Download GPX file for this article
45.4839-75.6456Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Gatineau is a city in the Outaouais region of Quebec, on the north shore of the Ottawa River, across from Canada's capital, Ottawa. It is part of the official National Capital Region which constitutes the fourth largest urban area in the country, after Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. With 291,041 inhabitants in 2021, it is the largest city in the administrative region of Outaouais. Gatineau straddles the Gatineau River, a tributary of the Ottawa River.


Canadian Museum of History (formerly known as the Canadian Museum of Civilization) in Hull

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, and most are bilingual.

Hull (population 65,000) 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 led to a major fire; little or nothing from the 1800s remains in Hull today. The downtown waterfront was once heavily industrialized by Scott and Eddy, the two main paper makers, and the Ottawa river was used to generate hydroelectric power. The city's largest employer is the federal government with 20,000 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 to the east of the Gatineau River. Further downriver 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.

Head north from Hull and one quickly arrives in Gatineau Park; the Camp Fortune and Edelweiss ski areas are also north of the city, near Chelsea and Wakefield respectively.

Get in


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 connects Gatineau directly to Montréal (A-50).

By bus

  • Orléans Express. Service from Montreal.
  • Autobus Maheux, toll-free: +1-866-863-6066. Service from Montreal, via Laval.
  • Autobus Gatineau. Commuter bus service from Wakefield, Gracefield, Maniwaki, and Grand-Remous.
  • Transcollines, toll-free: +1-866-310-1114, . Route 910: a weekday morning commuter shuttle service from smaller regional centres in the Pontiac region. The service operates along Quebec Highway 148, serving Isle-aux-Allumettes, Waltham, Mansfield, Fort-Coulonge, Litchfield, Campbell's Bay, Bryson, Shawville, Bristol, and Pontiac.
From Ottawa by city bus
  • STO (Société de transport de l'Outaouais). Various local Outaouais buses stop at Parliament Hill and in Ottawa's Byward Market.
  • OC Transpo. A handful of OC Transpo (Ottawa city bus) routes terminate at government buildings in Hull, most of which are rush hour only. These buses use OC Transpo fare media, including Presto, even when boarding in Gatineau. On weekdays (excluding holidays), OC Transpo bus 15 connects Lyon O-Train Station to Gatineau, Quebec terminating in front of the Canadian Museum of History (stop: Laurier / Élisabeth-Bruyère). OC Transpo bus 85 passes Pimisi O-Train Station and goes to Terrasses de la Chaudière in Gatineau, about 1¼ KM west of the Canadian Museum of History.

By plane

Gatineau Airport
  • 1 l'Aéroport Exécutif de Gatineau-Ottawa (YND  IATA Gatineau Executive Airport), 1717, rue Arthur-Fecteau, +1 819-663-0737, toll-free: +1-877-663-0737, fax: +1 819-663-0793. M–F 06:00–21:00, Sa Su 08:00–16:00. 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. Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport (Q2876028) on Wikidata Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport on Wikipedia
  • Air connections are also available in Ottawa (YOW IATA) locally and Montréal (200 km distant) (YUL IATA) with direct connections to intercity passenger rail at Montréal-Dorval airport.

Get around

View of Parliament Hill from the Ottawa River North Bike Path (Capital Pathway)

By bus


Gatineau's transit system is the STO.. It operates service to Ottawa and a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line, Rapibus. Single ride is $4.50.

By taxi


By ride hailing

  • Uber.

By 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. Long time advocacy group Bike Ottawa (since 1984) maintains an extensive website with a set of interactive bicycle route maps that rate all bicycle routes through Gatineau and Ottawa on a 1-4 scale, with 1 being child-friendly and 4 being very stressful. They also make available information on infrastructure progress. Contact them also with questions about routes, concerns and popular destinations. Although it is a volunteer-run organisation, they are usually fairly fast in responding. #ottbike is the commonly used hashtag on social media.


  • 1 Canadian Museum of History, 100 Laurier Street, Hull, +1 819-776-7000, toll-free: +1-800-555-5621. Sep–Jun: M–W F–Su 09:30–17:00, Th 09:30–20:00; Jun–Sep: M–F F–Su 09:30–18:00, Th 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 a grain elevator. The museum also includes an exhibit on Canada Post and a separate museum for children. $10 for adults. A joint War Museum and Museum of History ticket can be purchased for $15. Free on Th after 16:00. Canadian Museum of History (Q1032269) on Wikidata Canadian Museum of History on Wikipedia
  • 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, +1 819 595-5551, . Daily 09:00–18:00 (Su brunch 10:00–13:00). A historic working farm with a bistro, in the Hull sector of Gatineau near the Ottawa River.
Gatineau Preservation Centre
  • 3 Library and Archives Canada - Gatineau Preservation Centre, 625 boul. du Carrefour (Gatineau sector), +1 613-996-5115, toll-free: +1 866-578-7777. By appointment only. The Gatineau Preservation Centre of Library and Archives Canada is a place you need to plan to visit: it's nowhere near downtown, the public can enter only in a guided tour, the tour needs to be booked in advance (you can book a tour at the link in this entry), and you need photo ID other than a health card to be admitted even if you have a reservation. But once you're in, you get to see many of Canada's treasures of original manuscripts and related memorabilia. No flash photography is permitted. No pens are permitted (pencils are allowed). The building itself is worth seeing; the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada included it in their 2000 list of the top 500 buildings built in Canada during the last millennium.


  • Bar/Billard Le Terminus, 84C Jean-Proulx, Hull and 181 Principale, local FF1, Aylmer=, +1 819-595-7070 (Hull), +1 819-684-7071 (Aylmer). The best place in the Ottawa/Gatineau region to play pool. $7.50-11.50.
  • 1 Les Olympiques, 125 Rue de Carillon, +1 819-777-0661. Experience championship quality junior hockey in an intimate arena. Go for the game but the ambiance is what makes this unique. $8-14.
Eardley Escarpment, Gatineau Park
Eardley Escarpment, Gatineau Park
  • 2 Gatineau Park, 125 Rue de Carillon, +1 819-827-2020, toll-free: +1-800-465-1867. 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-minute 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.
Lac Leamy Casino
  • 3 Casino du Lac-Leamy, 1 Boulevard du Casino, Gatineau, +1 819-772-2100. always open. Run by the government of Quebec, the Casino du Lac-Leamy is the largest casino in the Ottawa-Gatineau area.
  • Interzip. An interprovincial zipline operating from Chaudière Island in Ottawa, Ontario to downtown Hull.



Gatineau shares several activities and festivals with the capital, Ottawa. These include the Ottawa Bluesfest and the Winterlude (Bal de Neige) winter festival. 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: +1-877-770-6556, fax: +1 819-770-7428. Held annually in February. A two-day cross-country ski marathon from Gatineau to Lachute. $180/adult.
  • 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. Some events have 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. Some events have 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, +1 819 986-3552, fax: +1 819-986-8342. Annual country music festival held in the second week of August. Cost: $10 to $40.
Festival de Montgolfières de Gatineau


  • 1 La Trappe à Fromage de l'Outaouais (Gatineau) (Trap Cheese Outaouais (Gatineau)), 200 rue Bellehumeur, Gatineau, +1 819 243-6411, . M Tu 09:00–18:00, W 09:00–19:00, Th F 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, +1 819 777-1125. M–F 11:30–23:00, Sa 17:00–22:00.
  • 2 Piz'za-za – restau bar à vin, 36 rue Laval, +1 819 771-0565. M Tu 11:30–22:00, W Th 11:30–23:00, F 11:30–01:00, Sa 17:00–23:00, Su 17:00–22:00. Great pizzas here. Thin crust, personal size pizzas 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, +1 819 776-9595. Daily 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, +1 819-427-5611, fax: +1 819-427-9740. 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, +1 819-427-5413, fax: +1 819-427-9694. Open year-round by reservation. Sugar shack. Sale of maple products, entertainment and carriage rides. Educational programs available.


70 promenade du Portage.jpg
Bar on Promenade du Portage

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.

  • 1 Aux quatre jeudis – Café Bar, 44 rue Laval, +1 819 771-9557. Daily 14:00–02:00.
  • 2 Les Brasseurs du Temps, 170 rue Montcalm, +1 819 205-4999 ext 1. Su–Th 11:30–00:00, F 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 [dead link] Où-Quoi! Lounge Urbain, 48 rue Laval, +1 819 777-6555. Daily 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, +1 819 483-9843. M–F 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.




The Hilton Lac-Leamy

Bed and breakfast






Buckingham/L'Ange Gardien


Go next

  • Gatineau Park is a 10-minute drive north from downtown Hull, near Chelsea.
  • Ottawa, Canada's Capital, is directly across the Ottawa River.
  • Wakefield is a small, picturesque, artist village about a 25-minute drive north on highway 5.
Routes through Gatineau
WakefieldChelsea   N  S  → ENDS at Macdonald-Cartier Bridge → Ottawa
END  W  E  MontebelloMontreal via
WakefieldChelsea   N  S  END
PembrokePontiac  W  E  MontebelloLaval

This city travel guide to Gatineau is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.