Street Art in Quebec City: Where to Find the Best Public Art

Street Art Quebec City

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.

Quebec City graffiti
Street art in Quebec City - Highway overpass graffiti
Street art in Quebec City - Highway overpass graffiti

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.

Street art in Quebec City - Highway overpass graffiti
Street art in Quebec City - Highway overpass graffiti
Street art in Quebec City - Highway overpass graffiti

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

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

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.

Outdoor festival in Quebec City - Free festival - Passages Insolites - Unusual Passages
Outdoor festival in Quebec City - Free festival - Passages Insolites - Unusual Passages
Outdoor festival in Quebec City - Free festival - Passages Insolites - Unusual Passages
Outdoor festival in Quebec City - Free festival - Passages Insolites - Unusual Passages
Outdoor festival in Quebec City - Free festival - Passages Insolites - Unusual Passages

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

Hotel 71 - Where to stay in Quebec City

Book Your Stay | Read Our Review | Read More Reviews by Fellow Travelers

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.

Book Your Stay | Read Our Review | Read More Reviews by Fellow Travelers

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.
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What’s your favorite city for street art or public art?

17 Responses

  1. Rudy
    |

    Cool pictures! Which camera did you use for clicking these?

    • Lauren
      |

      These were actually taken with our old camera, a Canon t3i! We now use a Panasonic Lumix GH4.

  2. Skillz Flux
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    Thanks for the pictures… I have a S*** camera. Come back anytime! Passez une belle journée :) @ Raphael Alexander Zoren. There`s lots of graffiti spots in Québec city. This is the most accessible to the public. It used ot be legal (since ’96) but not anymore (merci, maire Labeaume). They still tolerate us… sometimes…

  3. Raphael Alexander Zoren
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    Great shots! I love street art, didn’t you could find this in Quebec City!

  4. Mama Herself
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    Anything that brightens up an ugly bit of concrete dominated wasteland is absolutely fine by me. I like the green and blue ‘I’m melting’ one best I think.

  5. Chris Boothman
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    Great question and honestly a tough one to answer! Personally I would go with street art as I generally don’t look at this sort of thing with dismay but at the same time I can appreciate that others consider this as vandalism. There is a real fine line and I guess it depends on personal taste and exactly the context that the art is depicting!

    Great review though guys, thanks for opening our eyes to this and making us think about what our opinions are on this topic.

  6. Juergen | dare2go.com
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    Lovely large photos! I think the majority of these pieces I would call graffiti, but some certainly have the quality of real street art.
    Upon arriving in South America I was taken by the quality of many street art pieces here, so I published several galleries (although it’s not really the topic/niche of our overlanding blog).
    ps: soemehow the formatting of your blog is “broken” in my Firefox browser.

  7. Anda
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    It’s very interesting how street art evolved from vandalism to beautiful mural paintings in some places. I always wondered, passing by great street art why would the authorities would want to punish people who do such beautiful works. I don’t agree with it when it’s done on beautiful buildings or on people’s gates, but when it’s being done on barren walls it is actually a great service to the community, don’t you think so?

  8. SJ @ Chasing the Donkey
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    I can really appreciate street art, especially when it’s done so well as this. Super!

  9. Vlad
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    I guess it’s both? I love finding beautiful street art while travelling but in my hometown, there is a lot of graffiti, even on historical buildings or recently renovated buildings. Nevertheless, these look so colorful, they really enliven the area, I especially love the 4th one. :)

  10. Margherita @The Crowded Planet
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    Whatever it is, I love it! I spent most of my teenage years hanging out with graffiti makers, some of whom turned into street artists!

  11. Jenna
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    I always love street art and graffiti! This looks like a great spot–I would love to wander around and check it all out!

  12. christine
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    I wish NY graffiti looked more like this!

  13. Hannah
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    I love graffiti and consider (most of it- at least the good stuff) to be street art. It’s so neat and unique. I totally agree with you that the bright pops of colour add something to an otherwise dull and grey area here.

  14. Steve
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    To me it is art, as long as it is not offensive. I have enjoyed looking at graffiti art over the years.

  15. Sammi Wanderlustin'
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    I’m quite into graffiti. I posted on facebook today about a Banksy that got removed by a town council because it was “racist”! Gutted. Was worth millions, and I adore Banksy. I’ve visited the Berlin Wall, Lennon Wall and went on a trail looking at the Graffiti in Granada, and some of it was utterly incredible. I love it, the vibrant colours, all of it!

  16. Karyn @ Not Done Travelling
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    I’d heaps rather look at colourful art than ugly concrete any day.