- nearly three times the size of France
- Canada’s largest province
- is almost entirely surrounded by water
- the only officially French-speaking province
- has more than one million lakes and waterways
- coastline is nearly 9,000 km
- provincial capital Quebec City
- provincial flower Fleur-de-Lys (Madonna Lily)
- provincial tree Yellow Birch
- provincial bird Snowy Owl
- in the Eastern Time zone
Quebec is bordered by Ontario to the west and New Brunswick and Labrador to the east. To the south, the St Lawrence river marks the boundary between Canada and the US states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. Quebec shares maritime borders with Nunavut, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.
Geography – More than 60% of the province’s land area lies within the Canadian Shield. In the Labrador Peninsula, the far northern region consists of Arctic tundra inhabited mostly by the Inuit. Further south lie subarctic taiga and boreal forest.
The most populated region is the St Lawrence River valley in the south. The region is low-lying and flat, and the combination of rich and easily arable soils and the province’s warmest climate make the valley Quebec’s most prolific agricultural area.
Climate – With such a huge land mass Quebec has wide temperature variations The northern regions of Quebec have an Arctic climate with very cold winters and short, much cooler summers. Average summer temperatures can range between 20ºC (68ºF)and 5ºC (41ºF).
Most of central Quebec has a subarctic climate, with long winters among the coldest in eastern Canada. Summers are warm but very short due to the higher latitude and the greater influence of Arctic air masses. Southern and western Quebec have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons – a mild spring, an often hot summer, a chilly autumn, and a snowy, cold winter.
Winter can vary from 5 months in the south to 8 months in the north. Average winter temperatures range between -10 ºC (14ºF)and -25ºC (-13ºF). Precipitation is abundant throughout the year, with most areas receiving more than 1,000 mm of precipitation, including over 300 cm of snow in many areas.
National Parks – Quebec Canada has three national parks and one marine conservation area. La Mauricie National Park is located on the northern shore of the St Lawrence River, and Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve protects islands, islets and reefs in the Gulf of St Lawrence. Forillon National Park is situated at the farthest reach of the Gaspé Peninsula. Saguenay St Laurent Marine Conservation Area sets aside protected area for the St. Lawrence Estuary and the Saguenay Fjord.