Quebec City is most known for its preserved history and culture, and it often feels more like Europe than Canada. You can travel to Quebec City to wander the cobblestone streets and its old architecture. But, there’s something for the art lovers in the crowd, too. While you could visit the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec for your art fix, there’s beautiful public and outdoor art all over the city. Here’s your guide to the best graffiti, murals, and street art in Quebec City.
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Street Art in Quebec City: Highway Overpass Graffiti
As you walk down Rue Saint-Vallier Est, you’ll stumble upon an artistic display beneath a highway overpass. While huge masses of concrete is rather ugly, these ones feature bright pops of colour all over the barriers and posts.
In this area of Lower Town, the highway barrier divides Old Quebec and the Saint-Roch neighborhood, a place with industrial and working class roots. Saint-Roch is a recently revitalized area where the younger generation live and work. Old factories are renovated into avant-garde art studios, coffee shops, and indie boutiques. Perhaps this giant concrete divide marks an entrance from old to new, where giant structures of the industrial age have been reclaimed by creative minds.
Regardless of the intention, I’m glad that we discovered this spot. It showed an expressive side that sharply contrasted the clean, historic town of Quebec we had viewed until that point. We love visiting historic sites and the touristy spots of a city, but it’s also great when you can witness something not only artistic, but more personal.
Historical Murals in Quebec City
As a contrast to the graffiti beneath the highway overpass, you can also find several historical murals painted on the sides of the buildings in Quebec City. These paintings in Quebec City tell its storied history
Fresque des Québécois
Fresque des Québécois features a realistic scene that takes up the entire side of a building in Old Quebec near Place Royale. Many paintings in Quebec were created by Cité Création (an artist specializing in fresco murals) and Quebec artists Hélène Fleury, Marie-Chantal Lachance, and Pierre Laforest. This scene showcases a three dimensional scene straight from Quebec City’s history in the middle of Lower Town, Old Quebec.
Fresque du Petit-Champlain
Fresque du Petit-Champlain is a giant mural on the side of a building on Rue du Petit-Champlain in the Quartier Petit Champlain neighborhood. This fresco illustrates the historical milestones of the Quebec working class people from the waterfront neighborhood, Cap-Blanc. You’ll find this mural painted on the side of 102 Rue du Petit-Champlain, a building owned by the Coopérative des artisans et commerçants du Quartier Petit Champlain.
Outdoor Art Festival in Quebec City
If you visit Quebec City during the summer months, chances are that you’ll find an assortment of public art all over Old Quebec. These works of outdoor art are part of Passages Insolites, or Unusual Passages, an outdoor art festival in Quebec City. Rather than street art in Quebec City, you’ll experience large scale and interactive exhibits.
The project unites professional visual artists and collectives of architects from Quebec City and the surrounding area. They arrange interesting and thought provoking art installations throughout Old Quebec. This Quebec City art festival is free for the public. Feel free to wander around and explore at any time of the day or night.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to enjoy outdoor and street art in Quebec City. There are historical murals painted in a traditional style, graffiti art in random places, and bursts of color through public art displays. Eager to explore more of Quebec City? Check out our 3 days in Quebec City itinerary to help you plan your holiday!
Where to Stay in Old Quebec: Hotel 71
As I mentioned above, Justin and I stayed at Hotel 71 in Old Quebec. We loved spending the night there for many reasons, one being the complimentary bike rentals. The building itself is an architectural gem, once home to the National Bank of Canada. We adored the modern elegance of our room and the views of the St. Lawrence River from our window. It’s also wonderful to always have access to delicious coffee, both in the room and downstairs in the public seating area.
|Essential Quebec City Travel Guide|
|Getting There: If you’re arriving by air, you’ll fly into the Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport. From there, it’s about a 20-25 minute taxi ride to Old Quebec. Search for the best rates on flights to Quebec City.|
Getting Around: When you’re in Quebec City, you won’t need a car. Renting a bike is a fun idea to get around the city, but you can walk everywhere. If you’d like to visit nearby attractions outside Quebec City, I suggest renting a car. Compare car rental prices for the best rate.
Fast Facts: Canadian Dollar is the currency. Power voltage is 110-120 V 60 Hz using Power Sockets A and B. You’ll need an adapter if you’re visiting from an international destination outside of North America.
SIM Cards & Mobile: You can rent a portable Wi-Fi device with unlimited data that works in 130+ countries worldwide. We’ve used our portable device all over the world and love how we’re always connected!
Travel Safety: Don’t forget to get travel insurance before your trip. Whether you have an accident, have a flight delay, experience a theft, or need to return home sooner than anticipated, it’s always best to cover your bases. Get a travel insurance quote now for the best rates.
|Browse all of our Quebec photos and read more of our Quebec travel blog posts.|