Provinces of Canada

In this series of articles we will talk about the provinces of Canada, covering demographic, economic and climatic aspects, among others.


Canada's largest and second most populous province, Quebec has more than 1,5 million square kilometers in area and over 8,4 million people living within its borders. Much of the population lives in urban areas along the St. Lawrence River, between the most populous city, Montreal, and its capital city, Quebec City, which is also the oldest city in Canada. Each year, Quebec receives an average of 45,000 new immigrants. The name Quebec comes from the Algonquin indigenous word “kébec” meaning “where the river narrows”, referring to the region of Quebec City, where the St. Lawrence River narrows. The main characteristics of this province is that French is the only official language.


Located in the central-eastern region of the country, Quebec is part of Central Canada, along with Ontario, and is bordered to the north by the Hudson Bay, to the east by the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to the south by New Brunswick and the United States, and to the west by Ontario.

The landscape of Quebec is rich in forests, lakes and rivers, and has one of the world's largest reserves of fresh water. More than 95% of its territory lies within the Canadian Shield, which is generally flat with higher points, is sparsely populated and covers the central and north region of the province. The northern region of Quebec has arctic and subarctic characteristics and is mostly inhabited by Inuit, the indiginous people of Canada. The most fertile and densely populated region is located in the south and stretches from Quebec City to Montreal along the St. Lawrence River.


The climate in Quebec in general is cold and humid, but can often be characterized by extremes of hot and cold. In periods of intense heat and cold, temperatures can reach 35 °C in the summer and −40 °C during the winter. The southern and western region have four distinct seasons with warm and humid summers and very cold and snowy winters. Most of central Quebec has winters that are long, very cold, and snowy, while summers are warm but very short. The northern regions have very cold winters and summers are short and much cooler. In the Montreal region the climate is less severe and less extreme, with average temperatures of 25 °C in the summer and −10 °C in the winter.


In Quebec, French is the only official and predominant language in the province and is understood and spoken by almost 95% of the population. Everyone in Quebec has the right to be served in French by the government and businesses, the province also provides rights for English speakers and aboriginal languages. Most government services are available in both French and English.


The economy of Quebec is diverse, but mainly manufacturing and service sectors dominate the economy. Food production, pulp and paper products, transportation equipment, primary metals, chemical and pharmaceutical products, refined petroleum and coal products are the leading components in the economy.

St. Lawrence River Valley is the most agricultural area in the province, it produces meat, dairy products, fruits, vegetables and Maple Syrup which Quebec is the world's largest producer. Tourism plays an important role in the economy of Quebec in which nearly 400,000 people are employed in this sector.

Quebec is also a major player in several leading-edge industries including aerospace (approximately 60% of the production of the Canadian aerospace industry), information technologies (52% of Canadian companies in these sectors are based in Quebec, mainly in Montreal and Quebec City), software and multimedia. Montreal is a global hub for artificial intelligence research, such as Facebook AI Research, Microsoft Research, Google Brain and Samsung Research.


The school year in Canada starts in September and ends in June, with the months of July and August being the summer break. Like many other aspects of the country, it is the responsibility of the provinces to monitor and regulate education. Quebec has publicly funded French and English schools and any Canadian citizen, permanent or temporary residents are eligible for education. The education system in Quebec differs a little from the other provinces. It has five levels:

●  Preschool optional education available in some cities for children, starting at 4 years old to enroll for pre-kindergarten (prématernelle) and kindergarten (prématernelle) and kindergarten (maternelle) available province-wide for children of 5 years of age.

●  Primary school - mandatory education (école primaire) starting at grade 1 through grade 6.

●  Secondary school - mandatory education (école secondaire) from grade 7 to 11, students are 11 to 16 years old.

●  Post-secondary school - also known as CEGEP (collège d’enseignement général et professionnel) is a bridge between mandatory school and university education, which allows students to choose a vocational or an academic path.

●  University education - education available mostly through publicly funded institutions.

Quebec has 18 universities, only three of them are English-language institutions: McGill and Concordia in Montreal and Bishop ’s University in Lennoxville. The Université du Quebec has ten campuses throughout the province. The oldest university in the province is Université Laval, established in 1663 in Quebec City. The province is the third destination for international students in Canada, and it welcomed more than 45,000 students in 2019. Other important universities in Quebec are the Université de Montréal, Université de Sherbrooke, École de technologie supérieure and École Polytechnique de Montréal.


In addition to the immigration process offered by the federal government,) to immigrate to Canada. However, Quebec does not offer a PNP, but it has its own immigration process. The process has very specific rules for each case, with one of the main rules being that the applicant must prove proficiency in the French language. Details regarding current programs can be found on the province's official immigration website .


A land of contrasts and grandiosity, Quebec has a number of attractions, activities and landscapes to offer for the more than 5 million people that visit the province each year. The French heritage sets the province apart from most of Canada and provides an European feeling. The province has more than 20 tourist regions, each of which presents its geography, history and culture. The capital, Quebec City, is the only fortified city and the oldest Francophone city in North America, and in 1985 was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

There are many events that take place in Quebec, including sports competitions like the Canadian Grand Prix and the Rogers Cup, and festivals like the Quebec Winter Carnival, the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Festival d'été de Québec. The province of Quebec has over 400 museums including The Canadian Museum of History and the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, which is the oldest museum in Canada. Quebec’s cuisine has many influences and one of its specialty is the poutine, a national dish.

Other attractions to visit are Mount Royal, Notre-Dame Basilica, Quartier du Petit Champlain, Galerie d’art Au P’tit Bonheur, Mont-Tremblant, Montmorency Falls and the Montreal Botanical Garden.

For more information about Quebec visit quebec.ca and bonjourquebec.com.

By Janayna Sercheli

If you wish to immigrate to Canada, contact Klaps Immigration Consulting for more information on immigration processes.




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