Shopping in Quebec City
Quebecers love shopping so much they invented their own verb for it: magasiner. It means 'go shopping' and in Quebec City, browsers, bargain hunters and big-money buyers get the best of both worlds: charming boutiques with a distinctly European flavour and mega shopping centres with big brand stores.
Old Quebec’s Lower Town offers atmospheric shopping along pedestrian-friendly cobblestone streets. Historic homes along Quartier Petit Champlain have been turned into decorative art shops and high-fashion boutiques. Along rue Saint-Paul, 400-year old buildings house boutiques, bistros, art galleries and antique shops. In Old Quebec’s Upper Town, rue Saint-Jean has the most European vibe with a mix of original boutiques, bakeries, cafes and toy stores.
Only a 15-minute walk north of Old Quebec is the ultra-hip Nouvo Saint-Roch district with innovative designers, cool indie boutiques and avant-garde art spaces. In downtown, vintage stores line Saint-Joseph Est while locals shop along Avenue Cartier in Montcalm district which is known for its lively atmosphere of gourmet food shops, fashionable boutiques, sophisticated restaurants and bars.
Rue du Trésor is an open-air art gallery in a narrow alley just off Place d’Armes. The public market in the Old Port, Le Marché du Vieux-Port, sells local fruits and vegetables, flowers, cheese and meat.
To the southwest of Quebec City, in the suburb of Sainte-Foy, is one of the largest shopping complexes in North America. Made up of three adjoining shopping malls (Place Laurier, Place Sainte-Foy and Place de la Cité), there are over 600 shops between them.
Most shops in Quebec City open daily between 0930-1000 and close around 1730 on most days but extend the opening hours to 2100 on Thursdays and Fridays. Shorter opening hours are common on Sundays.
Look for edible local products that include maple syrup, ice cider and wildberry jams. Quebec designers are known for their distinct style, especially with ready-to-wear and outdoor winter wear. Local artisans create unique jewellery, paintings, sculptures, blown glass and ceramics. Aboriginal arts and handicrafts include Inuit soapstone carvings.
The 5% federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and 9.975% provincial Quebec Sales Tax (QST) are levied on most products and services.