With sweeping views over potential enemy attack lines on the Saint-Charles River and the plateau west of Quebec City, this site was originally established as a defensive stronghold by the French in the 17th and 18th centuries. It later served as an ammunition factory, producing cartridges for the Canadian army up until the 1960s.
Part of the Fortifications of Quebec National Historic Site, Artillery Park is preserved as a heritage site and is open to visitors. Explore the park and view the Dauphine Redoubt, a gabled barracks building that held the living quarters and mess of the Royal Artillery officers in the late 18th century and later served as the residence for the superintendent of the ammunition factory.
Guides wearing period costume share details about life on the site. During summer, musket firing demonstrations take place twice daily in the park.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Artillery Park is a must-visit for history and military buffs.
- Wear comfortable shoes as a visit here requires a fair amount of walking.
- All buildings at Artillery Park are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Artillery Park National Historic Site is in the northwest corner of Old Quebec (Vieux-Quebec). If you're in Old Quebec, the best way to get there is on foot. The site is just a 10-minute stroll from Chateau Frontenac. Many local buses stop nearby at Place d'Youville.
When to Get There
The park is open from late May to early October. The best time to come is between late June and early September when most activities from firing demonstrations to guided tours take place. Avoid big festivals, such as Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (June 24) and Canada Day (July 1), as crowds can be larger than normal on these days.
What Else to See in the Park
As well as cannons and other remnants of its military past, Artillery Park also contains a fascinating scale model of Quebec City dating from the early 19th century. Most likely constructed for the benefit of the British military, the model paints a vivid picture of the city's 19th-century layout of Quebec City. The park also features a Celtic Cross, a gift to Quebec from Strokestown Park Famine Museum in Ireland, to mark the support of the local families who took more than 60 vulnerable Irish children into their care during the Irish Potato Famine.