Part of a larger project on literary representations of Québec’s secondary cities and exurban spaces, this article looks at mappings of Quebec City in Andrée Maillet’s Les Remparts de Québec (1965) and Nalini Warriar’s The Enemy Within (2005). Quebec City’s status as ‘founding city’ is a significant part of its importance within the francophone imaginary. It is key, too, to its touristic appeal, with traces of its architectural heritage attracting large crowds every year. As a provincial capital, the city might be expected to be somewhat conservative. This assumption is challenged, however, in cultural practices such as Robert Lepage’s high-tech performance company, Ex Machina, and strong graffiti and bande-dessinée cultures. Critics often highlight the dual nature of Quebec City. This piece explores the plays around appearance and reality in the selected novels to consider the ways in which these engage with questions around ethnic diversity and Québécois identity.