Illustration by Jeannie Phan
With more than 400 years of history and a bustling contemporary cultural scene, Quebec City offers a trove of things to uncover—for repeat visitors newcomers alike.
History lesson: Auberge Saint-Antoine boasts gorgeously modern rooms in a historic wharf and cannon battery. Each room features a display of an artifact found on the site, such as 18th-century china plates or a charming pair of centuries-old dominoes. Some rooms include a private terrace, where you can take in the city sights (or a glass of wine) after a day of trekking through town.
Off the beaten path: Spend a night in a former nun's cell at Le Monastère des Augustines. This freshly restored site features wellness packages (think massages, yoga classes and meditation) and pared-back-but-comfy suites in a 377-year-old building.
Classic eats: Stop in at Le Chic Shack for an updated take on Quebec's most-beloved regional dish: poutine. With toppings such as smoked meat, mushrooms and even masala-curry sauce, this isn't your average potatoes and gravy.
Cocktails and bites: The Grande Allée is home to some of Quebec City's most luxurious estates—and L'Atelier, a swish restaurant that's a veritable hot spot come sundown. Don't miss the twist on surf and turf, lobster and beef tartare served with a side of deliciously crispy frites.
Local hero: Nordic ingredients drive the menu at Chez Boulay bistro boréal, where chefs Arnaud Marchand and Jean-Luc Boulay excel at inventive takes on culinary traditions that showcase regional flavours. A beet tarte tatin, for example, is drizzled with citrusy, semisweet birch syrup, whereas a velvety sea buckthorn meringue tart is a clever take on classic lemon meringue pie.
State of the art: The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec sits adjacent to the historic Plains of Abraham, but its new Pierre Lassonde Pavilion has a distinctly modern edge. Take in works by Québécois artists such as Riopelle and David Altmejd, and don't miss the impressive Inuit art collection.
Shop talk: Venture beyond the city's fortified walls to explore the charming St-Roch district, which is dotted with art galleries, boutiques and coffee shops (a latte at Saint-Henri micro-roaster is a must).
Old school: The Petit-Champlain neighbourhood is one of the oldest commercial districts in North America, so shops abound, but don't miss Musée de la civilisation for an afternoon immersion course in the Québécois and First Nations cultures.
We talked to a trend forecaster to see what we can expect for 2017. Here's what she had to say.
Do you ever wish you could see into the future? Well, for Sheryl Connelly, in-house futurist at Ford Motor Company, this is exactly what she does for a living. For over a decade, Connelly and her team have been forecasting trends and producing a comprehensive list that covers everything from consumer shopping habits to the changing job landscape and societal shifts. This data, collected globally and by country, helps anticipate customer needs and determines how these factors will impact changes globally.
Here are Sheryl Connelly’s top 10 trends for 2017:
Female Frontier (Revisited)
Progress on the female front is slow—82% of adults feel that men and women aren’t viewed as equal. But 78% of people think women have more opportunities than just three years ago. Good news: The number of female billionaires continues to be on the upswing. Women make up 10.4% of the world’s billionaires, compared with 9.7% in 2014. Some of the wealthiest people in China are women, and there are more female than male entrepreneurs in the G8 countries.
The Good Life 2.0
The definition of prosperity seems to be changing across the globe with more people valuing wellness over wealth. Seventy-one percent of Canadians agree “prosperity is more about happiness than wealth.” And, the overwhelming majority (regardless of age) find it annoying when people are showy with their money. Wellness travel is now a $563 billion dollar global industry—up 14% in the last two years. More than 690 million wellness-focused trips were taken worldwide in 2015. And Millennials, instead of booking a stay at a five-star hotel, are using vacation time to book yoga retreats.
Time Well Spent
Along with wealth, the concept of the currency of time and how it’s used is changing. It’s not about spending more time working or on FOMO, but carving out more “me time.” In the global survey, the question: Which of the following do you consider a productive use of time? The responses included: 19% daydreaming, and 57% said sleeping. Thirty-one percent of Canadians agreed that procrastination helped them be productive. Connelly thinks that if someone has an idea, then the seemingly off-task activity of walking the dog or taking a shower could spark some new thoughts.
Some resorts have picked up on the importance of time, and lock up customers’ cellphones so they don’t overuse it on vacation.
In 2010, the United Nations officially declared water a “human right,” and this resource continues to be a growing concern. In Canada, 48% versus 81% in India agree that “they have changed their behaviour in the last year as a direct result of concerns related to water. One smart solution: Nozzle, described as “the world’s most extreme water-saving gizmo.“ It transforms tap water into a mist, which provides the adequate amount needed instead of an unnecessary stream.
Revisiting Trust Is The New Black
Remember the dress debate (gold vs. blue http://news.nationalpost.com/arts/is-this-dress-white-and-gold-or-blue-and-black-tumblr-photo-sparks-unlikely-online-debate)? Well, it seems that when it comes to news and information, it’s all about perception. Eighty-percent of adults globally agree that today’s media outlets offer more opinion instead of objective news coverage.
With so many choices at our disposal, it seems the endless options are making us reluctant to commit. Nearly every person in China–99% –agreed with the statement “The internet creates more choice than I want.” Seventy-seven percent of Canadians agree: “the quest to find ‘something better’ is never-ending.” Even when it comes to dating, the options can be daunting. Most respondents feel that online dating sites make it harder to commit to relationships. Housing service Roam has tapped into this footloose trend, allowing customers to sign one lease and live in any of its properties across three continents for as little as a week at a time.
Technology has undoubtedly provided many beneficial, convenient and efficient perks. But many people agree that it’s making us dumber, less polite, sleep deprived and contributing to obesity. A study found that kids who spend two to four hours a day on digital devices outside of class are 23% more likely not to finish homework, compared with kids who spend less than two hours.
The Parenting Trap
From free-range to attachment parenting, the spectrum of child rearing styles is endless. Japanese parents let their kids ride the subway at the age of eight while others monitor their every move via an app. Once children reach the workforce, there’s uncertainty about the climate and options that will be available to them. According to the World Economic Forum, 65% of children entering school today will work jobs that don’t currently exist. Making a guidance counsellor’s job even more difficult.
Today, the idea of community takes on many forms, shapes and sizes–both online and off. Many are seeking more from their fellow citizens and companies. Eighty-two percent of adults globally agree that they are more likely to support companies that prioritize purpose over profit.
Increasingly, the idea of being an architect of change is shifting from institutions to individuals, with people taking more responsibility for their actions and the impact it has on society. Eighty-six percent of adults globally agree that they should pay closer attention to the production ethics of the products they purchase.
Sheryl Connelly, futurist.
Photo courtesy of Paul Bradbury/237/Ocean/Corbis Image by: Photo courtesy of Paul Bradbury/237/Ocean/Corbis
|This story was originally titled "Higher Learning" in the September 2014 issue.|
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Made up holidays get a lot of flack, but this is one we can get behind. February 13th, Galentine's Day, is all about your most important platonic relationships—your BFFs.
Back in 2010, Parks and Recreation delivered unto us the greatest holiday in modern history: Galentine's Day, a celebration of female friendship (and frittatas) that preceded the dreaded February 14. Ultimately, it was Valentine's Day but for best pals, and therefore trumped the traditional Hallmark celebrations, tenfold.
A few years later, one of my best friends and I decided to embrace Galentine's Day for ourselves. We went out for dinner, drank too many martinis (this was before I stopped drinking), and broke down the many reasons why the guys we had crushes on at the time were clearly the wrong choices. Then, the next year we added another pal. And while some of us (hi!) were getting over a wicked stomach flu, the three of us still opted to spend the night snacking and bowling and making jokes about Drake. Valentine's Day proper would be reserved for Netflix and chips, as all reasonable winter nights should be. February 14 was officially Just Another Evening™. Bless.
Of course, there's been a lot of emphasis on the merits of female friendships lately, especially in pop culture. Through 2015 and 2016, Taylor Swift used her commercialized brand of feminism to prioritize sisterhood over female-centric competition, but her redefinition of #SquadGoals—via social media and red carpet appearances—became increasingly demonstrative. Especially as the likes of her July 4 parties became a who's who of trending names on Twitter, she cast every famous woman alive in her "Bad Blood" video (a song allegedly written about her feud with Katy Perry) and used her message of unity when it was convenient. (Like when she thought Nicki Minaj was starting something with her … which wasn't the case. Yikes.)
But the thing is, picture-perfect friendships aren't realistic. Friendships in real life are as flawed and messy as they are nurturing and unifying, but that's what makes them so wonderful. A 2011 study by Concordia University proved that those with a wide network of friends have lower stress levels, boast stronger immune systems, and tend to live longer, while a Wilfrid Laurier graduate co-authored a paper on how friendships improve if you recognize and respect your pal's introversion, social irritants, or even triggers. (In short: if you understand and celebrate that your friends aren't like you/are actual people, your friendships will be fulfilling.)
Which obviously makes sense. Because even though pop culture has scaled back the woman-on-woman hate, the superficiality behind seemingly perfect female friendships is just as damaging. Real friends argue, disagree, and aren't an exercise in twinning, thank whatever-higher-power-you-believe-in. Instead, they reflect the values we saw with Ann and Leslie in Parks and Recreation, or the dynamic between Rosa and Amy on Brooklyn Nine-Nine right now, or the dysfunction between Selina and Amy on Veep. Real female friendship isn't painted with the Valencia filter or measured by height in formalwear at an industry event. Real female friendship is bowling in a snowstorm and making jokes about Aubrey Graham, or doing the opposite and sitting in someone's apartment in silence.
Late last year, my uncle died and I spent the day I found out about it debating whether or not I wanted to keep plans with a pal that night. But after I warned her that I looked terrible and felt nauseous and wasn't sure if I'd be super fun to hang out with and was for sure wearing too much fleece, she reminded me that nobody cares about the bags under my eyes, and roaming the mall might be an exercise in distraction. Which it was. It wasn't Instagrammable, but that's the point: the realest moments in friendship are the ones that simply exist.
Which is something I think we're starting to understand more and more, especially as we see the social currency of celebrity supergroups begin to plummet. So now under the umbrella of Galentine's Day, we've begun to expand our scope to celebrate the complexities of female friendship and the imperfections that make each of them so special. Whether it's hanging out on February 13 and talking about everything that's gone terribly wrong, or making jokes in the mall on an otherwise very sad day.