What Happened to The Cannonball Tree??? Walking on Quebec City’s Old Citadel

Here is a video we made of us exploring the waterfront trail in Quebec city, the Old Citadel and talking about the cannon ball tree.

We climbed the wooden stairwell that takes you from the canon and artillery park to Dufferin Terrace and emerged right in front of the Chateau Frontenac. Dufferin Terrace is the name for the vast boardwalk area in front of the Chateau Frontenac. On Dufferin Terrace there were musicians playing music and people dancing, as well there were little viewing spots where you can look down to the remains of the old fortifications below the terrace. During non-covid times you can go on tours down below the terrace and see the fortifications in person, but that was all shut down due to restrictions.

Chateau Frontenac and Dufferin Terrace in Quebec City

On Dufferin terrace you will see the upper station for the funicular, which takes you down to lower old town (avoiding the breakneck stairs).

Chateau Frontenac and Dufferin Terrace in Quebec City

The entire expanse of Dufferin terrace is an excellent vantage point to see the waterfront. Anywhere you stop affords you excellent views of the water and the lower town.

Chateau Frontenac and Dufferin Terrace in Quebec City

You will also see the long luge run set up on the terrace, where in winter you can rent a little sled and toboggan in front of the Chateau Frontenac. As we visited in November, the luge was a few weeks away from opening. We will need to revisit Quebec City in the winter sometime, perhaps for Carnival.

Chateau Frontenac and Dufferin Terrace in Quebec City

If you continue along Dufferin terrace you will find a smaller walking terrace that takes you right along the waterfront and all the way to the old Citadel. We walked along this pathway, crunching leaves beneath our feet along the way, it was the prime time to view the changing leaves of fall. The entire walk to the Old Citadel takes about 15 minutes. At the end of the walkway there is an amazing viewpoint, perfect for some nature photography.

The Plains of Abraham and Citadel in Quebec City

When you exit the walkway, take a sharp right and you will arrive at the Plains of Abraham and the Old Citadel. I was so surprised to learn that you can walk along the entire star shaped top of the citadel, and peer down into the fortifications. Once a day (but not during Covid) you can go into the Citadel to see the changing of the guard.

The Plains of Abraham and Citadel in Quebec City

Also, in this video we talk a lot about the cannonball tree. For hundreds of years there was a tree in old town Quebec City that had a cannonball in the roots of the tree. The tree and its cannonball became a huge attraction. As I was researching what to see in Quebec City, the thing I was most excited to see was this old cannonball! In JUNE of 2020, a mere five months before our visit, the cannonball and tree were REMOVED because the tree was old and rotting, and they were not sure if the cannonball was still dangerous or able to explode. The cannonball could have been there for hundreds of years, and they removed it JUST before my visit. I was gutted.  What great luck I have.

The Plains of Abraham and Citadel in Quebec City and a view of Chateau Frontenac

One comment

  1. I remember poking fun of the cannonball as a kid visiting it with primary school. I was sad when I saw the tree will be cut in the news especially that Missy will never get to see it (and poke fun of it like I did) if she and her school ever go to Quebec City.


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