From the heights of Québec City, we can see the South Shore and as far as Mont Sainte-Anne.
Royal William, or the end of an era
This boat, combining sail and steam, was built in Québec City, but its steam engine was made in Montréal.
In 1833, it became the first ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean almost only on steam.
This feat heralded the end of the era of sailboat crossings. From this time on, ships would no longer be at the mercy of the wind and waves but could depend on the regular power provided by steam.
Cradle of Canadian shipyards
Shipbuilding in Québec is nothing new! Although ships had been built here since the 17th century, the industry really took off in the early 1800s.
At the time, England, which was facing Napoleon’s armies, needed to import large quantities of goods. The existing merchant marine was unable to meet this demand and established major shipyards in and around Québec City, including the Davie shipyard in Lévis.
Over time, wood was gradually replaced by higher-performance materials for shipbuilding.
Solid, durable and shock-resistant, steel is the material most often used in shipbuilding today.
While wood floats, steel does not. However, its strength makes it possible to build hulls that are virtually unsinkable!