Monday, June 27, 2016

Champlain Street - Quebec City

I've mentioned my Irish great-grandparents in previous posts. My great-grandfather George Burns was a stevedore working the timber wharves. My great-grandmother, Elizabeth and he had 4 children, the youngest of which was my grandmother, Bertha.

I can't say for sure they ever lived on Petit Champlain Street but they lived close by, my grand-father helped in the rescue of the 1899 rock slide.


Champlain Street was known as early as 1716. It was the prolongation of De Meulles Street, now called Rue du Petit Champlain.

Champlain Street runs along a narrow terrace bordered on one side by the steep cliff face of the Quebec City promontory and, on the other, by the St. Lawrence River, which is very deep there and usually roiled by strong currents.

Champlain Street, seen here, is located in Quebec City's lower town, below the promontory called Cap Diamant. Many dockworkers lived in this area in the 1800s, and there were also a number of inns.

Keeping this street clean was no easy task, for rains and the thawing snow in springtime turned the lower town into a sea of mud. Fortunately for the residents, municipal authorities fitted out the city with plank sidewalks between 1855 and 1860.


Squeezed between the cliff and the river, this neighbourhood remained a dangerous place under constant threat of rockslides. No less than 85 people died in tragic circumstances there in the 19th century.

The street is named in honour of Samuel de Champlain, who founded Quebec City in 1608.



 Copyright (c) Linda Sullivan-Simpson


  1. stroll around the streets and take in the English and French architecture that has survived for so long. Interesting shops and food, and personality around every corner.
    Quebec City