Whether it’s your first time to Quebec City or you’re a regular to this French province, there’s a small tourist attraction that you absolutely have to visit. The Au 1884 toboggan slide is fit for the young and old and costs only $3! It’s the oldest toboggan slide in Quebec City (more than 100 years old)!
I have been to Quebec City more than four times but didn’t know about this gem of an adventure until this visit. The Au 1884 toboggan slide is only open during the winter months (from mid-December to mid-March when temperatures are appropriate for the outdoor ice slide). It must be because this was only my second time visiting Quebec City in the winter months and why I didn’t know about it before.
The Au 1884 slide is located right behind the famous Fairmont Le Château Frontenac hotel on the Terrasse Dufferin boardwalk overlooking the St. Lawrence River and near the Quartier Petit Champlain (so many worthy sites in and of itself!). You purchase your ticket in the small cafe on the boardwalk (it might be easy to miss, but it’s a small dome-shaped building that says “cafe”. It’s $3 per ticket. You can also good four tickets for $10 or a season pass for $35. (It is one ticket per person for run. Children 3 years old and older need a ticket. Children under 3 years old are free. Children 10 years old and under need to be accompanied by an adult.)
Once you have your ticket in hand, proceed to the line-up. On this cold wintry December day, we were greeted with a long line-up which stretched from the base of the slide to the mid-point of the slide. The line scurried backwards so that each person (or persons depending on how many people you want on your sled — you can ride up to 4) will be taking a toboggan and dragging it up the hill with you. Once you’re up the hill with the sled, the staff will direct and teach you how to ride down the hill safely.
In total, we waited about an hour. (We purchased our ticket at 12:33 p.m., queued up, got to the front of the line at 1:11 p.m., walked up the hill with our sled, and waited on the hill for another 12 minutes until 1:23 p.m. before we got into our sled.)
While waiting on the hill, the view was spectacular! You can see the St. Lawrence River and the landscape of Quebec City. It was such a glorious view of Mother Nature and the city. (If I ever get around to posting photos and videos, you’ll see, but for now you can always Google the photos or just visit their website.)
I wanted to record the experience, so after we received instructions (you can ask for English or French instructions) from the staff and were “buckled in” (there are no buckles or seat belts but they’re not necessary), I had my smartphone in my hand set to record. The ride down the hill is SO fast though that if you are focused too much on whether your phone is recording or not, you could very well miss the entire experience. This is what happened to me. 😦 I noticed my phone stopped recording halfway down the hill (I must have accidentally pressed something), so I had to fumble to get it to record again. I missed part of the ride this way but it was still incredibly fun. The ride was so, so fast. I was screaming. XD (It goes up to 70 km/hour!)
If the line wasn’t so long and it wasn’t freezing cold outside, we would have liked to purchase another ticket to queue in line again for a second ride. Perhaps another winter visit will be in my future and I will be able to ride Au 1884 again!
This was one of the highlights of our winter Quebec City trip. I highly recommend it!