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Visiting the Église Saint-François-de-Sales, Gatineau, Quebec: Strongly Neo-Gothic Styling From the 19th Century

Updated on March 10, 2020
Flag of Quebec
Flag of Quebec | Source
Église Saint-François-de-Sales, Gatineau , 1947; Fonds Champlain Marcil
Église Saint-François-de-Sales, Gatineau , 1947; Fonds Champlain Marcil | Source

Remembering also a prolific photographer of Outaouais

[NB: Among the many notable buildings which are the subject of the hubpages, these may include religious buildings, described as churches, etc.; these descriptions centre on the buildings' architectural and historical interest.]

Founded in 1840, Église Saint-François-de-Sales (1), Gatineau, Quebec, in its building's main body dates was built in 1886, with significant, subsequent artwork added. Situated on the intersection of Boulevard Gréber and Rue Jacques-Cartier, Gatineau, and close to the Pont Lady-Aberdeen / Lady Aberdeen Bridge over the Rivière Gatineau / Gatineau River, fine river views made be had from its location.

Gatineau's Parc de la Baie (2) is also situated close to the Église Saint-François-de-Sales.

Features of this building include its tall, single tower set the right of the Rue Jacques-Cartier elevation; pinnacles, a profusion of pointed window and door arching and flying buttresses. These features combine to give evidence of a very strong sense of Neo-Gothic stylistic influence.

Another striking feature of the Église Saint-François-de-Sales is its rose window, situated above the entrance way at the Rue Jacques-Cartier elevation, thus making the building reminiscent of Medieval French cathedrals.

Inside the building, its organ is by Casavant et Frères, of Saint-Hyacinthe, dating from 1917.

Interestingly, at what is now the nearby Pont Lady-Aberdeen / Lady Aberdeen Bridge, Lady Aberdeen, consort of the then Governor-General of Canada Lord Aberdeen nearly drowned in 1896, and in gratitude to alert local people who saved her from the waters of the Rivière Gatineau / Gatineau River, later donated a bell to the Église Saint-François-de-Sales.

The photo, above, is also interesting: dating from 1947, it is derived from an archive of photographs taken by Champlain Marcil (1920-2010)(3).

While over 70 years old, the photograph, above depicts the Église Saint-François-de-Sales, Gatineau essentially as it looks today.

March 3, 2020


(1) See also: ; Michelin Green Guide to Quebec, Michelin North America (Canada) Inc., Laval, QC, 1996, p.111;

(2) Parc de la Baie is itself situated at the confluence of the Rivière Gatineau / Gatineau River with the Rivière de l'Outaouais / Ottawa River.

(3) This collection, which runs to 135,425 items, is held at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec / National Library and Archives of Québec, at Gatineau. Champlain Marcil was known as a prolific photographer, particularly of scenes in Outaouais.

Some sourcing: Wikipedia

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.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Map location of Gatineau, in Quebec
Map location of Gatineau, in Quebec | Source

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