Quebec is well known for its centuries-old past as well as its vibrant and cutting-edge present. The province's capital city is growing its meetings offerings and enhancing existing venues. The walled city of Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was the wellspring of French culture in North America, abounds with European-infused architecture, art, and culture that groups will enjoy exploring.
Set right near the entrance of the old city, the Quebec City Convention Centre recently upped its free Wi-Fi to 15 Mbps connection speed and unlimited data transfer, ensuring high-quality wireless Internet access for attendees without disruption.
The 242-room Hotel Pur, located in downtown Quebec City, has recently completed renovations. On a private beach outside Quebec City, the new Entourage-sur-le-lac Hotel, is dedicated to what the property describes as "the art of living," with gourmet dining and 6,300 square feet of flexible event space. It is set to open this fall.
These properties will expand the city's robust hotel offerings that include the iconic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, overlooking the St. Lawrence River, offering 611 guest rooms and a number of event spaces that exude the property's 100-plus-year history.
Or just outside the old city walls, there's the Hilton Quebec, where guests get a great view from any of its 571 guest rooms (and especially Le23 restaurant on the hotel's 23rd floor), whether looking at either the city, Laurentian Mountains, or Parliament Hill. Its variety of function rooms can accommodate meetings of up to 1,400 attendees, and the Executive Lounge offers complimentary breakfast and evening drinks. The Hilton Quebec boasts more than 23,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, spread over 22 rooms, as well as the largest ballroom in the city, with capacity for up to 1,200 attendees.
As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, Montreal is toasting its own 375th birthday, and it's celebrating in style with the launch this month of the new Montreal Observation Wheel, almost 200 feet high. Earlier this year, the city introduced the immersive multisensory art project AURA, which creates an innovative light-and-sound show in the center of the historic Notre-Dame basilica.
Other big enhancements are happening around the city: A new cruise terminal has been added, allowing for a larger number of visiting ships; a $73 million renovation project is underway at Parc Jean-Drapeau, including the addition of a 65,000-seat "natural amphitheater" and expansion of the central concourse. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts last fall unveiled its new Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace -- adding more than 16,000 square feet to the group-friendly venue. It's no wonder the city topped the International Congress and Convention Association rankings as the city that held the most international conventions in all of North America in 2016.
As for the hotel scene, the beginning of this year saw the opening of the 90-room Hotel Mount Stephen, set in the city's chic Golden Square Mile and offering state-of-the-art meeting rooms as well as a ballroom with capacity for 400 people. The Hotel Fairmont Queen Elizabeth is undergoing a $140 million renovation, with big changes to its common areas, 500 of its guest rooms, and a revamped business hub on its second and third floors.
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This article appears in the August 2017 issue of Successful Meetings.