Gatineau Things to Do

  • Setting of the Gatineau Loppet - 18km mark
    Setting of the Gatineau Loppet - 18km...
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    Two casual skiers
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    A competitor
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Most Recent Things to Do in Gatineau

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    Le bateau et les paroles des animaux - Boat sight.

    by Regina1965 Updated Nov 2, 2012

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    Now this is one of my favourite works of art in Gatineau and makes for a great photo opportunity.

    It is a boat and two dog-wolves by the river side on the Gatineau side. This work of art represents culture (the boat) versus nature (the wolves) and how they react with fear and curiosity towards the boat which comes ashore.

    The artwork, made by John McEwen in 1984, is located at the historic side of Ottawa river where the canoes used to carry travellers. It is located in a park called Parc des portageurs.

    It is so worth a visit - if just to get a great photo :) .

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    Dépot trois formes - Three forms by the sea.

    by Regina1965 Updated Nov 2, 2012

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    Three forms by the sea
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    I had read about these forms by the sea in a tip here on VT, so I set off to look for them. I thought they were in Ottawa, but they are in Gatineau, and not easily found, I would say.

    But when I was visiting the boat and the wolves then I cought a glimpse of big white stones in the distance so I walked towards them, and there they were totally hidden away. And they were quite bigger than I had imagined.

    They are called literally "Dépot trois formes" or "Three forms by the sea" - very original.

    They were made by the artist Pierre Bourgault in 1984 and he has a very complicated explanation on what they represent. Well, they represent two things. Firstly, they represent rocks which have been shaped by the ages, wind, rain, waves etc. But on the other hand - quoting the artist - "embedded in the eart they are meant to bring peace to the troubled human beings whose lives are very short in comparison to the life of the Earth". There you go. So go see them and see what you feel... if you feel the energy the artist was trying to get through while making them...

    Anyhow, when I finally found those big white rocks a small tractor had been parked besides them, so there was no way I could take a decent photo of them. Out of the woods came the driver of the tractor and offered to move the tractor so that I could get a photo of white rocks ;) He spoke to me in French, which is always find so strange and fascinating really, as I had just popped over the bridge from Ottawa, where everybody spoke to me in English.

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    Parc de la Francophonie and Explorer II.

    by Regina1965 Updated Nov 2, 2012

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    Explorer II.
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    One of the many parks in Gatineau is called Parc de la Francophonie. It is a park by an island, with a lovely historical building, Théatre de L'ile. On the island is an abstract work of art made of steel called Explorateur II or Explorer II, by the Hungarian Victor Tolgesy, from 1968.

    This sculpture was created at the time of the first attempts to reach the moon and represents space voyages. There is another sculpture - Explorer I which was created fro Expo 67 and Explorer II is a smaller version of that sculpture. It is a kind of spaced out sculpture ;)

    The same artist created McClintock´s Dream in Byward market (see my tip on my Ottawa page) and by doing so totally changed his style from abstract to ... have a look at my photos there :)

    On the island is another sculpture, carved out in wood (see my photo) - to me that is a true piece of art, although Explorer II is the centerpiece here.

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    Papa - such a lovely piece of art.

    by Regina1965 Updated Nov 2, 2012

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    Papa.
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    Now this is a piece of art to my liking. I had noticed it when we drove to a friend´s house in Gatineau and decided on looking for it on foot.

    It is a rainbow coloured artwork called Papa, by Hal Ingberg, from 2010, a brand new artwork. What the artist meant to obtain was for people driving it would be a symbolic gateway to Gatineau. And for people walking it would be a place to sit down and enjoy the colours of the artwork itself - and the colours reflecting on the ground behind the artwork.

    It is lovely, and for sure this is a place to linger and enjoy, so the artist did accomplish his goal here :)

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    Various artwork in Gatineau.

    by Regina1965 Updated Nov 2, 2012

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    Personnages.
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    There are so many lovely pieces of art in Gatineau, surprisingly so, kudos to them.

    My first photo is of artwork which stands on the lawn by the Canadian Museum of Civilization. It is called Personnages by Louis Archambault and was made in 1967. It depicts white abstracted people made of steel. Archambault is known for his abstract modern sculptures. Personnage stood in the Canada pavillion at Expo 67.

    My second photo is of artwork called Pipes, by E.B Eddy - and is what it is - steel pipes, which were discovered in an excavation in 1977. And are here as a reminder of the history of steel factories here in Hull. They first stood in Laurier´s park, but were moved here. They stand in the park where The Boat and the wolves are located, just above the 3 white rocks (see my former tips).

    My third photos is of a nine metre long casting in bronze by the Canadian Museum of Civilization. It represents the mythology of Reid´s Haida ancestry. It is called Messagers mythigues or Mythic Messengers and was made by Bill Reid in 1984.

    My fourth and last photo is called Mur ouvert et fermé or Open and closed wall, by Yves Trudeau, from 1978. It is red abstract art and represents sorrow and hate - light and hope - the contrast of openness and closure. It stands by Du Portage.

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    Parc du Portage and L'amour.

    by Regina1965 Updated Nov 2, 2012

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    Love.
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    I was looking for a white statue named Love and found it in the park called Parc du Portage. This park has a lovely big fountain and was opened in 1976, but reopened in 1999. It must have been reconstructed. Here on this site the City hall of Hull was located.

    The statue called L'amour or Love is a white statue representing the human heart amongst other things. One has to look at it from different angles to be able to spot the heart. It is made out of fibreglass and weighs 6.5 tonnes!

    It is an interesting piece of art and the artist is said to have worked with dismembered mannequins while designing this work of art.

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    An extrarordinary work of modern art - Réflexion.

    by Regina1965 Updated Nov 2, 2012

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    I had read about this art in a brochure and so wanted to see it, so on my artwork hunting in Gatineau I searched for a long time for this forest artwork - not being able to find it until I stumbled upon it - to me it was so worth looking for.

    This artwork is called Réflexion and represents the roots of Gatineau as it were, as they were in the forest industry. There are 64 artificial trees here, which are then lit up at night. I only saw them at day time, but they must be beautiful all lit up at night. They are the link from the past to the present. A lovely idea.

    The trees were made in 2006 by Claude Chaussard, André Fournelle and Simon Bouffard. They are made of wood, steel and acrylic.

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    This is such a beautiful bridge.

    by Regina1965 Updated Nov 2, 2012

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    While walking in Gatineau I noticed some arches in the distance and thought they might be a building or a church, even a fun-fair. So I walked there to see it up close. This turned out to be the most beautiful bridge - very regal.

    This lovely bridge is called Tour Eiffel bridge or Montcalm Street bridge. The mayor of Paris donated a piece of the Eiffel tower to incorporate in the bridge - a girder from a staircase.

    The bridge was opened in 1990. It was raised as a part of turning this area into a tourist and cultural area and I think it is a success.

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    The Canadian Museum of Civilization - Totem poles.

    by Regina1965 Updated Nov 2, 2012

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    Canadian Museum of Civilization.
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    The Canadian Museum of Civilization (Museé de la Civilisation) is located on the Quebecan side of the Ottawa river in Gatineau and a must visit. I visited it 3 times as I love it there. Especially the totem pole exhibition. This museum holds the largest indoor collection of totem poles in the world.

    The totem poles are amazing, there are so many of them and they are so diverse and well made that they just take one´s breath away.

    The museum building itself offers a striking counterpoint to the Parliament buildings which can be seen from the museum on the other side of the river - as you can see from my photos. The architecture is so totally different.

    Opening hours: In summer time - Mondays-Wednesdays 9-18, Thursdays and Fridays 9-20 and weekends 9:30-18. On Thursdays from 16-20 there is free entrance at the museum. In winter time the museum has different opening hours.

    Entrance fee: 12 CAD

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    Never give up!

    by Regina1965 Updated Nov 1, 2012

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    Maurice
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    By Parque Jaques-Cartier is the statue "Ne jamis abandonner!" or "Never give up!" - a bronze statue which was erected in 2001. It is a statue of Maurice "the Rocket" Richard - Canada´s best hockey player. He was 18 years with the Montréal Canadiens. They got 8 Stanley Cup Championships - if you know any Canadians, then you will understand how important the Stanley Cup is to them.

    And "the Rocket" was the first National Hockey League player to score 50 goals in 50 games.

    So one can understand that a statue was raised of him :)

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    A view platform for a fantastic view of Ottawa.

    by Regina1965 Updated Nov 1, 2012

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    The view of Gatineau from Ottawa.
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    Be as it may, but there is a much better view from Gatineau of Ottawa city than from Ottawa looking over to Gatineau. The same goes for Quebéc city and the town opposite the river of Quebéc city. The inhabitants of Quebéc city have even joked about that they want a big mirror on the other side of the river so that they can see the reflection of their own beautiful city.

    Regarding Gatineau and Ottawa then the beautiful parliament building with the extraordinary Gothic style library is what the people of Gatineau are blessed with seeing, when looking over the river at Ottawa.

    There is a view platform by the Museum of Civilization. More of a big balcony than a platform. It is to the left of the museum and beneath it is the Japanese bonzai garden.

    I highly recommend going to this "balcony" for the best views of Ottawa - and a great photo opportunity.

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    Parque Jaques-Cartier - Jacques-Cartier Park.

    by Regina1965 Updated Nov 1, 2012

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    Information signs at the entrance to the park.
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    There are several parks in Gatineau, probably more than in Ottawa, where I had a hard time finding a park where I could sit down and sunbathe. I found some in Ottawa, but only because I got a map and followed the green areas.

    There is one park in Gatineau called Jacques-Cartier park. It stretches down to Ottawa river and on both sides of the park are big bridges leading to Ottawa, Alexandra bridge and MacDonald-Cartier bridge. The park was created on a former industrial site, which was situated by the Ottawa river. Here was ship building and wood processing and a railway connected this industrial site to other places.

    In this park several festivities are held. Both Canada Day and Winterlude are held here.

    One of the things I admire about the Canadians is how well they represent the history of Ottawa and Gatineau with beautifully decorated information signs. This park is no exception. It is filled with information signs, both at the beginning of the park, down by the river and up by the beautiful little house of Maison Charron, which dates back to 1828 and is one of few houses of this kind still standing in Canada. By the house there are information signs in the shape of a canoe and all different shapes. It is a pure delight strolling there in the park reading up on Ottawa´s and Gatineau´s history. Kudos to you, Canadians, for representing your beautiful towns in such a pretty way.

    There is a pathway leading down by the river and underneath MacDonald-Cartier bridge. I walked across the bridge, which I didn´t see many people do.

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    The Museum of Civilization - The Children´s museum

    by Regina1965 Updated Nov 1, 2012

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    The colourful bus.
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    What can I say - I so thoroughly enjoyed this part of the Museum of Civilization, hehe, it is so colourful and cheerful - this is the most happening place here - for children :)

    The Children´s museum is on the first floor and the first thing one encounters is the big Indian bus with lights blinking in all coulours - imagine being a kid and being allowed to sit on this bus, very popular.

    There is also a children´s theater, all kinds of fun houses to enter, a pyramid and many more attractons. I took photos left and right and was totally in the spirit of a child, sadly most of my photos were out of focus, hmm ;) Maybe I should have acted more like a grown up and taken some good photos.

    Highly recommended, even if you don´t have a kid :)

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    Monument in tribute to Philemon Wright.

    by Regina1965 Updated Nov 1, 2012

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    Philemon Wright (1760-1839) and his family were the first people of European descent to settle in Hull in 1800.

    A bronze portrait was installed in 1950 on the 150th anniversary of their arrival to honour Philemon Wright.

    He founded Wright´s Tower where later the city of Hull established. And he was the first one to launch the wood industry. So he was a very important man in Hull´s history.

    The monument is located opposite la Fontaine des batisseurs.

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    La Fontaine des batisseurs - Builder´s Fountain.

    by Regina1965 Updated Nov 1, 2012

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    La Fontaine des batisseurs is the monument for the 100th anniversary of Hull as a municipality. It was erected in 1975.

    It is a lovely work of art, 15 meters high, and the same colour as the buildings behind it, so it blends in perfectly in my opinion. It is made of 194 small cylinders which are attached to 8 larger cylinders to symbolize logs. Hull used to have a large wood industry. Hull is part of Gatineau now.

    I like this fountain and the idea behind it, water cascading from the cylinders - symbolizing the logs on the river. Very lovely.

    The artist is Vincent Théberge.

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