Breastfeeding Facilities in Malls in the Quebec City Area – A Review

Breastfeeding Facilities in Malls in the Quebec City Area – A Review

A Review of Mall Breastfeeding Rooms in the Quebec City Area

Review and photos by Sarah Williams

As a former breastfeeding mother (my three children were all born and breastfed in Quebec City), I have, at one time or another, had the chance to frequent the various malls in our area with my babies in tow.  Over time I have compiled a list of criteria that are essential for a well-designed breastfeeding room.  For moms who are comfortable breastfeeding their babies out in the open, it is also quite useful to know where some of the more nursing-friendly spots are in the mall, (e.g. where the comfy chairs are), so I will include some “public” options as well.

First, here is the checklist to establish whether a breastfeeding room makes the grade: 

1)      Automatic doors (to facilitate entry with a stroller)

2)      Needs a key to enter (booo!!)

3)      Bathroom inside (in case you have other children with you who need to go while you are mid-feed)

4)      Comfy breastfeeding chairs

5)      Play/seating area for toddlers (again, in case you have other children along)

6)      Microwaves

7)      Change tables

8)      Spacious and clean

9)      Special extras (I will only include this point if there something worth mentioning). 

Here is how the breastfeeding rooms fared at 5 malls in the Quebec City area:

Place Laurier

Breastfeeding room by Sears/Saint-Cinnamon (2nd floor)

1)      No automatic door

2)      No you do not need a key, you can enter at any time

3)      Yes, there is a separate bathroom inside the breastfeeding room

4)      Yes, there are 4 fairly comfortable arm chairs

5)      No play area for toddlers

6)      Yes, one microwave

7)      There is a change table and large counter space as well

8)      Spacious  enough to bring in your stroller(one of the larger breastfeeding rooms in the mall) and clean

Breastfeeding room by food court (3rd floor)

1)      Not equipped with an automatic door, but the door was propped open

2)      No key necessary

3)      Yes there is a bathroom inside (around the corner from the breastfeeding area)

4)      3 comfy arm chairs

5)      No play area

6)      Yes, one microwave

7)      Spacious counters for changing diapers

8)      Fairly spacious, but smaller than the one by Sears on the 2nd floor, fairly clean

Family bathroom/breastfeeding room near Old Navy/Fruits et Passion (2nd floor), and the family bathroom on the 1st floor by the Service centre where you can borrow strollers (near door 4A)

1)      No automatic door

2)      The door locks from the inside, so you may have to wait a while if there is already someone using it. (This can be a major inconvenience in my opinion).

3)      Yes, there is an adult and a child- sized toilet side-by-side

4)      Yes, there is one comfy arm chair

5)      No play area, this is basically a glorified family bathroom

6)      Yes there is a microwave

7)      Yes, the counter is made big enough to change a baby (you will need a change pad however)

8)      Not very spacious, but you can fit a stroller inside, and clean

Recommended areas for public breastfeeding: 

The 3rd floor food court is a great for two reasons.  There are lots of tables and chairs (the area by the drop-off daycare usually has lots of room), and none of which are bolted down.  There is also a play area  with a jungle gym in the middle, so if you are lucky enough to get a table within viewing distance you can let your toddler(s) play while you breastfeed the baby.

The Second Cup café on the second floor near the Renaud-Bray also has great seating, including a comfortable bench, for nursing.

Place de la Cité

Breastfeeding room near the door #6

1)      Not an automatic door, but it isn’t difficult to open either

2)      This breastfeeding room gets the prize for being the most inconvenient, not only do you need a key from the information booth, but the booth is all the way on the other side of the mall, around 130 feet away (I counted). 

3)      No there isn’t a bathroom inside

4)      There are 2 sofas and 1 arm chair

5)      No play area

6)      Yes there is a microwave

7)      There is a change table

8)      A little tight for space, yet nice and clean

Recommended areas for public breastfeeding: 

There is a lounge area with comfy chairs near the exit toward Place Laurier, this could be a good option.

The lower level food court also has plenty of moveable chairs. 

Place Ste-Foy

Two private breastfeeding rooms near entrance #4

1)      No automatic doors.

2)      The doors are unlocked at a distance by the person at the customer service desk.  They used to open with a key like at Place de la Cité, but they have since opted for a much more logical intercom system.  You just have to push the button, and via camera they can see if you are a mother with a baby who legitimately needs to use the room.

3)      No bathroom inside

4)      Each room is equipped with a rocking chair.

5)      No play area.

6)      Yes, there is a microwave.

7)      Yes, there is a change table (with changing pads)

8)      Small, not much room for other children to bide their time.

9)      There are free newborn sized diapers on the counter.

Recommended areas for public breastfeeding: 

Place Fleur de Lys is one of the best malls for breastfeeding in public; it is rife with comfortable lounge areas, so you don’t have to walk very far to find one.

My favourite cafés for breastfeeding are located kitty-corner from one another: Holt Renfrew’s café, and the bakery/café, Nourcy.  They are both near the north entrance of the Metro grocery store. 

Place Fleur de Lys

Breastfeeding room by Entrance Door #10

1)      No automatic door

2)      No key necessary

3)      Separate bathroom located inside the breastfeeding room.

4)      There are 5 comfy arm chairs and 2 wooden rocking chairs available.

5)      A play area is located at the back of the room with a few toys: a play house, a children’s picnic table and a play easel (with one piece of chalk). Bring your own crayons and colouring book and you’ll be set.

6)      Yes for the microwave.

7)      Yes there is a change table.

8)      This breastfeeding room is literally enormous! There is plenty of room for mom, baby and her whole brood to run around.

Recommended areas for public breastfeeding: 

I recommend Librairie Raffin for a public option, it has a Van Houtte café inside with comfy chairs and tables, and there is a second seating area upstairs.

Galeries de la Capitale

 New Breastfeeding Room at the Entrance G (near the customer service desk)

1)      Automatic door (with the push of a button).

2)      No key necessary

3)      Separate family bathroom inside.

4)      There are 3 comfy slider chairs, and 2 regular chairs in semi-private cubicles

5)      There is a colourful wall curved around the kid’s area, with a table and two chairs.  There are usually colouring books, but rarely crayons in the pencil case.  Bring your own crayons to entertain any toddlers in tow.

6)      Yes there is a microwave.

7)      There are 2 change tables.

8)      It is quite spacious.

9)      There is also a nice wooden highchair at your disposal.

Recommended areas for public breastfeeding: 

Right around the corner from the breastfeeding room is the Paillard pastry shop/bakery café.  They have lots of chairs and tables, as well as a really great seating area by the escalator.

DO NOT go to the food court to breastfeed, the chairs are not movable (they only pivot), and there is not enough room for your baby unless you want to prop up he/she on the table.

There is a really small, dark and dingy breastfeeding room off of the food court, but I would only use it in case of emergency.


About the author:

SARAH WILLIAMS is a mother of three young children, and a freelance writer.

Sarah had her first experience living in Quebec while earning her bachelor’s degree in Communications at Concordia University (MTL) in the late nineties.

Hailing from Cobourg, Ontario, Sarah moved to Quebec City in January of the year 2000. For her, this city is the perfect balance of the small town feel of her hometown in Ontario and the vibrant francophone culture of Montreal.

Professionally, Sarah has worked a fair bit in the media as a copywriter and researcher; for Global Television, and for a T.V. cooking show (what’s cooking).

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