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Retire in Quebec City Guide

Retire in Quebec City with confidence, armed with the knowledge from our extensive guide. It covers critical considerations for retirees, from the cost of living and climate to housing, healthcare, and residency choices in Quebec City. We also delve into the social and cultural scene, volunteering options, public transportation facilities, and the city's walkability, helping you make an informed decision.

Retiring in Quebec City, is a dream for many international retirees. The city’s rich history, vibrant culture, and high quality of life make it an attractive destination. However, like any other place, retiring in Quebec City comes with its own set of challenges and benefits.

Cost of Living

Quebec City is known for its relatively low cost of living compared to other major Canadian cities. Housing, in particular, is quite affordable, with a variety of options available from condos in the city center to houses in the suburbs. Groceries, utilities, and other everyday expenses are also reasonably priced, making it easier for retirees to stretch their retirement savings.


Quebec City experiences a humid continental climate, with four distinct seasons. Summers are warm and can be quite humid, while winters are cold and snowy. The city is known for its beautiful fall foliage and spring is a delightful season with mild temperatures and blooming flowers.


Quebec City boasts a robust healthcare system with several top-notch hospitals and clinics. The city is home to the Université Laval Hospital, one of the most respected medical institutions in Canada. There are also numerous specialists and general practitioners available for routine check-ups and medical consultations.

Public Healthcare System

Canada’s public healthcare system, known as Medicare, provides coverage for most health care services. However, international retirees may need to secure private health insurance, as Medicare coverage is typically only available to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. It’s important to research and understand the healthcare options available before making the move.

Residency Options for Retirees

Canada offers several residency options for international retirees, including the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa, which allows parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to stay in Canada for up to two years at a time. There are also options for retirees who wish to invest in the country or start a business.

Parks and Recreational Activities

Quebec City is home to numerous parks and recreational areas, including the historic Plains of Abraham and the beautiful Montmorency Falls Park. The city also offers a variety of activities, from cultural festivals to outdoor adventures like hiking and skiing.


Quebec City’s culinary scene is a delight for food lovers. From the traditional Quebecois cuisine at Aux Anciens Canadiens to the fresh seafood at Le Continental, there’s something for every palate. For a more casual dining experience, Le Chic Shack and Chez Boulay-bistro boréal are popular choices.

Learning the Language

While many Quebec City residents are bilingual, French is the primary language. International retirees may find it beneficial to learn French to fully immerse themselves in the local culture. Institutions like the École Québec Monde offer French language courses for all levels.

Local Culture

Quebec City residents, known as Quebecois, are known for their friendly and welcoming nature. The city has a strong sense of community, with numerous festivals and events throughout the year that bring locals together.

Meeting People and Volunteer Opportunities

Meeting new people in Quebec City can be as simple as joining a local club or volunteering at a local organization. The English-Speaking Community of Quebec City (VOICE) is a great place for international retirees to connect with others. For those interested in volunteering, organizations like the Quebec City Reading Council always welcome new volunteers.

Housing Options

Retirees in Quebec City have a variety of housing options to choose from. Many choose to live in condos or apartments in the city center for easy access to amenities, while others prefer the peace and quiet of suburban living. The city’s public transportation system is efficient and reliable, making it possible to live comfortably without a car.

Retiring in Quebec City, Canada, offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern conveniences. With its affordable cost of living, high-quality healthcare, and vibrant culture, it’s no wonder that so many international retirees choose to call this city home.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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