Visiting Parc Jacques-Cartier / Jacques Cartier Park, Gatineau: A Lush, Green Entry to Quebec
A fresh and picturesque welcome to Quebec at Gatineau
As one enters Quebec at Gatineau, over Pont Macdonald-Cartier / Macdonald-Cartier Bridge, the lush, green area with which one is immediately confronted is the scenic urban Parc Jacques-Cartier / Jacques Cartier Park (1).
This Park lies alongside the Rivière des Outaouais / Ottawa River, extending either side of Pont Macdonald-Cartier / Macdonald-Cartier Bridge. To the west, the Park extends to Pont Alexandra / Alexandra Bridge, which likewise crosses the Rivière des Outaouais / Ottawa River.
Pont Macdonald-Cartier / Macdonald-Cartier Bridge (see photo, above) was opened in 1965 (2). It links Quebec's Autoroute 5 with King Edward Avenue and Sussex Drive on the Ottawa, Ontario side. It is a steel girder truss bridge which carries six road lanes a distance of 618 metres. The Bridge is named for Sir John Macdonald (1815-1891) and Sir George-Etienne Cartier (1814-1873), who jointly served as Premiers of the Province of Canada from 1858 until 1862, prior to Sir John Macdonald serving many years as Prime Minister of Canada after Confederation in 1867.
The Park is aptly named for Jacques Cartier (1491-1557), the celebrated Breton explorer who was commissioned by the King of France to explore the New World and in a series of voyages became the first European to travel inland in North America (See photo, below, which reproduces an imaginary likeness of the explorer, dating from the 19th century).
At certain times of the year — namely, Winterlude and Fête du Canada / Canada Day — the Park is a focus of special activities. Features of Parc Jacques-Cartier / Jacques Cartier Park include various species of trees; and the Ville de Gatineau / City of Gatineau has long supported arboriculture projects (3). In the summer months, a profusion of Black Eyed Susan provides colour in bloom.
Within the Park is the Maison Charron, which dates from between 1826 and 1841. Formerly the residence of Philemon Wright — founder of Hull, which now constitutes a sector of the Ville de Gatineau / City of Gatineau —, the building is now a centre for literature, specializing in local writings.
A foot- and cycle-path — Sentier des voayageurs / Voyageurs' Pathway — runs at the water's edge of the Park alongside the Rivière des Outaouais / Ottawa River. At 160, rue Laurier, Gatineau, the Marina de Hull / Hull Marina is also located at the Park (see also photo, below) (4).
January 22, 2020
(1) See also: (in French: ) https://ccn-ncc.gc.ca/endroits/parc-jacques-cartier ; (in English: ) https://ncc-ccn.gc.ca/places/jacques-cartier-park
(2) Construction of the Bridge had begun in 1963.
(3) See also (in French): https://www.gatineau.ca/docs/guichet_municipal/arbres/resume_plan_gestion_arbres_boises.fr-CA.pdf Architect and urban planner Jacques Gréber (1882-1962) — for whom Gatineau's Boulevard Gréber is named — played a significant part in the planning of tree planting during the development of the local area.
(4) See also (in French and English): https://www.marinadehull.ca/
Also worth seeing
In Gatineau itself, the Musée canadien des civilisations / Canadian Museum of Civilization is Canada's most visited museum. Gatineau's Masion du citoyen / Citizen's House has a noted art gallery and the Hall des nations / Hall of the Nations containing valuable cultural artifacts from around the world. Parc de la Gatineau / Gatineau Park has exceptional recreational and scenic possibilities.
In Ottawa (distance: 2 kilometres from Downtown, Gatineau) possesses cultural treasures, structures of architectural excellence and noted museums which are too numerous to mention properly here; but a few of these include Parliament Hill, Rideau Hall, the Chateau Laurier, Laurier House, the Rideau Canal, and the Bank of Canada's Currency Museum.
How to get there: Air Canada flies from various North American destinations to Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport / Aéroport international Macdonald-Cartier d'Ottawa, where car rental is available. However, travellers may prefer to use OC Transpo public transit for travel within Ottawa / Gatineau. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
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