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Québec City

Money & costs




A tip of 15% of the pretax bill is customary in restaurants. Some waiters may add a service charge for large parties; in these cases, no tip should be added unless the service was extraordinary. Leave the tip on the table or hand it directly to staff.

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Québec City has gone through an exciting about-turn over the last decade. Poor urban planning through to the 1980s led to an exodus to the suburbs, leaving the downtown core depopulated and prone to crime in some areas. The huge mega-malls being built in the suburbs were also a capital drain on the downtown businesses. The area started to turn around in the 1990s, with the rejuvenation of St-Roch and diversification of the economy. Laval University moved some of its departments downtown as well, bringing an influx of young students into the neighborhood.

Other urban projects included a fountain and landscaping in front of the train station as well as projects around the parliament buildings and the Dufferin-Montmorency expressway.

Québec City also reached out to the high-tech industries and now there are research centers in everything from lasers and optics to health and biotechnology. The government established the National Center of New Technology (CNNTQ) in St-Roch and now there are over 20 IT firms that bring over 800 workers into the neighborhood each day.

The 'rebranding' of Québec seems to be working. In a recent poll of North American and European cities, Québec City ranked number two for its software, plastics and metal manufacturing.

So like modern Montréal, Québec City has a new sheen on it with both the pluses and minuses that that brings: locals are struggling with their property taxes which are sky-rocketing just as they have in Montréal.

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