About Rue du Petit Champlain

Rue du Petit Champlain offers the original character of the buildings, the people, the warm atmosphere, the feeling of well-being that invade people entering the street, the feeling of being on vacation and more!

What do you see in this space? How do people in the community enjoy it?:

  • Located at the foot of the cliff below the Château Frontenac is a beautiful little street
  • In the seventeenth century Rue du Petit Champlain was a path that led to the fountain of Champlain
  • The street is full of people, or deserted in the early morning or late evening, this little street has a little something magical, mesmerizing – a sort of microclimate prevails, where it’s always beautiful
  • A pedestrian friendly street where you can find shops and restaurants with passionate people. Some have been there for more than thirty years and would not leave this small street for anything
  • Theatre Petit Champlain that is also called The House of Song is also located on Rue du Petit Champlain. This year, the Theatre underwent redevelopment which will ensured greater ergonomics and better functionality to the site, in order to improve the experience of artists and the public, and facilitating the work of employees
  • This tiny street is overtaken by thousands of people from all over the world, sometimes even in one day it can welcome tens of thousands of people.It gives us the impression of being on holiday around the world!
  • Lovers of nature can enjoy Félix-Leclerc park with swings, adirondack chairs and a fireplace. During the holidays, a winter ice slide is equipped and Santa greets visitors in his kingdom outside
  • At the end of the street, individuals can enjoy the famous taffy from Little Sugar Shack
  • A second park exists at the end of the street, Petit Champlain Park – which again, has chairs, fireplace, and during the Winter Carnival this park displays ice sculptures

Events and Festivals:

  • Le Carnaval de Québec – Jan 29-Feb 14, 2016
  • Cycle chic – April 30, 2016
  • Parcours des terrasses gourmands – June 10, 2016
  • La Nuit des Galeries – Sept 24, 2016
  • Halloween – Oct 30, 2016
  • Noël – Nov 27-Dec 24, 2016

Historical or Heritage Features:

  • In the seventeenth century Petit-Champlain street was a path that led to the fountain of Champlain
  • In 1688, the narrow path is renamed rue De Meules, after Jacques de Meulles, Intendant of New France
  • In 1792, rue De Meulles is registered in the census under the street name Champlain
  • 19th Century: during the great famine in Ireland, many Irish immigrated to Canada to find work in the shipyards of Quebec City.They settled on Rue Champlain in Cap-Blanc, in the street of the Cul-de-Sac and Petite rue Champlain. They called it the Street “Little Champlain Street,” and over time Francophone literally translated this term as “rue du Petit-Champlain.” Around 1960, the name of the street officially took the name it has today
  • The fishermen, stevedores and employees of shipyards adopt the place and there erect their homes.Between 1725 and 1760, all the houses have to be rebuilt in stone to prevent fires. Then, a little later, in the 1770s, a wooden staircase is built at the end of the road to facilitate access to the neighborhood.
  • 1830, the street becomes a sought after location with well-kept houses that are well decorated.Thereafter, and until the late 19th century, the street becomes the refuge of the Irish working class families who practice the port activities and shipbuilding. However, in the 20th century, the river activities lessen, causing a significant decline. We abandon the street, and people that stick around become poorer.
  • In 1960, the street is practically abandoned.It then covers the sheet metal houses, to hide the crumbling stones. Only small craftsmen decide to come to install their workshop because the rental price is minimal.
  • 1970s: It is at this time that two entrepreneurs, businessman, Gerry Paris, and architect, Jacques DeBlois, decide to buy a few buildings in the area and give them a facelift. In 1982, the two men wish to acquire other buildings, but lack the necessary liquidity. So they associate with SODICC today SODEC, yielding to the body 51% of the shares.

Memorable or Unique Characteristic(s):

  • In 1985, fifty craftsmen and merchants banded together to buy the real estate Quartier Petit Champlain, which had undergone a major facelift in the 70s. The merchants sign a charter that gave birth to a cooperative of producers on November 25, 1985
  • The members found themselves owners and gave a specific mission: Maintain, enhance and promote the Quartier Petit Champlain as a cultural product, commercial and tourist that stands the originality, diversity, the predominance of artistic creations, the quality and authenticity of products offered by traders.
  • 30 years later, the cooperative has a significant prosperity. It acts as a real estate manager, whilst ensuring the commercial development of the neighborhood.

Submitted by: Mélanie Ferland