| Dec 11, 2014
Most people know Quebec as the “French” part of Canada. As the only province that has French as the official language (and with a primarily French-speaking population), life here isn’t quite like anywhere else in Canada and the United States. However, because it borders Ontario, Maine, New Hampshire, and New York, it’s very much a modern North American location.
With a decidedly European flair, a rich history that’s evident in the architecture and the culture, and the wide green spaces and friendliness Canada is known for, Quebec is a one-of-a-kind place to live. Although you’ll need to know (or start learning) French in order to settle down in the country long-term, those who live and work here know there’s nowhere else on earth they’d rather be.
Living and Working in Quebec
In addition to being unique for its language and culture, Quebec is the second-largest province in terms of population. The majority of people live in the metropolitan areas (Montreal and Quebec City, primarily), although you’ll find smaller towns scattered throughout the southern regions.
Because of this focus on urban living, Quebec has strong economic centers in its cities. Although most people live in single-family homes in neighborhoods outside the main city centers, you’ll also find a fair number of residents in apartments, condos, and townhomes. These downtown “pocket neighborhoods” have a decidedly European feel, with a focus on historical buildings, city parks, public transportation, small bistros and shops, and a strong sense of community.
The jobs here are just as diverse as the people. Leading industries in Quebec have a strong high-tech foundation (aerospace, information technology, and communication technologies), and there’s also a focus on health care (biotechnology and pharmaceutics). The service industry is also quite strong within the cities. As you move outward toward smaller towns, you’ll find more jobs related to mining, as Quebec has an abundance of natural resources.
Fun and Entertainment in Quebec
One of the best reasons to move to Quebec is for the culture. Because of its strong French influence, the arts community here is alive and active, and you’ll find entertainment for the whole family. Theater troubles, ballets, symphonies, music venues, and an active literary community exist here, as well as street art and performance art more typical in a European setting.
The province is also very activity-friendly, which means everyone is encouraged to get outside and enjoy the wide-open spaces—especially in the winter, when skiing is popular. Public parks are well-tended and promote getting fresh air with biking, jogging, and recreational sports. There’s also a strong walking culture, especially as you move closer to the city centers. And of course it’s impossible to talk about any Canadian province without mentioning the collective love of hockey.
Welcome to Quebec!
If you’re new to the French language, life in Quebec will be a bit of a change from your usual routine. Although over half of the population speaks English in addition to French, it’s generally frowned upon for residents and visitors to assume service workers will speak English to accommodate them.
As long as you prepare to adapt and to enjoy an entirely different way of life, moving to Quebec can be an incredible change. Get ready to immerse yourself in a new culture and enjoy a high-quality style of living while you do it!