“I knew there were some French people in Canada, but this is all French.”
The woman behind me in the breakfast-buffet line is from Australia. She and her husband had landed in Los Angeles and driven across the US of A before popping across the border into Quebec City.
Coming from Alberta, living in Ottawa, I knew what she meant: It is “all French.”
Quebec City – or the old part of it, anyway – is as close as Canada gets to having a European city. And it’s a city with a long history, by Canadian standards.
Moreover, its charms aren’t limited to the infrastructure. Everyone in the service industry seems to be perfectly bilingual, and perfectly happy to interact with us in either language. Do I want to practice my pathetic French? Where folks in Ottawa and Montreal immediately switch to English, Quebec Citiers play along. Is my brain too tired to even try? They respond in flawless English with no hesitation.
And they have bridges . . .