Regional Portraits

Capitale-Nationale (03)


Geography and administration

Located on the north shore of the Fleuve Saint-Laurent, the Capitale-Nationale region borders Mauricie to the northwest, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean to the north and Côte-Nord to the northeast. It is the tenth largest region of Québec in terms of area.

The Capitale-Nationale region includes 59 municipalities and 10 other types of territories. Most are grouped into six regional county municipalities (French acronym MRC):

The municipalities of Québec, Ancienne-Lorette and Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures are not part of a regional county municipality, nor is the Wendake Indian reserve, where a Huron‑Wendate Aboriginal community resides. These territories are included in the greater Québec area, whose administration has certain powers normally conferred to a regional county municipality.

Québec, the most populous centre in the region, is also the capital. The National Assembly of Québec is located there.

For further information

Haut de page 

Agriculture, fisheries and food

The Capitale-Nationale region has a thriving bio-food sector, whose development is ensured by a network of interdisciplinary professionals from different organizations working in conjunction with businesses from the community. The region can rely on an extensive range of agricultural production as well as on a large number of processing companies, local markets, and high quality restaurants.

Among the 1,000 or so agricultural companies of the Capitale-Nationale region, fully half specialize in animal production, and the other half, in plant production. Their activities are mainly concentrated in the following sectors: dairy, beef and poultry production, and fruit, market garden, field crop, and sugar maple production (mainly in the Portneuf MRC).

More than 150 processing firms operate in the region. It should be noted that a network of agri-processors became established thanks to the many visitors attracted by the reputation of the region and the variety of products and activities available there.

For further information

Haut de page 

Economy and employment

The region’s companies operate in a diversified economy. In particular, the region is home to many development-based research centres that employ a specialized workforce in the following high technology areas:

  • information technology
  • video game design
  • biomedical technologies
  • geomatics
  • optics-photonics

Areas of excellence and innovation are also thriving in the region, including:

  • finance and insurance
  • health food
  • green and intelligent building construction
  • life sciences
  • heritage, culture and nature tourism

In the region, the health, education and public administration sectors provide the most jobs. The other areas of employment are, in order of importance, the manufacturing sector, the construction sector and the primary sector.

For further information

Haut de page 

Tourism, recreation and culture

The Capitale-Nationale region, which includes Charlevoix, is known worldwide for its activities and its tourist, cultural and historical attractions. It features a full complement of museums, monuments and historical sites. Québec's Battlefields Park is definitely a place to visit given the events that happened there. This site, unique in the world due to its size, location, historical role and beauty, includes the Plains of Abraham and Des Braves Park.

The Capitale-Nationale region is also teeming with religious sites included in many places of worship or with a religious vocation. City tours and guided tours are another colourful way to discover the Capitale-Nationale region, either on foot or by bus.

A number of festivals and events enliven the region, during both the summer and winter months, including the Festival d’été de Québec (summer music festival), the Québec Winter Carnival, the Carrefour international de théâtre (international theatre festival), the Tournoi international de hockey pee-wee de Québec (youth hockey tournament) and the Domaine Forget International Festival.

Meanwhile, the beautiful Charlevoix tourist region offers landscapes that wed mountains and the sea and it attracts nature lovers and outdoors enthusiasts every season of the year.

Moreover, culture is an important economic pillar of the Capitale-Nationale region, particularly of Québec. The constantly renewed dynamism of artists, artisans and cultural workers and the omnipresent heritage in the region make it an important place of artistic creation in a number of areas. It should be noted that Québec has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1985.

For further information

Haut de page