From Banning Smoking to Vaccine Passports: 2 visits to Québec

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By Mary Clements

When I visited Québec in May 2006, smoking indoors was just about to be banned in public spaces like work, offices, hospitals, restaurants and bars. I was in Rivère-de-Loup for the Explore Program for 6 weeks from the beginning of May until mid June. When I arrived, this was a hot topic and many were quite mad about this change leading up to May 31st when the ban took effect. After it happened, protests subsided, life carried on and my clothes were much less smoky when going out with all our cross Canada classmates after school.

I thought it was a funny coincidence that when I visited Quebec for a solo road trip at the beginning of this September, it was during another big transition: The vaccine passports. While we still didn’t have them in Ontario yet, Québec was the first province in Canada to implement them on September 1st. It turned out the vaccine passport was quite easy to use and quickly became pretty normal, like not smoking inside in public spaces. Below I have attached a little summary with some highlights of my solo trip itinerary. The playlist was a constant stream of CBC radio reporting on the then upcoming federal you can imagine it! 🙂

Day:  Destination: Activities :
Day 1  Hamilton to Montréal
(6 hour drive)
-Bike ride around Montreal to the Vieux-Port 
Day 2, 3, 4  Montréal to Jacque Cartier National Park (3.5 hour drive)  -Camped at Jacque Cartier National Park! -Checked out some cool hikes! 
Day 5, 6  Jacque Cartier National Park
to Tadoussac
( 3.5 hour drive)
-Stayed at Hotel Tadoussac, a pretty hotel right on the water -Saw lots of people whale watching 
Day 7  Tadoussac to Notre Dame du Portage (2.5 hour Drive + 2 Ferry Rides)  -Took Ferry from Tadoussac to Baie-Sainte-Catherine -Took Ferry from Saint Siméon to Rivère-du-Loup 
Day 8, 9  Notre Dame du Portage to Quebec City
(2 hour Drive) 
-Walked around Vieux-Québec-Did a double deck bus tour (I love them!)

-Saw people protesting outside Québec legislature about vaccines + passports 

Day 10,11  Quebec City to Ottawa
(5 hour Drive) 
-Spent the day at  Nordik Nature Spa in Chelsea -Learnt how to make “Cloud Eggs” 
Day 12  Ottawa to Hamilton
(4.5 Hours Drive) 
-Back Home! 

Top left: Jacque Carties National Park. Top right: me camping! Bottom left: Cloud Eggs. Bottom Right: Me at L’Hôtel Tadoussac