building, with each wall of windows offering a different viewpoint. Before each section, there was a short video to watch about Quebec’s history and how it fit into the larger cultural shifts in North America. I’m not sure that the history lesson was entirely necessary as most people were there for the view, plus it was a very generalized overview of historical events with a few small props here and there. I can understand that they wanted to add an educational component at the attraction.

Now, for the spectacular views of the city:

Laurentian Mountains in the distance beyond the city
Chateau Frontenac, Old Quebec and the St. Lawrence River
La Citadelle and the Fortifications
Old Quebec and the Port
The Plains of Abraham Park

There was some technology at the Observatoire that we truly enjoyed and we felt was very useful. In front of all of the windows, there were small touch screens (they were either on iPads or something similar) with a 3D map on each. You could look out the window and easily spot the same buildings on the touch screen. From there, you could tap on any building and a screen would pop up displaying photographs of the site, detailed facts about what the building was used for, and where it was located. We loved this feature! We kept looking out the window and asking each other, “What’s that building there?” and we could easily answer our own questions by using the touchscreen. This really helped us to get to know the city better. Not only did we see different views of the places we had visited already, but we became familiar with new ones, too! It actually helped us to locate the Parliament Building, among other spots that we ended up visiting.

There were also some interesting chairs where you could watch an educational display. We found them to be quite comfy!

Chairpods

There was also a collection of Bonhomme Christmas ornaments from the iconic Quebec Winter Carnival. I somehow feel as though a display about the history of Quebec would not be complete without showing that delightful snowman!

We also thought the walls had a really funky pattern on them that reminded us of the 1960s or something. We couldn’t resist taking pictures of ourselves standing against these backgrounds.

We had a really great time appreciating the scenery of Quebec from up high and all around! We were also getting a little bit overheated from walking around all day, so this was a great escape from the heat as well. We visited mid-week during the afternoon in the summer at prime tourist season, and it was not busy at all! It might get busy here on the weekends, but you will have no problem enjoying the views quietly and peacefully on the weekdays.

Notre Dame de Quebec Cathedral-Basilica and the Holy Door
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Felipe

Saturday 28th of December 2019

Great!

Adelina | Pack Me To

Thursday 4th of September 2014

Awesome views! I love Quebec City so much and all your posts are making me super jealous. I think I'll have to find some time for an East coast trip next year.

Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren

Thursday 11th of September 2014

An East coast trip would be amazing - you could drive out to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & PEI as well! :) I love it out there!

Chris Boothman

Tuesday 2nd of September 2014

Gorgeous views! I am now convinced that we need to get back to Quebec City ASAP to explore everything we missed out on. We were so consumed by Vieux Quebec and Montmorency Falls that we just didn't have enough time to experience everything else. We love observatory towers and skyscrapers so this is definitely something we would love to check out!

Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren

Thursday 11th of September 2014

Vieux Quebec and Montmorency Falls are amazing, too! You only have time for so much. But yes, you have reasons to return now!

Rachael@safari254

Tuesday 2nd of September 2014

Awesome views!!!

Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren

Thursday 11th of September 2014

Thanks!!

Amy Lynne Hayes

Monday 1st of September 2014

Aren't observatories fantastic?! I loved going to the top of the Eureka Tower in Melbourne, Australia and catching a glimpse of the city skyline. I don't usually do too well with heights, but inside I'm okay. You'll never see me a balcony up that high though!

Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren

Thursday 11th of September 2014

That one sounds amazing, too! We aren't the greatest with heights either, but we felt totally safe up here with all of the huge windows.

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