At the base of the Château Frontenac, Quebec City’s Terrasse Dufferin promenade looks out across the St Lawrence River from its clifftop perch atop Cap Diamant. Named after Lord Dufferin, who was Canada’s governor between 1872 and 1878, come in summertime when green and white-topped gazebos fill the 425-meter-long boardwalk and street performers entertain. Time your visit for the early evening, and you’ll also get to see the sun set over the Laurentian Mountains to the north. In winter, Dufferin Terrasse is especially popular for its Les Glissades de la Terrasse toboggan run, which wooshes people up to 60 mph down an 82-meter slide.
Just underneath Terrasse Dufferin, by the statue of Samuel de Champlain, you can visit the archaeological site of Champlain’s second fort which dates back to 1620. The residence and base of power for French, and later British, governors for over two centuries, excavations from the 17th-century fort and surrounding chateaus between 2005-2007 have revealed plenty of wine bottles, giving an insight into the hedonistic lifestyles of some of Quebec’s first governors.
Just above Terrasse Dufferin, Jardin des Gouverneurs is another popular visit. In the center of the lawn, look out for the 50-foot-tall Wolfe-Montcalm Monument which commemorates the 1759 Battle of the Plains of Abraham.
Dufferin Terrasse is located behind Château Frontenac at 6 Place Terrasse. Les Glissades de la Terrasse is open from mid-December till late March, ($2.50 per person), from 11am-11pm daily. Open daily from May to October, free tours of the St-Louis Forts and Chateaux National Historic Site are available through Parks Canada. Look out for their kiosk, which is on Dufferin Terrasse.