Nestled in the heart of Canada, Quebec is known for its vibrant culture, rich history, and unique traditions that set it apart from the rest of the country. From historical conquests to quirky traditions, this province is a blend of the unexpected and the fascinating.
Let’s delve into six fun facts that capture the essence of Quebec.
1. July 1st – Quebec’s Moving Day: In an interesting societal norm, July 1st is informally recognized as ‘Moving Day‘ across Quebec. On this day, a significant portion of the population engages in a mass relocation, making it a unique and bustling time for the province.
2. Vermont’s Quebec Connection: Before becoming the 14th state of the United States, Vermont actually sought to become part of Quebec. However, Quebec declined the proposal, leading Vermont to join the United States instead.
3. The Narrow Miss of Independence: Quebec’s history almost took a different turn in 1995 during a tightly-contested referendum on independence from Canada. With a 94% voter turnout, the results were razor-thin – 50.58% voted to stay, while 49.42% favored independence, ultimately keeping Quebec within Canada.
4. The Reversed Conquest of 1629: Quebec’s history includes an interesting episode in 1629, when an English naval force captured the region. However, this conquest was later nullified due to a peace treaty signed in Europe. England not only returned Quebec to France but also compensated for damages.
5. The Filles du Roi Initiative: In a unique historical move, France sent 800 women, known as “Filles du Roi” (“Daughters of the King”), to Quebec in 1663. These women, mostly from poor backgrounds, agreed to marry and settle in the male-dominated colony of New France. This initiative was a success, significantly increasing the population and laying the foundation for many French Canadians’ ancestry.
6. The Great Maple Syrup Heist: In 2012, Quebec witnessed an unusual heist that shook its maple syrup industry. Thieves made off with over $28 million worth of maple syrup from a warehouse. The heist was so significant that one of the perpetrators faced a fine of $9.4 million and an 8-year jail sentence for stealing 3,000 tonnes of syrup valued at $18.7 million.
From its ‘Moving Day’ tradition to its near-miss with independence and the unique tales of its past, Quebec is a province that continually surprises and delights with its distinct character and intriguing history.