Gatineau is a city in Canada located just across the Ottawa River from the city of Ottawa. There is a fine view from Jacques-Cartier Park over to the Parliament buildings, the Rideau slopes, and other major features of Ottawa.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Gatineau is between March and May, when temperatures begin to rise and the city starts to bloom. An autumn season season in Gatineau park.
Top Places to Visit in Gatineau
1. Canadian Museum of History
The magnificent Canadian Museum of History stands on the Gatineau riverbank, opposite Ottawa’s Parliament buildings, and a wall of windows looks out to Parliament Hill. The museum’s collections hold more than a million artifacts and some are on display in the First Peoples Hall, Canada Hall, and Grand Hall.
2. Gatineau Park
Gatineau Park is a hilly woodland and lakeland district near the Gatineau River. Some places are set aside for outdoor activities such as camping, jogging, walking, riding, swimming, fishing, cycling, and downhill and cross-country skiing. Footpaths through the southern part of the park make for an especially beautiful walk in the autumn, as the leaves change colors. There are also a number of sightseeing attractions within the park. Lusk Cave is a marble cave that is open to the public for underground tours, while the Mackenzie King Estate is the grand historic residence of the former prime minister.
3. Mackenzie King Estate
The country estate of Canada’s longest-serving prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King, can be found in the heart of Gatineau Park. The estate includes several small homes on a lakeshore, including the main house, Moorside. Visitors can enjoy tea or a meal in the dining room and see items from the Mackenzie-King days. The romantic gardens have picturesque ruins, which MacKenzie-King relocated to the estate after the Canadian Parliament building in Ottawa burned down in 1916.
4. Belvédère Champlain
The Belvédère Champlain, about 26 kilometers from the Gatineau Park entrance, provides a wonderful view over the Gatineau hills. Especially in autumn, the orange-and-golden slopes cut a sharp contrast as they meet the rolling farmland in the Ottawa and Gatineau river valleys.
5. Jacques Cartier Park
Situated on the banks of the Ottawa River, Jacques Cartier Park becomes the outdoor venue for many events and festivals throughout the year. Canada Day celebrations take place here, as does Winterlude (Bal de Neige), when the park is transformed into a snow playground. Note that this Gatineau park is easily confused with a larger national park of the same name near Quebec City.