DID YOU KNOW?
Québec is the world's largest exporter of maple products. These products are sold in close to 50 countries, with the United States, Germany and Japan leading the way.

The four seasons

Colourful Québec!


Explore the four corners of Québec from four different perspectives: summer, fall, winter and spring. Bask under the sun’s summer rays, feast your eyes on fall’s vivid hues, revel in the white delight that is winter or get caught up in spring fever. Four spectacular seasons in which to fall in love with Québec!

SummerAutumnWinterSpring

Spring

Let there be buds!

Photographie How the excitement fills the air when those first nice days of spring arrive, around mid-March! The days get longer, the sun feels warmer and the snow begins to melt. Returning from their winter migration, the snow geese form an immense white V against the azure skies, and the rivers—now free of ice—swell with rushing water, attracting new adepts to the thrilling sport of rafting. Spring is a time of renewal, when just about anything goes!

The sugaring off

Photographie As freeze turns to thaw, the sap begins to rise in the maple trees. Following Amerindian custom, the first settlers learned to tap the sugar maple and reduce its sweet water to obtain a thick syrup prized for its flavour, colour and clarity. This seasonal ritual led to a thriving industry, one that each year produces thousands of hectolitres (hundreds of thousands of quarts) of syrup, taffy and maple sugar—representing 85% of Canada's output

Nectar of the gods
Before it's processed, the sap is collected drop by drop through spouts inserted into the trees. In the old days, pails would be hung from these spouts and their contents emptied regularly into horse drawn barrels. Times have changed though, and today many sugar bushes use a network of tubes connecting the spouts to a pump and carrying the sap to an evaporator. It takes roughly 40 litres (42 US quarts) of sap to produce one litre (1.05 US quarts) of pure syrup.

At the sugar shack
Some 400 sugar shacks, mostly located within proximity of Québec's large cities, invite you to dine with them each spring. Gather your family or friends and prepare to savour traditional family cooking like you never have before: baked beans, ham, tourtière (meat and pork pie), omelettes, oreilles de crisse (crisp salt fried pork) and a scrumptious selection of maple desserts, not to mention la tire—hot taffy poured on snow and then pulled on a stick before it hardens. And don't pass up a sleigh ride through the underbrush! Some sugar shacks are open to the public year-round. What's more, you can find maple products in food stores at any time.

Warm weather gets a warm welcome!

Photographie As winter waves good-bye, city dwellers begin to drink in the sun's rays, greedily breathing in the mild air and eagerly enjoying that first cocktail on a café terrace, a picnic beneath a blossoming tree or a healing stroll through the greenhouses at the Botanical Garden. To properly kick off the season, why not treat yourself to a short stay at a health centre, in the city or the country?


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