Located at the north-east of North America, between Ontario and the Atlantic provinces, Québec shares its south border with the United States (New-York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine). It is crossed by the Saint-Laurence river that connects it to the Great Lakes and to the Atlantic ocean. With an area of 1 667 441 km2, including 355 315 km2 (21 %) of water, Québec is the largest Canadian province.
Québec has a population of 7.8 million people, with a density of about 5 persons/km2. The official language is French. It is the native language of more than 80 % of the population, but English is also widely spoken and understood.
Founded in 1634, Trois-Rivières is the second oldest city in Québec. With its 126 323 inhabitants, it is the ninth most populous city. It has a total area of 289 km2 and a density of 437 persons/km2. Located on the north shore of the Saint-Laurence river at the mouth of the Saint-Maurice river, it's halfway between Montréal and Québec City.
The city's name has its origin in an optical illusion that can be seen at the mouth of the Saint-Maurice river, which connects with the Saint-Laurence by flowing on both sides and between two islands.
Trois-Rivières has a continental climate, with a thermal amplitude of 32 degrees Celsius between January (-12.5 degrees on average) and July (19.8 degrees on average). Average precipitation is about 1 100 mm a year. About 240 cm of snow fall on Trois-Rivières each year.
The currency used in Québec is the Canadian dollar (CAD, 1 $ = 100 cents). The exchange rate set by the Bank of Canada on the June 21, 2011 is 1,00 CAD = 1.02835 USD or 1,00 CAD = 0.713763 . For further conversions, please see the web site of the Bank of Canada.
The Canadian dollar is the official currency since 1858, and it is subdivided in cents. The latest paper bank notes series, issued in 2001, can be obtained in denominations of 5 $, 10 $, 20 $, 50 $ and 100 $. Coins can be obtained in 1 ¢, 5 ¢, 10 ¢, 25 ¢, 1 $ and 2 $ denominations.
Banks in Trois-Rivières (BMO Bank of Montreal, RBC Royal Bank, HSBC Bank, National Bank and CIBC Bank) are open from 10h00 to 15h00 from Monday to Friday. The most commonly used credit cards in Québec are Visa International, Mastercard and American Express. These cards can be used for cash withdrawals from ATMs. It should be noted that two cash machines are located in the hall of UQTR's Albert-Tessier pavilion.