Québec is the capital city of the province of the same name, Quebec. It is also one of the eldest city in North America and Canada and well reknown for its historic centre and its fortification but as well for its proximity to the nature. Quebec city is known to be one of the safest place to be in country, violent crime is absent and scams are rare. Therefore the population is tolerant and trusting towards hitch-hikers and the police usually easy-going unless you act like a fool.
Quebec city has one of the highest proportion of highway km/inhabitants in its metropolitan area. This has accentuate an easy commuting for the workers making the journey from the suburbs or even the rural green area surrounding the city. Even if there is plenty of motorways going through several point of the city most of these highways are ending in the city, it should therefore be easily possible to find a hitching spot at the beginning of those main ways.
Hitching from Quebec city to the rural surrounding areas should usually be really simple as many commuters does travel nearly 100km every day between their home and the city they might simply take you as they would think you are from the same village as them and therefore they should know you, as this is still part of the rural mentality. Hence again, having a sign stipulating your destination or the County will greatly help.
Even if hitching along the highway is 'de facto' illegal, it is still pretty common in the Greater Quebec region and would be tolerated at a certain point (this includes the highway once in the rural area passed the suburbs. Hitching in the metropolitan area along the highway though, would NOT be tolerated at any point. Hitching along the on-ramp would be no problem unless there is no safety space for a car to stop, which is the case in several area. For that purpose, Do not walk or try to hitch along the following Urban Boulevard or Highway:
- A-73 (Autoroute Laurentienne/Autoroute Henri-IV) dense traffic, accident common
- A-740 (Autoroute Du Vallon) curvy highway used as a 'urban racetrack'
- A-40 (Autoroute Charest) between exit 'Rue Jean-Gauvin' and the end of the highway ('Rue St-Sacrement') (dense traffic and no shoulder)
- A-540 (Autoroute Duplessis) (no shoulder)
- A-40/A-73 (Autoroute de la Capitale) dense traffic
An announcement would probably even be done quite quickly on the radio station saying that some crazy fools are walking along those said road which would rage people as the police would have to go and close a lane down for security reasons.
- 1 Going East, to Charlevoix (St-Lawrence North Shore)
- 2 Going North, to Saguenay/Lac-St-Jean area along A-73
- 3 Going West, to Montreal along A-40
- 4 Going West, to Montreal joining A-20
- 5 Going East, through A-20 (St-Lawrence South Shore)
- 6 Going South, direction Maine/USA along A-73
- 7 Local Area Hitching
Going East, to Charlevoix (St-Lawrence North Shore)
The first attempt will be to get out of the urban area and join the road 138 east in the Beaupré County. Several spots might be possible to hitch out of the city but some might be better than another:
- It would be possible to try out directly from downtown at the location of the defunct viaduc in the area of the 'Gare du Palais', Justice Hall and St-Roch Mall by starting at the beginning of the highway 440 or eventually starting at some other point on the on-ramp along this highway (called: Autoroute Dufferin-Montmorency).
- On-Ramp: Rue d'Estimauville (Beauport borough), accessible with bus #10 (at the edge of the Maizeret Park)
- On-Ramp: Boulevard François-De Laval (Beauport Borough), at footsteps of bus #53,#251 or bus #800
- On-Ramp: Rue Vallée (Beauport Borough), at footsteps of bus #53,#251
Note: for those willing to walk, this highway following the St-Lawrence shore is paralled with a linear park including a cycling path, at some spot it might even be possible to try out on the highway itself if there is some road shoulder.
- Another try would be to take bus #800 until its terminus and start hitching at the on-ramp leading to the A-40 East which is at few footsteps of the terminus (Boulevard des Chutes - Beauport Borough). From there, the vast majority of the car should be heading outside the urban area (some might still be heading downtown though) and you should be able to get a ride to at least the Montmorency Falls (Place of interest) and Ile d'Orléans bridge, St-Anne-de-Beaupré Basilica (Place of interest) or maybe even further.
- Unless you plan to make a stop by in the Beaupré County, you should be careful where you stop by if you catch a ride until there, as the 'Boulevard Ste-Anne' (Road 138) is well reputated for its high rate of deadly accident and dangerous spots, try to stick to the on-ramp, entrance of shopping mall or place of interests and make sure to be well visible but especially that there is enough space for a car to pull over without being hit by another incoming car. If you can get a ride all the way until the Mont Ste-Anne Ski Resort, you would have managed to cross the whole county and be at the edge of Charlevoix Region.
Going East from the Western part and atempting to cross the whole urban area would be possible in condition of sticking to the highway A-40 which does a pseudo-peripheric loop in the North (Called 'Autoroute de la Capitale'). It would therefore be useful to manage a ride until the borough of Charlesbourg or Beauport to start further East at a on-ramp. Avoid stopping anywhere before the jonction of the A-73 (Autoroute Laurentienne) in the urban area itself as all on-ramp are either local and industrial traffic or motorway jonction with main inner city boulevard.
Going North, to Saguenay/Lac-St-Jean area along A-73
Going West, to Montreal along A-40
It is most likely that your first ride will leads you into the western rural Portneuf County which is a good start (unless you catch a long-distance ride). If you make it further enough into the County (let's say after Portneuf exit ramp) you may try to hitch directly along the highway if you feel the need.
Anyhow, you first ride out of Quebec city should always at least manage to take you to the following exit:
* Fossambault / Ste-Catherine / St-Augustin
From there you can consider yourself out of the suburban area, and may hitch a ride further west from the on-ramp or possibly from the Truck Weight Station which is a couple of 100m further.
It is the first Service area (off highway) where the services are open 24h (Tim Hortons, Gas Stations, Bars) and one may manage to talk to people directly, note that the on-ramp is not lighten and located in the 'wild'. The people from that area are usually quite of friendly approach so no worries to go ask for information or help at any time.
The last Service area (off highway) before Trois-Rivières, which consists of a truck stop with restaurant, gas station, and snack bar. The highway on-ramp is just off the gas station.
To start hitching within Quebec city, the best options are either to look at 'Local Hitching Section' further on this page or try one of the following:
- Corner of Route St-Sacrement and Boulevard Charest (basically where the highway 440 ends) before the street light or at one of the Gas Station located at its corner. To reach this spot, you would need to take bus #7 (which rides on Chemin Ste-Foy), walk off at the St-Sacrement Church stop and walk down the hill.
Going West, to Montreal joining A-20
Going East, through A-20 (St-Lawrence South Shore)
It's quite hard to hitch directly from Quebec city in direction east by the south bank of the St-Lawrence. One should cross St-Lawrence River using Québec-Lévis Ferry (Web Site) which is 2,65$CAN. From there, either walk or hitch the 5 km directly South to highway A-20 (near the Walmart). This entrance is a good one and you'll generally meet people going further than those you would meet trying to get out via the bridges.
If you're trying to go East of Québec from Montreal, be aware that many people stop at Québec city and it might be hard to hitch east before the bridges. The best option is to ask the driver to stop at the St-Nicolas rest area where you'll be able to ask directly to people.
Local Area Hitching
Hitching to the local County and mountainous area surrounding Quebec city should usually be pretty simple. The starting places will most likely be the same as for any other long distance hitching, although with an appropriate sign it could even be possible to hitch at some other specific areas, which includes the colleges and university area where many worker and students will return home during the day or at rush hour.
Where else to start: The main Colleges and University area are located in the borough of Ste-Foy and the amount of students and workers moving there every forthnights is brushing the 50 000 people (Université Laval, College Garneau, College Ste-Foy) and one of the country's biggest mall is also located there (Place Laurier). These are along some of the main bus line (#800, #801, #7, #93). Therefore the main starting points would be in those surrounding:
- Universite Laval/Place Laurier:
- Corner Boulevard Laurier/Boulevard Du Vallon (direction North/East or West)
- College Ste-Foy:
- Corner Chemin Ste-Foy/Boulevard Du Vallon (direction North/East or West)
- Rue Nérée-Tremblay/Boulevard Versant-Nord (on-ramp to A-40, direction North/East or West)
- Place Laurier:
- Corner Chemin Quatre-Bourgeois/Autoroute Henri-IV (on-ramp, every direction)
- Boulevard Laurier interchange jonction (direction North/South or West)
Destination to go:
- Portneuf County (West)
- Beaupré County (East)
- Jacques-Cartier County (North)
- Lévis Urban Area and Lotbinière County (South)