Spotted! Chill out in Quebec City

A converted shipping container gives summer visitors a taste of what winter is like in the capital.
GL Micro Climat 020

Summer in Québec is hot and now in the province’s capital city, you don’t have to keep an eye out for the closest air conditioned retailer to cool yourself down. For the second year, Québec City Tourism has transformed a storage container into a makeshift ice box to both cool you down, and remind you how wonderful the cold, white days of winter can be in the city of old.

In the middle of Québec City’s Old Port sits Micro Climat(e), a 26×9 refrigerated box with a consistent cool of minus 8 degrees meant to romance summer visitors into returning when the snow falls. “It’s difficult to talk the tourists into coming in the wintertime when it’s cold,” says Éric Bilodeau, director of communications and marketing at Québec City Tourism.

Micro Climat 2019

In a city that sees upwards of 3 million visitors in the summer, the team wanted to promote the winter season, typically a low period for tourism. Designed in collaboration with the Québec Carnival Workshops and Atelier 480, the team bought an old storage container, effectively converting it into a miniature version of the famed Ice Hotel that operates in Québec City each winter.

Inside is an authentic ski resort chairlift (perfect for selfies, Bilodeau says), ice sculptures and video projections of local must-see attractions. More than 30,000 people took the time to chill inside Micro Climat(e) last year, Bilodeau says, prompting its return with a branding refresh on the outside.

The “winter stunt,” as Bilodeau calls it, is open seven days a week from 12 until 9 p.m. To offset the electricity used to keep the cool air pumping until Labour Day, Québec City Tourism plants 1,000 trees in the Montmorency Forest, an educational forest of the Université Laval.

Visitors to Micro Climat(e) are encouraged to document their visit online using #quebeccite