Petit Champlain

Quartier du Petit Champlain is a small commercial zone in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. It is located in the neighbourhood of Vieux-Québec–Cap-Blanc–colline Parlementaire in the borough of La Cité-Limoilou, near Place Royale and its Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church. Its main street is the Rue du Petit-Champlain at the foot of Cap Diamant. It is claimed that it's the oldest commercial district in North America.[1]

Petit Champlain
Coordinates: 46°48′47″N 71°12′09″W
CityQuebec City
BoroughLa Cité-Limoilou
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
  Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)

In French it is referred to as a quartier (neighbourhood) although it is not an official one recognized by the City. It is named after Samuel de Champlain, who founded Quebec City in 1608.[2]


Rue du Petit-Champlain mural

The mural painted on the side of the house located at 102 rue du Petit-Champlain (currently owned by Coopérative des artisans et commerçants du quartier Petit Champlain) is a trompe-l'œil measuring 100m2 (900 ft2). It represents the history of the district, the bombardments of 1759, the landslides, and the fires which have occurred in the district.[3]

Breakneck Stairs

The Breakneck Stairs or Breakneck Steps (French: Escalier casse-cou), Quebec City's oldest stairway, were built in 1635. Originally called escalier Champlain "Champlain Stairs", escalier du Quêteux "Beggars' Stairs", or escalier de la Basse-Ville "Lower Town Stairs", they were given their current name in the mid-19th century, because of their steepness. The stairs have been restored several times, including an 1889 renovation by Charles Baillargé.[4]


  1. Simard, Luc (1994). Du Cap au Rivage : promenade dans les rues de Québec [From Cape to Shore: walking the streets of Quebec City] (in French). Quebec City. ISBN 2-920860-77-1. OCLC 214315240.
  2. "Petit-Champlain - Quebec City 101". Quebec City 101. Retrieved 2016-03-19.
  3. "About". Quartier Petit Champlain. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
  4. "Québec City and Area - Stairways". Québec City Tourism. 2011. Archived from the original on February 9, 2011. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
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