Canada’s prettiest street in winter

The charms of Quebec city seem all the cozier on a quiet winter day. (Julia Pelish/

The charms of Quebec City seem all the cozier on a quiet winter day. (Julia Pelish/

Photo of the Week: December 22, 2012

If there was a title for Canada’s prettiest street, then rue du Petit Champlain in Quebec City would surely wear the crown. The oldest commercial district in North America, rue du Petit Champlain is home to artisan shops, boutique retailers, fine restaurants and a stunning mural that depicts the quarter’s history. The street is at the foot of the Breakneck Stairs, aptly named because of the steepness of their decline. The staircase is Quebec City’s oldest, dating to 1635, and has 59 steps. You’ll want to count each one carefully as you go up and down during winter — or after a long night out at the neighbourhood’s establishments.

This photograph was taken during a wintry afternoon following a snow storm. With snow blanketing the street and the holiday lights twinkling, rue du Petit Champlain proved the epitome of a winter wonderland. If you’re chilly, duck into one of the cafes for a hot drink, or locate the nearby Bistrot Pape Georges, a cozy pub whose stone walls are as old as the Breakneck Stairs. You’ll enjoy music and some outstanding craft beer from Quebec before venturing back out for a stroll on charming rue du Petit Champlain.


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A photographer who has worked in the largest media markets in Canada and the U.S., Julia’s travel photos and videos have been featured prominently in the Toronto Star and been exhibited in galleries in Toronto, New York and Vancouver. Her new line of photo jewelry was inspired by her travels. Even though she is an American, one of her favourite travel experiences was spending Canada Day 2000 on Parliament Hill, joining in a parade with then-Prime Minister Jean Chretien and others. Julia is’s Visuals Editor. See her work at

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