Quebec, until 1867 known as Lower Canada, is the largest and most easterly of the two provinces of the Dominion, being bounded N. and E. by Labrador and the Gulf of St. Lawrence, S. and E. by the same gulf, New Brunswick, and the United States, and W. by the province of Ontario, and having an area of 188,694 square miles. The coast-line of nearly 2,000 miles offers numerous safe harbours, and the countless islands - of which Anticosti, the Magdalens, Bonaventure, Montreal, St. Helens, Calumet, and Allumette are the chief - provide convenient fishing-stations. In the valleys the soil is extremely fertile, yielding good crops of cereals, hay, roots, and fruit; there is excellent pasture also, and the mountains are covered with valuable forests of pine, ash, elm, hickory, and walnut. Gold, iron, and copper exist in considerable quantities, and good building stone is plentiful. Quebec is the capital, but Montreal is the largest city, other towns of importance being Three Rivers, Levis, St. Hyacinthe, Sorel, St. Johns, Hull, St. Henri, and St. Jean Baptiste. Quebec was colonised by France in 1608, and taken by the British in 1759-60, the French Catholics (who form the bulk of the population) being guaranteed the enjoyment of their laws and religion by the Quebec Acts of 1774. The province returns 65 members to the Dominion House of Commons and 24 to the Senate.
Quebec, the capital of the province and formerly of all Canada, stands on the N. bank of the St. Lawrence, at the mouth of the St. Charles, 300 miles from the sea and 180 miles below Montreal. The docks are among the finest in the world, accommodating the largest vessels and being extended to the opposite shore of the river at Levis, Among the public buildings may be mentioned the Governor's residence, with the monument to Wolfe and Montcalm, the Anglican cathedral, and Laval University. The supply of water from Lake Charles is excellent. Railways communicate with all parts of the Dominion and the United States, and steamers ply to Europe and the American ports. The timber trade is the chief source of wealth, but a large share of the general imports and exports passes through Quebec, which possesses, too, some local industries, such as iron-founding, the making of cutlery and nails, leather-dressing, and indiarubber manufacturing. The city is governed by a municipal body, and returns three members to the Canadian Parliament and three to the Provincial Assembly.