Dufferin Terrace, Quebec City

I was so disappointed to learn that “to duffer” is not considered to be a verb in Quebec. It would be so wonderful, after all, if Dufferin Terrace were a terrace made for dufferin’, which is to say, acting like an old duffer.


Disappointingly, Dufferin Terrace is actually named after some dreary 19th Century provincial governor, and not for the act of duffering.

Nevertheless, it has a great deal to offer, for duffers and non-duffers alike. It is a wide boardwalk overlooking the St. Lawrence. You can – and people do – stroll, jog, or play music on Dufferin Terrace.



Or you can sit on one of the benches and take in the view.


Did I mention dog walking?


Romantic assignations are another possibility.


Here’s another view of the Terrace. Those glass cubes offer a look at the remains of the 17th Century fortress that once existed on this spot.


The Terrace is also a good place to get a view of the Chateau Frontenac.


The Chateau to me has the look of a castle but it is actually a hotel built by the Canadian Pacific Railway and opened in 1893.


For the security-minded, the Terrace has a row of cannons.


When we had done enough duffering on the Terrace, we walked back through the old city to our B&B.



In an out-of-the way corner we passed this sculptural tribute to Quebec’s logging heritage.

I wish we had given ourselves more than just two days to spend in Quebec City, though we wished for more time everywhere we went in the province. Speaking of which, our next stop was to be the village of Cap Chat on the Gaspé Peninsula. More on that in the next post.


52 Comments on “Dufferin Terrace, Quebec City

  1. Great post, I don’t know much about Quebec, seem to remember learning about St Lawrence. The old city looks interesting, and the Chateau Frontenac is pretty grand for a hotel….perhaps we could help out by sending over some duffers, we have a few here…

  2. Lovely post – really enjoyed seeing Quebec, because I’ve never been there. But it’s so important to people from here who have children off on the other side of the Atlantic. Quebec or Montreal are where they all (mostly) go to work. I hope there will be more about Canada in later posts, Jason?

    • Yes, definitely. I have material for a few more posts. Didn’t realize that French people were moving to Quebec, though French tourists seem very common.

      • Perhaps I have mislead, Jason. This is a long, slow process we are considering. In Britain, children immigrate to Canada or Australia for a better life. What I’ve found here is that if the French have kids who want to immigrate for reasons of ‘bettering themselves’ the only place they can go that ‘economically dynamic’ is Quebec (because the French don’t learn English readily). And it is really true – I have been welcomed so warmly as a Canadian (because the children/grandchildren live in Quebec). And then they found out that I was an English-speaking Canadian!!!

      • Yes and no. I know fairly nice people. I’d say they were disappointed, but also glad to meet me. I’ve been very, very well received here as a Canadian (anglophone or not)!

  3. What a lovely stroll. I would enjoy duffering along there observing all the duffers. I thought those glass boxes was some thoughtful Designers idea to keep you out of the wind and cold so you could duffer there in relative comfort during winter storms before you explained what they were. My imagination does stretch.

  4. Thanks, Jason, for the dufferin’ along the Terrace and the back streets of the old city. It’s catching on.

  5. Dufferin’ gains new meaning in the winter when the Dufferin Terrace becomes a toboggan run. Even more meaning when it is time for Carnival. The mascot is a big far snowman (think Michelin man in ice) wearing a red tuque and a multi-coloured sash called a ceinture fleché. For inner warmth he carries a flask shaped like a long pole full of caribou, a drink that might just have a touch of alcohol…

  6. Many years ago, I’ve duffered on Dufferin Terrace. Your pictures brought it back, I, too, hated to leave.

  7. Very nice photos. Dufferin was perhaps himself an old duffer but he did a great deal to save the quaint look of Quebec City. They wanted to modernize, pull down the walls, remove the gates, etc…He convinced people that they should keep them mostly after he had Queen Victoria give a large amount for restoration.

  8. This looks like a lovely place. I’m enjoying finding out about all these places you visit 🙂

  9. I want to stay in that Chateau. Did you go inside? I always thought a Duffer had something to do with golf…please enlighten me.

    • We never did go inside, but I want to stay there too. Preferably in one of the turrets. I was under the impression that a duffer was an old man of limited usefulness.

      • Our late grocer was developing a golf course in the little Oregon town of Dufer. I suggested he might call it Dufer Duffers. Now I’m thinking I may have inadvertently insulted him. The sweetest of men, he didn’t seem to take it the wrong way.

  10. I agree this chateau looks like a castle, Jason. And the terrace is so great place for strolling and relaxing.
    Have a nice weekend!

  11. Loving the dufferin….what an interesting place, I love the old part, especially that corner street, what lovely houses.xxx

  12. This post reminds me of reading Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache books. She does such a wonderful job describing places, and one of the books spends quite a bit of time in the old part of Quebec City. I love the idea of those glass cases, and seeing the old remains of previous buildings. That is a city I need to visit.

  13. I was there so long ago in late 70’s, but happy to see your images. I remember not being very welcomed by the locals though. We were there for a week, and many were rather rude or unhelpful. My ex did not speak French either. I hope things have changed.

  14. Thanks for the tour of Quebec City. The hubby has been wanting to get there, though I’ve had little interest. You’ve convinced me it’s worth considering. The boardwalk, alone, would be worth a day of exploration.

  15. Jason, thank you for giving so many people a taste of what Quebec City — and the province as a whole — has to offer. The city is a World Heritage site and a fabulous tourist destination. Montreal has one of the world’s top botanical gardens and not far away are other outstanding gardens. Do I need to mention that Quebec is my home?

    • Judy and I could never forget that you live in Quebec, but it may be worth mentioning for others now and again. Of course, we only gave a taste of one part of Quebec City – there is so much more, as you know. We were there about 15 years ago with our boys. That trip was more focused on the Citadel and Plains of Abraham (boys like cannons and battles).

  16. Hello Jason, I’m not sure I could afford a room in a hotel like that! The old part of town looks really interesting, the kind of place I would just aimlessly wander around looking at the architecture and styles.

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