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Yischon Liaw

Swann Memorial Fountain at Logan Square

Yuval Levy

Montmorency Waterfalls under the Moon

Montmorency, just outside Quebec-City, QC, Canada

June 19, 2005 22:17 (local time)

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© 2005 Yuval Levy, All Rights Reserved.

Caption

Raise your eyes to the beauty of the sky! (or for the not so poetic who might be confronted for the first time by panorama technology, click inside the image and drag your mouse upwards).

In front of you are the mighty Montmorency Falls (83 metres high. This is 30 metres higher than Niagara Falls). After the falls, the water flows into the St. Lawrence river.

In the summer, this is the spectacular site of a firework competition.

In the winter the freezing spray sent up by the falls builds a mountain of white ice at the base called the "pain de sucre" (sugarloaf), which sometimes grows as high as 30m (98 ft.) to the joy of kids and many 18th and 19th century painters (e.g., Peachey, Bouchette, Cockburn, Todd, and Krieghoff).

This is also a historic site. Just east of the falls are the Wolfe House and Redoubt where the English general James Wolfe had his headquarters before the final assault on the town of Québec in 1759 - the famous battle of the Plains of Abraham.

Needless to say, the English troops came by boat on the river, like the French settlers before them.

Both General Wolfe and his French opponent, General Montcalm, died in the battle that sanctioned English sovereignty over Canada, formalised in the 1763 Treaty of Paris.

Today, the water of the St. Lawrence river and its affluents continue to shape life in and around the city of Quebec. The city's name is derived from the Algonquin word "Kebec", meaning "where the river narrows".

The river has a major influence on the city's climate. Even though Quebec-City lies closer to the equator than London or Paris, it's climate is much colder, with winter temperatures often dropping below -17.77° C (0° F). The cold polar wind finds no obstacles on its way to Quebec along the surface of the St. Lawrence river.

At the beginning of European colonization, the St. Lawrence was instrumental in the fur trade with the natives. Today it is a major international trade route, linking the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean through the St. Lawrence Seaway since 1959.
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