With more than 200,000 inhabitants, Gatineau (municipality) is a city resulting from the amalgamation of the older cities of Gatineau, Hull, Aylmer, Masson-Angers and Buckingham. (The old city names are still used as the sector names of the amalgamated Gatineau.) The majority of hullois and gatinois are francophones; most (but not all) are bilingual.
Hull (population 65000, postal codes J8X, J8Y, telephone +1-819-77...) is the original centre of the city, the most densely-populated (but not most populous) area in the Outaouais region and the closest to Ottawa. On the west bank of the Gatineau River and north of the Ottawa (Outaouais) River, Hull is directly opposite Parliament Hill, lowertown Ottawa and the Byward Market.
Hull was founded 1800 by Philemon Wright as a lumber camp on the Ottawa River and therefore predates Ottawa, although the town's former principal industry of manufacturing matchsticks historically led to some major fires; little or nothing from 1800 remains in Hull today. The downtown waterfront was once heavily industrialised by Scott and Eddy, the two main paper makers, and the Ottawa river was used to generate hydroelectric power. Currently, the city's largest employer is the federal government with twenty thousand civil servants working in Hull and thousands more who commute to Ontario daily.
Aylmer is a small-town suburb directly west of Hull. Gatineau (secteur), the bedroom community for which the amalgamated municipality was named, is located to the east of the Gatineau River. Further upriver is Buckingham, a small rural village. Head further afield and one quickly finds open farmland and the occasional maple sugar shack, a seasonal tradition where trees are tapped and sap distilled to produce Québec's famous maple syrup.
Gatineau is just across the river from Ottawa, which is on the Trans-Canada Highway and offers rail connections to Toronto-Kingston and Montréal. An autoroute from Gatineau directly to Montréal (A-50) was completed in November 2012.
Access by city bus:
- STO (Société de transport de l'Outaouais). Various local Outaouais buses stop at Parliament Hill and in Ottawa's Byward Market.
- A handful of OCTranspo (Ottawa city bus) routes terminate at government buildings in Hull. Most are rush hour only, with the exception of the "44 GATINEAU" route from Alta Vista, which runs all day, every day.
Access by intercity bus:
- 1 Terminus Voyageur de Hull, 238, boulevard Saint-Joseph J8Y 3X6, ☎ . Mo - Fr 06:00-19:15, Sa - Su and holidays 06:00-15:45. Limited service is provided from Hull to Montréal; additional intercity services (including hourly runs to Montréal) are available from Ottawa's station.
Access by air:
- 2 l'Aéroport Exécutif de Gatineau-Ottawa (Gatineau Executive Airport), 1717, rue Arthur-Fecteau, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: . Mo - Fr 06:00-21:00, Sa - Su 08:00-16:00. (YND IATA) Small airport with Canada Customs, CANPASS facilities, Hertz and Enterprise hire cars, restaurant, Vintage Wings of Canada historical aircraft museum. Limited scheduled Pascan service (daily to Quebec City), otherwise primarily serves general aviation.
- Additional air connections are available in Ottawa (YOW IATA) locally and Montréal (200km distant) (YUL IATA) with direct connections to intercity passenger rail at Montréal-Dorval airport.
- Mirabel Airport (YMX IATA) was 160km (100 miles) from Hull at the opposite terminus of Autoroute 50. It serves primarily cargo and general aviation; the last charter passenger service ended in 2004 and the main terminal has since been demolished.
- Bike There is an extensive network of bike paths throughout the area as well as in the National parks. Enjoy the fresh air and natural beauty while exercising.
- 1 Canadian Museum of History, 100 Laurier Street, Hull, ☎ , toll-free: . Sept–June: Mon–Wed, Fri–Sun 09:30–17:00, Thu 09:30–20:00. June–Sept: Mon–Wed, Fri–Su 09:30–18:00, Thu 09:30–20:00. Formerly known as the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau's star attraction and Canada's most-visited museum deserves at least half a day of your time. This museum presents the story of Canada's population beginning with Aboriginal migration across the Bering Strait through European settlement by the Vikings around 1000 CE, and the British and French in the 1500s. The museum has items ranging from full-size Salish totem poles to the recreation of a small prairie town complete with grain elevator. The museum also includes an exhibit on Canada Post and a separate museum for children. $10 for adult. A joint War Museum and Museum of History ticket can be purchased for $15. Free on Th after 16:00.
- Grand Hall, Level 1. The world's largest collection of totem poles, quite an amazing sight when all assembled together.
- Canada Hall, Level 3. A very well done and surprisingly interesting presentation of Canadian history, with countless life-sized walk-through exhibits and recreations of villages, towns and cities at different stages.
- Defilé du Père Noël (Santa's Parade), rue Principale, Aylmer (Aylmer main street from Parc des Cèdres to boul Wilfrid-Lavigne). Annual Christmas parade at the end of November.
- 2 Domaine de la ferme Moore (Moore Farm Estate), 670 boulevard Alexandre-Taché, Hull, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 09:00–18:00 (Brunch du dimanche : 10:00–13:00). A historic working farm with a bistro, located in the Hull sector of Gatineau near the Ottawa River.
- Bar/Billard Le Terminus, 84C Jean-Proulx, Hull and 181 Principale, local FF1, Aylmer=, ☎ (Hull), (Aylmer). The best place in the Ottawa/Gatineau region to play pool. $7,50 - $11,50.
- 1 Les Olympiques, 125 Rue de Carillon, ☎ . Experience championship quality junior hockey in an intimate arena. Go for the game but the ambiance is what makes this unique. $8-14.
- 2 Gatineau Park, 125 Rue de Carillon, ☎ , toll-free: . Gatineau Park has its own WikiVoyage page; the map pointer here marks the park's southern extension into Gatineau. The outdoor playground for Canada's National Capital Region (Ottawa and Gatineau). It offers amazing possibilities for outdoor recreation, within a 20 minutes drive of either city. This includes: skiing (cross-country and downhill), mountain biking (cross-country and downhill), hiking, canoeing, camping, rock-climbing and bird-watching. Free to visit..
- 3 Casino du Lac-Leamy, 1 Boulevard du Casino, Gatineau, ☎ . always open. Run by the government of Quebec, the Casino du Lac-Leamy is the largest casino in the Ottawa-Gatineau area.
Gatineau shares several activities and festivals with the capital, Ottawa. These include the Ottawa Bluesfest and the Winterlude (Bal de Neige) winter festival, to name but a few. In 2001, les jeux de la Francophonie were hosted jointly by Ottawa and Hull.
- Canadian Ski Marathon, 81 Jean-Proulx, Suite 200, Hull, toll-free: , fax: . Held annually in February. A two day cross-country ski marathon from Gatineau to Lachute. $180/adult.
- [formerly dead link]MotoFest Canada. Held late June / early July. Motorcycle festival including events and charity rides. Cost varies.
- Fête nationale du Québec (Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day). Quebec's biggest party of the year starts June 23. Saint-Jean-Baptiste is Québec's patron saint, his feast day is June 24. Events held at various locations. Note that some events have in the past been used as demonstrations to promote Quebec sovereignty, so be cautious about expressing an opinion on the matter.
- Fête nationale du Canada (Canada Day). July 1, events held at various locations including Ottawa's Parliament Hill. Note that some events have in the past been used as demonstrations to promote Canadian unity, so be cautious about expressing an opinion on the matter.
- Festival d'Humour de Gatineau (Gatineau Comedy Festival). Annual comedy festival, early July. Events held at various locations. $10-20.
- Wonders of Sand, Parc du Lac-Beauchamp. Early July. Sand-sculpting competition. $8.
- Festival Country du Grand Gatineau, 110 rue Georges, ☎ , fax: . Annual country music festival held in the second week of August. Cost: $10.00 to $40.00.
- Festival de montgolfières de Gatineau (Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival) (La Baie Park), ☎ , toll-free: . Annual hot air balloon festival held in the September long weekend. Cost: $15.00 to $53.00.
- Rendez-vous des saveurs de l'Outaouais (Outaouais Food Festival), 25 Laurier Street. Annual food festival held in September. Events include cooking classes and wine tasting.
- 1 Miss Chocolat, 173 Promenade du Portage, Hull, ☎ . Tu-Fr 10:00-18:00, Sa-Mo closed. Artisan chocolatier, bold flavour combinations, chocolate workshops.
- 2 Papilles Gourmandes, 256 boul St-Joseph, Hull, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Regional Quebec products including pâtés and cheeses.
- 3 Pecco's, 85 rue du Portage, Hull, ☎ . Mo-We 09:00-18:00, Th-Fr 09:00-20:00, Sa 09:00-17:00, Su closed. Retailer for bicycles and cross-country skis.
- 4 La Trappe à Fromage de l'Outaouais (Gatineau) (Trap Cheese Outaouais (Gatineau)), 200 rue Bellehumeur, Gatineau, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mo-Tu 09:00-18:00, We 09:00-19:00, Th-Fr 09:00-21:00, Sa 08:30-17:30, Su 09:00-17:00. Cheese and regional food products.
- 1 Le French Quarter, 80 Promenade du Portage, ☎ . Mo-Fr 11:30-23:00, Sa 17:00-22:00.
- 2 Piz'za-za – restau bar à vin, 36 rue Laval, ☎ . Mo-Tu 11:30-22:00, We-Th 11:30-23:00, Fr 11:30-01:00, Sa 17:00-23:00, Su 17:00-22:00. Great pizzas here. Thin crust, personal size pizas are served for about $12, there is no option for a larger pizza. Tropical pizza is good, if a bit spicy. If pizza is not your thing the salads are also great. There is lots of parking space in the area and a few pubs within the same block.
- 3 Le Troquet, 41 rue Laval, ☎ . 10:00-02:00. Bistro
Speciality and seasonal
The érablière, cabane à sucre or maple sugar shack is a seasonal tradition across a wide region extending from southeastern Ontario to Québec's Eastern Townships. With rare exception, these are found in the countryside near tiny rural villages. Local maple syrup is produced seasonally; the sap begins to flow early during the spring thaw and is collected for distillation. This places the start of the season at the mercy of the elements, although there is usually fresh syrup to be had in late March or early April - usually before the last of the snow is gone. Maple sugar shacks are typically large rural communal dining halls in which diners fill up on a dietician's nightmare of traditional high-calorie lumberjack food, cost starts around $20/person but varies as some venues offer entertainment, "tire sur neige" (maple toffee on snow) or sled rides. Once the season ends, many of these venues close or are used for other agritourism activity - an open field often becomes a summer campground.
- Cabane à sucre Brazeau, 316 Côte St-Charles, Papineauville, ☎ , fax: . Seasonal, March-April. Sugar Shack. Enjoy a traditional lumberjack meal in a communal setting. Educational programs available. Products sold on premises.
- Cabane à sucre Chez Ti-Mousse, 442 Côte St-Charles, Papineauville, ☎ , fax: . Open year-round by reservation. Sugar Shack. Sale of maple products, entertainment and carriage rides. Educational programs available.
Québec has traditionally had less restrictive liquor laws than nearby Ontario: minimum drinking age is 18, beer and wine are available in corner stores and the rules on opening hours for bars are less restrictive. The Promenade du Portage area in the Hull sector city centre is known to attract rowdy, drunken patrons from across the Ottawa River.
- 2 Les Brasseurs du Temps, 170 rue Montcalm, ☎ . Su-Th 11:30-00:00, Fr-Sa 11:30-02:00. A brewpub with an impressive selection of high-quality homemade beers, a great patio and good food. Highlights are a "dégustation" (tasting) of their beers, interesting salads and a laid-back atmosphere.
- 3 Où-Quoi! Lounge Urbain, 48 rue Laval, ☎ . 15:00-02:00. A great little bar to get a drink at and hang out with the locals. Its low-key vibe attracts a steady crowd of regulars. The back room offers some privacy if you're partying VIP style. Quebec law prohibits smoking inside but it is still allowed on the terrace. Treat the bartenders right and they will take very good care of you.
- 4 Le Petit Chicago, 50 du Portage, Vieux-Hull, ☎ . Mo-Fr 16:00-02:00, Sa-Su 20:00-02:00. Large bar with dance floor and a vibrant social scene. Each night has a different theme. Check out the improvisational jazz on Monday nights.
- 1 Auberge de La Gare, 205 boul. St-Joseph, Hull, ☎ , toll-free: , e-mail: email@example.com. 42 rooms with queen-sized beds, including five with a whirlpool and 21 with two beds. Parking and continental breakfast are included. $130+.
- 2 Best Western Plus Gatineau-Ottawa, 131 rue Laurier, ☎ , toll-free: . Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. Waterfront hotel, 133 non-smoking rooms and suites, free wifi, cardio fitness, indoor pool. Conference centre and on-site catering for 10 to 270 people. Parking $12/day. $144+ Single, +$10/Double.
- 3 Condo Touristique Au Paradis (Au Paradis Tourist Condo), 863 rue Jacques-Cartier, Pointe-Gatineau, ☎ , toll-free: . Short-term apartment for up to 4 persons; large waterfront house with massage therapist office on-site. $127-$150/night, except during special events.
- 4 Crowne Plaza Gatineau-Ottawa, 2 rue Montcalm, Hull, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Parking $18/day $150+.
- 5 DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Gatineau - Ottawa, 1170 ch. d'Aylmer, ☎ . Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 12:00. Located on the Château Cartier Golf Course $139 single/$259 double.
- 6 Four Points by Sheraton & Conference Centre Gatineau-Ottawa, 35 rue Laurier, Hull, ☎ , fax: . $195.
- 8 Quality Inn & Suites, 111, rue Bellehumeur, ☎ , fax: . Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 11:00. $103+ single/double.
- 9 Ramada Plaza Gatineau/Manoir du Casino, 75 Rue d'Edmonton, Hull, ☎ , toll-free: . Check-in: 16:00 (early check-in available), check-out: 12:00. $149+ single/double.
Bed and breakfast
- 10 [dead link]Au 55 Taché, 55 Boul. Alexandre-Taché, Hull, ☎ , fax: . $75-$85 single / $85-$95 double.
- 11 La Belle Corbeille, 23 boul Saint-Raymond, Hull, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. $85 single/$95 double.
- 14 La Villa Rivermead, 912 chemin d'Aylmer, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. $99 -$149 single, +$10 double.
- Camping Lamoureux, 42 Ch. Neilon, L'Ange-Gardien, ☎ .
- La Sucrerie Le Palais Gommé, 562 ch. Doherty, L'Ange-Gardien, ☎ . Maple sugar shack, seasonal.
- Domaine de l'Ange Gardien, 1031, rue Pierre-Laporte L’Ange-Gardien, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: . Campground and maple sugar shack, seasonal.