The scale model of Québec. Street view of rue des Remparts along the fortifications (1806/1808) by Photo: Stéphane Lamontagne, Parks Canada and Jean-Baptiste Duberger and John ByOriginal Source: Scale model, Parks Canada
A true historical snapshot
The scale model features an exclusive, unique and authentic window on Old Québec and its fortifications in the beginning of the 19th century.
The city of Québec by Éric LeBel, Parks CanadaParks Canada
Historic District of Old Québec
The outstanding universal value of Old Québec is based on the fact that it constitutes “a coherent and well-preserved urban ensemble" and an “exceptional example of a fortified colonial town and by far the most complete north of Mexico" (UNESCO).
The scale model of Québec. View of the eastern rampart and the Palace Gate (1806/1808) by Photo: Stéphane Lamontagne, Parks Canada and Jean-Baptiste Duberger and John ByOriginal Source: Scale model, Parks Canada
A model of Québec City and its fortifications
Built by the French and then improved by the British, the fortifications of Québec are one of the main reasons Old Québec was designated a UNESCO World Heritage City in 1985. The scale model presents them precisely at a time when engineers were trying to improve them.
The scale model exhibited in the Artillery Park, Québec City (1806/1808) by Jean-Baptiste Duberger and John By and Photo: Baptiste Nadeau, Parks CanadaParks Canada
A 3D planning and informing tool
This pine and plaster artifact was built when the King's engineers were enhancing the fortifications. The British military authorities used the 3D model to visualize the development of the defensive system proposed by the engineers.
[Plan of the town and fortifications of Quebec including the works that are now carrying] (1808) by Jean-Baptiste DubergerOriginal Source: LAC, NMC11080
Half a scale model
In 1860, the scale model was shortened to half its original size because it was taking up too much room at the Museum of Artillery in Woolwich. The part of the model illustrating the Plains of Abraham was sacrificed, reducing its size to 5.2 m by 6.1 m.
[The Duberger model] (Before 1900) by Jean-Baptiste Duberger and John ByOriginal Source: Musée de la civilisation, fonds d'archives du Séminaire de Québec, ph1986-936
A jewel in storage in Woolwich, England
Despite its imposing 6.15 m x 10 m size, the scale model was packed in 18 wooden boxes and shipped to London, England in 1810. It was then stored at Woolwich Military Academy and used as a tool for teaching officer candidates. It is now a unique object in Canada.
The scale model in exhibition in the Grey room, Archives Museum, Ottawa (After/Après 1926) by UnknownParks Canada
A long 176-year journey
In 1908, Québec celebrated its 300th anniversary. The British government returned the scale model to the Canadian government as a gift. It was stored in Ottawa until 1984 and was repatriated to Québec City, where it was originally built.
The Arsenal Foundry, Artillery Park, Québec City by Photo: Yan May, Parks CanadaParks Canada
A jewel on display in Québec City
It is here, at the Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site, in the Artillery Park sector, that the scale model is exhibited today. Isolated in a glass cage, it is occasionally subjected to a meticulous cleaning requiring a complex installation.
A Royal Artillery officer examining the scale model (2007) by Parks CanadaParks Canada
Digitized for posterity
In addition to providing an effective technological means of preserving the memory of this precious artifact, the new digital version allows us to share its historical value while contributing to the research work of historians, archaeologists, architects, etc
The scale model compared with a modern view of Québec City (2022) by Parks CanadaParks Canada
An amazing accuracy
The digitization of the scale model led to an astonishing finding: despite some shifts, the scale model can almost perfectly be superimposed on the current plan of the city. With the technical means of the time, the designers have achieved a high level of accuracy.
The scale model of Québec digitized with labels (1806) by Jean-Baptiste Duberger and John By / iScan and Scan: iScan companyParks Canada
Eight sites to explore
Now browse the 3D scan of the model. Locate the eight sites that we will explore next with the help of old images, going back in time to compare them to what is displayed on the scale model. WARNING: the digital model may take few moments to load due to its size.
The scale model of Québec. View of the Artillery Park (1806/1808) by Photo: Stéphane Lamontagne, Parks Canada and Jean-Baptiste Duberger and John ByParks Canada
1. Artillery Park
When the scale model was built, there were no building in the southern half of the park (the bastion at the upper right corner). Two soldiers' barracks stood in the northern part of the park: the Dauphine Redoubt and the "New Barracks", the longest building built in New France.
Over 250 years of history
The name "Artillery Park" is a reminder that the Royal Artillery Regiment was stationed here from 1784 to 1871. The Dauphine redoubt (1712), the Officers' Quarters (1784), the Gun Carriage Warehouse (1815) and the Arsenal Foundry (1903) are located there and can be visited.
Gun Drill, Artillery Barrack Yard (1829) by James Pattison CockburnOriginal Source: ROM, 951X205.6
Gunners drilling at the foot of the Dauphine barracks in 1829.
1. Artillery Park (2023-01-14)Parks Canada
The scale model of Québec. Detailed view on Place Royale (1806/1808) by Photo: Parks Canada and Jean-Baptiste Duberger and John ByParks Canada
2. Place Royale
From the beginning of New France until about 1880, the Lower Town market operated there. The covered market can be seen in the middle of the square. Nowadays, it looks like it did between 1725 and 1750.
The founder of Québec, Samuel de Champlain, established a settlement here in 1608. The remains of his "Abitation" (settlement) were found under the church Notre-Dame-des-Victoires.
Lower Town church & market place Quebec (circa 1831) by James Pattison CockburnOriginal Source: Musée de la civilisation, fonds d'archives du Séminaire de Québec, 1993.23300
Place Royale and the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires church
2. Place Royale (2023-03-14)Parks Canada
The scale model of Québec. Area of the future Dufferin terrace (1806/1808) by Photo: Stéphane Lamontagne, Parks Canada and Jean-Baptiste Duberger and John ByOriginal Source: Parks Canada
3. Dufferin Terrace
Here, the model shows the base wall of the future terrace bordering the lower part of the Governor's garden. At the end stand the Fort and the Château Saint-Louis, where Governors sat since 1647. The remains of these buildings now located under the terrace are open to visitors.
Governor General Lord Dufferin built this walkway between 1878 and 1881. The Dufferin Terrace extended the earlier Duhram Terrace 400 m towards the citadel.
[Dufferin Terrace from the Post Office, Québec, from the album Vues de Québec et des environs (1879/1886) by Louis-Prudent ValléeOriginal Source: MNBAQ, 2007.11.10
Dufferin Terrace (1878 to present)
This terrace features five kiosks named after important historical figures, and a bandstand (right). Over the years, a funicular, a slide for winter sports enthusiasts and a monument to Champlain, the founder of Québec, were added.
Near the Citadel, Quebec City, Qc. [Area of the future Dufferin Terrace] (circa 1870) by Alexander HendersonOriginal Source: McCord Museum, gift of E. Dorothy Benson, MP-1918.104.22.168
Area of the future Dufferin Terrace
This 1870s photograph shows the foundation wall of the future Dufferin Terrace on the left, a guardhouse for soldiers in the distance, the obelisk in the Governors' Garden on the right, and the citadelle on the promontory.
Quebec. Durham Terrace (1865/1875) by Louis-Prudent ValléeOriginal Source: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 84.XC.979.9848, Gift of Weston J. and Mary M. Naef
Durham Terrace (1838-1878)
This small 49-metre terrace was the first to be built on this site. The Governor Durham constructed the terrace in 1838 to cover the ruins of the colonial governors' residence, Château Saint-Louis, which had burned down a few years earlier.
The Lower City, Showing the Château St. Louis from the Parapet of the Upper City. (circa 1831) by James Pattison CockburnOriginal Source: LAC, C-012697, Acc. No. 1989-279-18
Château Saint-Louis (1692-1838)
In this 1831 image, we can see the base wall of the future terrace and, at the far end, the Governor's greenhouse followed by the Château Saint-Louis from which he oversaw the colony's development.
3. Dufferin Terrace (2023-03-14)Parks Canada
The scale model of Québec exhibited in Artillery Park, Québec City (1806/1808) by Photo: Stéphane Lamontagne, Parks Canada and Jean-Baptiste Duberger and John ByOriginal Source: Parks Canada
4. Grand Battery
When the scale model was built, there were 23 guns and two mortars in the area. The Seminary Garden on the edge of the street and the seminary itself a little higher up, near the Catholic cathedral, are shown.
The Grand Battery is now a collection of 21 guns and and four original mortars located along Rue des Remparts. Its commanding position once controlled navigation where the river narrows below Québec.
[Québec, Québec – Fortifications - The Grand Battery on Rue des Remparts] (circa 1875) by William NotmanOriginal Source: BAnQ, E6,S8,SS6,P450
This battery was built in the 19th century using three old, isolated batteries that were in service between 1711 and 1808. It was from here that salvos were fired in honor of the sovereign's birthday or the arrival of a new governor.
4. Grand Battery (2023-03-14)Parks Canada
Montmorency Park on the scale model (1806/1808) by Jean-Baptiste Duberger and John By and Photo: Parks CanadaOriginal Source: Parks Canada
5. Montmorency Park
The scale model shows the Bishop's Palace then used as the seat of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada. It is protected by a high wall as well as by one of the city gates, to its left, Prescott Gate located on Côte de la Montagne street.
This site is loaded with political history. Two parliament buildings were erected here. A line on the ground reminds us of its configuration. It is no accident that the monument to Sir George-Étienne Cartier, one of the Fathers of the Canadian Confederation, is located here.
The Montmorency Park (Circa 1900) by Wallis & ShepperdOriginal Source: McCord Museum, MP-0000.27.187
A public park (1893 to present)
In 1893, Québec built a public park on the ruins of the second parliament building that burned down. Montmorency Park was established in memory of the viceroy of New France, Henri II duke of Montmorency, and of the first bishop of Québec, Msgr François de Montmorency-Laval.
[Old parliament, Montmorency Park.The second and last parliament building] (circa 1860) by Jules-Ernest LivernoisOriginal Source: BAnQ, P560,S1,P200
A second parliament building (1859-1883)
A second parliament building was built in 1859 after the previous one burned down. The Fathers of Confederation met here in 1864 to discuss the founding of a new country: Canada. Unfortunately, the building was also destroyed by fire in 1883.
[The first] Parliament House, Quebec [in Montmorency Park] (circa 1850) by W.S. Sewell-SprouleOriginal Source: BAnQ, Fred C. Würtele Fonds, in Hawkins Picture of Quebec, P546,D3,P21
A first real parliament building (1851-1859)
In 1851, the Bishop's Palace that stood here was completely transformed and converted into a first real parliament building. The building was monumental. Unfortunately, it burned down few years later.
[Fonds Lady Louisa Anne Whitworth-Aylmer. (The Bishop's Palace seen from the Château Saint-Louis)] (circa 1831) by James Pattison Cockburn (?)Original Source: BAnQ, P363,P1_198A42, p.10
Bishop’s Palace (1692-1851)
In 1692, Monsignor de Saint-Vallier, the second bishop of Québec, had his palace built here. A century later, the government leased the building to hold its meetings. The first session of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada was held here in December 1792.
5. Montmorency Park (2023-03-14)Parks Canada
The scale model of Québec - View on the Upper Town market (1806/1808) by Photo: Daniel Abel, Parks Canada and Jean-Baptiste Duberger and John ByParks Canada
6. Town Hall Square
In 1807, a circular covered market topped by a 30-metre diameter dome stood in the middle of the market place. The scale model provides one of the very rare representations of this hall which was used for only 10 years. The Jesuit barracks are also shown beside.
Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville (Town Hall Square)
This square, built on the site of a former public market, is flanked by Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral on one side and the City Hall on the other. In the centre, a monument commemorates Elzéar-Alexandre Taschereau, the first Canadian to be appointed Cardinal in 1886.
Fabrique Street and Catholic Cathedral, Quebec. [The Upper Town market place] (circa 1829) by James Pattison CockburnOriginal Source: LAC, C-150358, Acc. No R9266-119 Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana
Upper Town market place
A public market stood here between 1740 and 1878. It is referred to as the Upper Town Market or the Notre-Dame Market because of the nearby cathedral. At that time, the Jesuit barracks stood on the other side of the square facing the cathedral.
[the old Jesuit College, where is now built the City Hall] (circa 1860) by J. E. Livernois Photo. QuébecOriginal Source: BAnQ, J. E. Livernois Ltée Fonds, P560,S2,D3,P47
The Jesuit College was built in 1647 as an educational facility. The day after it captured Québec, the British army requisitioned the College and converted it into a soldiers' barracks. The building was demolished in 1895 to make way for the current City Hall.
6. Place de l'Hotel de Ville (Town Hall Square) (2023-03-14)Parks Canada
Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville (Town Hall Square)
The scale model of Québec. View on the inner side of the Saint-Louis Gate (1806/1808) by Photo: Stéphane lamontagne, Parks Canada and Jean-Baptiste Duberger and John ByOriginal Source: Parks Canada
7. Saint-Louis Gate (inner side)
When the scale model was built, this gate had not changed very much since the time it was constructed in 1745. It was demolished in 1871 and replaced with the current gate in 1878.
Saint-Louis Gate (1878 to present)
Built in 1878 by Governor General Dufferin, this gate replaced the gate built in 1745, which was demolished, along with all the others, in the 1870s. The fortifications were slated to be demolished but governor Dufferin rallied the citizens around a project to save them.
St. Lewis Gate, [inner side] (1860/1879) by George William EllissonOriginal Source: Archives ville de Québec, Pierre Lavoie collection, P112-02-N032098
Saint-Louis Gate - Inner side (1745-1878)
This magnificent photo from the 1860s shows the soldiers' guard house at the top of the Saint-Louis Gate. On the left is the Royal Engineers' drafting workshop, today the private Québec Garrison Club since 1879.
St. Louis Gate Quebec [exterior side] (circa 1830) by James Pattison CockburnOriginal Source: Musée de la civilisation, fonds d'archives du Séminaire de Québec, 1993.15168
Saint-Louis Gate - Exterior side (1745-1878)
In 1745, the engineer of the fortifications of Québec, Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros-de-Léry, built three gates in the current rempart, including this one. At that time, the military gates were a nuisance for pedestrians and carters who shared a narrow 2.7-metre wide passage.
7. Saint-Louis Gate (2023-03-14)Parks Canada
The scale model of Québec. View on the temporary Citadelle (1806/1808) by Photo: Stéphane Lamontagne, Parks Canada and Jean-Baptiste Duberger and John ByOriginal Source: Parks Canada
8. Citadelle of Québec
When the scale model was built, the temporary Citadelle erected by W. Twiss had stood on Cap Diamant for some 20 years. The scale model shows us how it was organized: entrenchments, redoubts, gun batteries, covered roads, blockhouses, powder magazines, etc.
Citadelle of Québec
This Citadelle was built between 1820 and 1832 by the British engineer E. W. Durnford. It is still an active military base occupied by the Royal 22nd Regiment. It is home to the second official residence of the Governor General of Canada and a museum.
Dalhousie Gate, Quebec, [extracted from Hawkin's picture of Québec] (1834) by Robert Auchmuty Sproule after Alexander Jamieson RussellOriginal Source: MNBAQ, 2014.124
Of all the old military gates in Québec City, Dalhousie Gate is the only one to have survived in its original state.
[The fortifications and Québec Citadel seen from the parliament building] (circa 1895) by Louis-Prudent ValléeOriginal Source: MNBAQ, 2014.61
Citadelle of Québec (1820 to present)
This magnificent photograph taken around 1895 shows the Citadelle from the parliament tower. In the foreground, we can see the Connaught Barracks enclosed by the Saint-Louis Bastion and the Dalhousie Gate leading to the central courtyard of the Citadelle.
Quebec From Cape Diamond. [Entrenchments of the temporary Citadelle] (1791/1816) by George HeriotOriginal Source: ROM, 953.163.1
The temporary Citadelle (1779-1820)
Shortly after the American invasion in 1775, the military authorities decided to build a temporary Citadelle on top of Cap Diamant. Engineer William Twiss was in charge of the work, which took from 1779 to 1783 to complete.
A View of the Citadel at Quebec [from the Plains of Abraham] (1784) by James PeachyOriginal Source: LAC, C-001514, Acc. No 1989-217-3
Temporary Citadelle of Québec and the fortifications
This view illustrates the fortifications of Québec and the temporary Citadelle looking from the Plains of Abraham in 1784.
8. Citadelle of Québec (2023-03-14)Parks Canada
Citadelle of Québec
The scale model of Québec, Artillery Park, Québec City by Photo: Stéphane Lamontagne, Parks CanadaParks Canada
Thank you for exploring one of Parks Canada's treasures
We hope that this virtual journey enabled you to make an unusual discovery. Since nothing beats a real time exploration with a Parks Canada guide, we invite you to the Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site for many more discoveries. Don't miss them!
This experience was produced by the Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site. Thanks to the iScan company for the 3D scan of the scale model.