It is quite possible that I have the best job in the world: Every day, I walk the streets of the most beautiful city in North America and I teach its history to interested vacationers. I also have the privilege of watching Québec City life unfold in real time from the front row.

In the course of my tours, I stumble upon the everyday eccentricities of life in the city. I have witnessed processions of nearly-naked, pot-banging protestors. I have been mooned by over-served merry makers. I have tripped over ghosts hiding in the bushes. (Yes, all of these events are part of everyday life in the Old City.)

The parterre of the Parliament Building seems to be especially fertile ground for seeing Quebec City in action. There, tumultuous, heated protests will drown out the plickity-plack of the Tourny Fountain one day, while the next day urban gardeners keep it local by picking tomatoes from wooden planters.

On a recent visit to the Parliament Building, I had the good fortune to witness the excitement following a marriage ceremony as the wedding party made the leap – quite literally, jumping for joy to commemorate the event.

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