The Morrin Centre showcases the contribution of English-speakers to the culture and heritage of Quebec City.
In the mid-19th century, nearly 40% of Quebec City's population spoke English as their first language. Quebec was not only a major port of entry for immigrants from Europe, but also the capital of British North America for most of the years leading up to Confederation. English-speaking people could be found in every walk of life: from blue-blooded colonial administrators in the upper-town, to lower-town merchants involved in transcontinental trade; from Scottish highland regiments in kilts at the garrison, to poor Irish immigrants working as longshoremen in the shipyards. These people played an important role in the development of the city.
This community gradually became more diverse over the years. The port of Quebec began welcoming people from all over Europe and, later, the rest of the world. Chinese, Greek and Jewish immigrants used English on a regular basis. Although the English-speaking community now represents less than 2% of the total population of Quebec City, it is more diverse than ever.
This heritage is significant for everyone in the Quebec City region, whether they speak English or not. Many Francophones can trace their origins back to English-speaking ancestors. Furthermore, English-speakers have influenced the history of Quebec and continue to do so today, whether it be through the Irish strains in traditional Québécois music or the establishment of a British parliamentary system.