Morrin Centre picture
Matthew and Heather/Flickr

Key Info

44 Chausseé Des Écossais

Details

Museums, Sightseeing, Tours Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 4.5Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

This fascinating historic site in Old Québec has worn many hats throughout its history. It was a military prison in the 18th century; a civilian prison from the early to mid-19th century and the city's first English-language college in the late 19th century. The Literary and Historical Society of Québec has also called this site home since the late 1800s. The Morrin Centre has played a crucial role in the development of several historical foundations, including the National Archives of Canada and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Today, the Morrin Centre acts primarily as an English-language library, granting English speakers access to books in a primarily francophone city. 

But the Morrin Centre offers visitors much more than literary stimulation. Guided, 45-minute tours take travelers through the facility's history; you'll be able to explore the old jail cells and the Victorian library, which contains artifacts dating back to the 16th century. Recent visitors said the tour is absolutely worth it, as the guides are very informative and engaging.

Between the end of May and the beginning of September, guided tours are offered in English daily at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tours are also available Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. from January through late May. 

The Morrin Centre library is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. with extended hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. While you don't have to pay to peruse the library books, the guided tour costs CA$12 (about $9.50) for adults and CA$10 (about $8) for children ages 9 to 18. To learn more about the Morrin Centre, visit the website.

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#1 Old Québec (Vieux-Québec)

Clustered around the city's harbor on the banks of the St. Lawrence River are the quaint stone buildings and narrow, winding streets of Old Québec. This historic neighborhood (and UNESCO World Heritage site) houses some of the city's most notable attractions, including the Citadel, the Quartier Petit-Champlain and the Notre-Dame Basilica. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time here: You'll find it difficult to resist popping into one of Old Québec's artisan shops or stopping to warm up with an aromatic cup of coffee at one of the many charming cafes.

Many Québec City visitors cite the neighborhood's atmosphere as the primary draw, with many saying it feels just like being in Europe thanks to its cobblestone streets, stunning architecture and friendly locals.

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