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Place des Canotiers

Québec City, Québec 

Photo Credit: Daoust Lestage


Research by: Samantha Miller

Edited by: Nicole Brekelmans 

Case study compiled in 2019



Project: Place des Canotiers

Type of Urban Strategy: Water 

Type of ProjectUrban Plaza

LocationQuébec City, Québec 

Date Designed/Planned: 2015

Construction Completed:  2017

Designer: Daoust Lestage & ABCP 


Place des Canotiers is a public plaza along the St. Lawrence River and in the heart of Old Québec City. The coherent design highlights multidisciplinary techniques of urban design, landscape architecture, architecture, industrial design and graphic design. Due to the unique conditions and heritage of the site, each component of the plan needed to work as a whole and create a sense of memory that celebrates the history of the site (Canadian Institute of Planners, 2018). With elements such as a lookout, street furniture and green spaces, the space is an excellent place for visitors and residents to come and relax, and explore the heritage of the site. The site is a place of welcome for cruise passengers into the capital, which was one of the main intentions of this redevelopment because previously, cruise passengers were welcomed into the city via a lifeless parking lot. The entire project, down to the materials chosen, were inspired by the past life of the site and the wooden docks of the 19th century (Ville de Québec, n.d.). The project was part of a larger goal of reconnecting Québeckers to the River and giving it back to the city. This project is an excellent case study in cultural heritage and incorporating history and art into the design of public spaces. In terms of urban design, this project is important because the city saw an opportunity to redesign something that was still useful (parking) but made it into something that frees up space and gives the city back to pedestrians.


“The project takes into consideration the importance of developing areas that promote sustained quality of life. Park areas not only provide an environmental boost, but also improve social commitment to sustainability. The Place des Canotiers is a real success of requalification of a vast space located at the edge of the river in a strategic site in the heart of Québec City.” (CIMA +, 2018).

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