Gatineau (/ˈɡætɪnoʊ/, French pronunciation: [ɡatino]),
officially Ville de Gatineau, is a city in western Quebec, Canada. It
is the fourth largest city in the province after Montreal, Quebec
City, and Laval. It is located on the northern bank of the Ottawa
River, immediately across from Ottawa, together with which it forms
Canada's National Capital Region. As of 2016,
Gatineau had a
population of 276,245, and a metropolitan population of 332,057.
Gatineau census metropolitan area had a population of
Gatineau is coextensive with a territory equivalent to a regional
county municipality (TE) and census division (CD) of the same name,
whose geographical code is 81. It is the seat of the judicial district
5.1 Key roads
Gatineau City Council
7 Judicial role
8 Police service
11 Population and demographics
13 Notable people
14 See also
16 External links
Hull, (Lower Canada), on the
Ottawa River; at the Chaudier [sic]
Falls, 1830, by Thomas Burrowes.
Chaudière Falls and
visible in the background.
The current city of
Gatineau is centred on an area formerly called
Hull, the oldest European colonial settlement in the National Capital
Region. This area was mostly not developed until after the American
Revolutionary War, when the Crown made land grants to Loyalists for
resettlement in Upper Canada.
Hull was founded on the north shore of the
Ottawa River in 1800 by
Philemon Wright at the portage around the
Chaudière Falls just
upstream (or west) from where the
Gatineau and Rideau rivers flow into
the Ottawa. Wright brought his family, five other families, and
twenty-five labourers to establish an agricultural community. They
considered the area a mosquito-infested wilderness. But soon after,
Wright and his family took advantage of the large lumber stands and
became involved in the timber trade. The original settlement was
called Wrightstown, and was later renamed as Hull. In 2002, after
amalgamation, it was part of a larger jurisdiction named the City of
In 1820, before immigrants from Ireland and other parts of Great
Britain arrived in great numbers, Hull Township had a population of
707, including 365 men, 113 women, and 229 children. The high number
of men were related to workers in the lumber trade. In 1824, there
were 106 families and 803 persons. During the rest of the 1820s, the
population of Hull doubled, owing to the arrival of Ulster
Protestants. By 1851, the population of the County of
11,104, of which 2,811 lived in Hull Township. By comparison, Bytown
had a population of 7,760 in 1851. By 1861,
Ottawa County had a
population of 15,671, of which 3,711 lived in Hull Township.
Gradually French Canadians also migrated to the Township; their
proportion of the population increased from 10% in 1850, to 50% in
1870, and 90% in 1920.
Gatineau River, like the
Ottawa River, was a basic transportation
resource for the draveurs, workers who transport logs via the rivers
from lumber camps until they arrived downriver. (The
flows south into the
Ottawa River, which flows east to the St.
Lawrence River near Montreal.) The log-filled
Ottawa River, as viewed
from Hull, was featured on the back of the Canadian one-dollar bill;
the paper money was replaced by a dollar coin (the "loonie") in 1987.
The last of the dwindling activity of the draveurs on these rivers
ended a few years later.
Ottawa was founded after Hull, as the terminus of the Rideau Canal.
This was built under the command of Col.
John By as part of
fortifications and defences constructed after the
War of 1812
War of 1812 against
the United States. Originally named Bytown,
Ottawa was not designated
as the Canadian capital until the mid-19th century, after the original
Montreal was torched by a rioting mob of Anglo-Canadians
on 25 April 1849. Its greater distance from the Canada–US border
also made the new parliament less vulnerable to foreign attack.
Nothing remains of the original 1800 settlement of Hull. The downtown
Vieux-Hull sector was destroyed by a terrible fire in 1900; it also
burnt down the original pont des Chaudières (Chaudière Bridge). The
bridge was rebuilt to join
Ottawa to Hull at Victoria Island.
In the 1940s, during World War II, Hull, along with various other
regions within Canada, such as the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, and Île
Sainte-Hélène, was the site of prisoner-of-war camps. Hull's
prison was identified only by a number, as were Canada's other war
prisons. The prisoners of war (POWs) were organized by
nationality and status: civilian or military status. In the Hull
camp, POWs were mostly Italian and German nationals detained by the
government as potential threats to the nation during the war. As a
result of the Conscription Crisis of 1944, Canadians who had refused
conscription were interned in the camp. The prisoners were
required to perform hard labour, which included farming and lumbering
During the 1970s and early 1980s, the decaying old downtown core of
Hull was redeveloped. Old buildings were demolished and replaced by a
series of large office complexes. In addition some 4,000 residents
were displaced, and many businesses uprooted along what was once the
town's main commercial area.
On 11 November 1992, Ghislaine Chénier, Mayoress by interim for the
city of Hull, unveiled War Never Again, a marble stele monument that
commemorates the cost of war for the men, women and children of the
city of Hull.
As part of the 2000–06 municipal reorganization in Quebec, the five
municipalities that constituted the Communauté urbaine de l'Outaouais
were merged on 1 January 2002 to constitute the new city of Gatineau.
Although Hull was the oldest and most central of the merged cities,
Gatineau was chosen for the new city. The main reasons given
Gatineau had more residents, and this name was strongly
associated with the area: it was the name of the former county, the
valley, the hills, the park and the main river within the new city
limits. Some argued that the French name of
Gatineau was more
appealing to the majority French-speaking residents.
Since the former city of Hull represents a large area distinct from
what was formerly known as Gatineau, some people refer to "Vieux Hull"
. The name "Hull" was often informally used to refer
to the entire urban area on the northern shore of the river facing
Ottawa. In other areas of Quebec, the National Capital Region was
often referred to as "Ottawa-Hull".
After the 2003 election, the new Liberal government of Jean Charest
passed Bill 9, which created a process by which former municipalities
could be reconstituted. Contrary to Charest's election promise of full
de-amalgamation, Bill 9 restored only selected powers to the de-merged
cities (e.g., animal control, garbage pickup, local street
maintenance, some cultural facilities). The bigger expenses (e.g.,
police, fire, main streets, expansion programs) and the majority of
the taxes remained in the hands of urban agglomerations. These are
controlled by the central merged city because their larger populations
give them greater voting weight. 10% of the eligible voters in each
former municipality would have to sign a "register" in order to hold a
referendum on de-amalgamation.
Residents of Aylmer, Buckingham, Hull and
Masson-Angers all surpassed
this threshold in seeking a referendum on de-merge. A simple majority
of "yes" votes, based on a turnout of at least 35%, is needed to
de-merge. All of the above jurisdictions had the required turnout, and
all rejected the de-merger.
# of Yes votes
Yes vote (%)
A number of federal and provincial government offices are located in
Gatineau, due to its proximity to the national capital, and its status
as the main town of the
Outaouais region of Quebec.
A policy of the federal government to distribute federal jobs on both
sides of the
Ottawa River led to the construction of several massive
office towers to house federal civil servants in downtown Gatineau;
the largest of these are Place du
Portage and Terrasses de la
Chaudière, occupying part of the downtown core of the city. Some
government agencies and ministries headquartered in
Gatineau are the
Public Works and Government Services Canada, Aboriginal Affairs and
Northern Development Canada, Environment Canada, Transportation Safety
Board of Canada..
The following federal government departments have their main offices
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Employment and Social Development Canada
Canada (includes offices of Parks Canada)
Canada (includes Competition Bureau, the Canadian Patent
Office and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications
Public Works and Government Services Canada
The following agencies have their main offices in Gatineau.
Transportation Safety Board (under Transport Canada)
Canada (under Citizenship and Immigration Canada)
In addition to housing a significant portion of federal government
offices, the city is also an important regional centre for the
Outaouais region. The city serves as the location for the Superior
Court of the District of Gatineau, which encompasses all neighbouring
municipalities. It also houses 2 of the region's major hospitals as
well as numerous provincial colleges.
Filling the balloons in the park
Two important tourist attractions located in
Gatineau are the Canadian
Museum of History and the Casino du Lac-Leamy. In August, the Casino
hosts an international fireworks competition which opposes four
different countries with the winner being awarded a Prix Zeus prize
for the best overall show (based on several criteria) and can return
in the following year. At the beginning of September, on Labour Day
Gatineau hosts an annual hot air balloon festival which fills
the skies with colourful gas-fired passenger balloons.
There are many parks. Some of them are well gardened playgrounds or
resting spaces while others, like Lac Beauchamp Park, are relatively
wild green areas which often merge with the woods and fields of the
surrounding municipalities. Streams of all sizes run through these
natural expanses. Most of the city is on level ground but the Northern
and Eastern parts lie on the beginnings of the foothills of the
massive Canadian Shield, or Laurentian Mountains. These are the
Gatineau Hills", and are visible in the background of the companion
picture. One of Gatineau's urban parks, Jacques Cartier Park, is used
National Capital Commission
National Capital Commission during the popular festival,
Nightlife within the city of
Gatineau is mostly centered in the
"Vieux-Hull" sector behind the Federal office complexes of downtown.
The area features many bars and restaurants within a stone's throw
from Ottawa. It is a popular spot for young Ontarians as the legal
drinking age in
Quebec is 18 (as opposed to Ontario's 19).
The city contains a campus of the Université du Québec, the
Université du Québec
Université du Québec en
It is also the home of two provincial junior colleges (or CEGEPs): the
francophone Cégep de l'
Outaouais and the anglophone Heritage College.
There is also the private junior college Nouvelles-Frontières located
on the administration site of UQO.
The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) has a campus in
The main French-language school boards in
Gatineau are the Commission
scolaire des Portages-de-l'Outaouais, the Commission scolaire au
Coeur-des-Vallées and the Commission scolaire des Draveurs. There are
also three private high schools : the all-girl Collège
Saint-Joseph, and the
Collège Saint-Alexandre and École secondaire
Nouvelles-Frontières (high school).
Primary and secondary education in English is under the supervision of
Quebec School Board.
Ottawa Executive Airport is Gatineau's municipal airport,
capable of handling small jets. There are
Canada customs facilities
for aircraft coming from outside Canada, a car rental counter and a
restaurant. The airport has a few regularly scheduled flights to
points within Quebec, but most residents of
Gatineau use the nearby
Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport or travel to
Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Montreal.
Gatineau have two distinct bus-based public transit systems
with different fare structures,
OC Transpo and the Société de
transport de l'Outaouais. Tickets are not interchangeable between the
two, however passes and transfers from one system to the other do not
require payment of a surcharge on any routes.
Gatineau highways and major arteries feed directly into the
bridges crossing over to Ottawa, but once there the roads lead into
the dense downtown grid or into residential areas, with no direct
connection to The Queensway. This difficulty is further magnified by
the lack of a major highway on the
Quebec side of the
Gatineau to Montreal, the metropolis of the province; most
Montreal first cross over to Ottawa, and
Ontario highways to access Montreal. However, it is expected that
since Autoroute 50 has been completed, the new link between
Gatineau and the
Laurentides popular tourist area may serve as part of
Montreal by-pass by the north shore for
Main article: List of
Gatineau City Council
Gatineau City Council
Gatineau Municipal Council (French: Le conseil municipal de
Gatineau) is the city's main governing body. It is composed of 17 city
councillors and a mayor.
The city serves as the seat of the judicial district of Gatineau,
which encompasses the entirety of the city of
Gatineau as well as
several outerlying municipalities such as Chelsea, Cantley and
Pontiac. The superior court serving the
Outaouais region is located in
Gatineau across from City Hall on the corner of Laurier and
Hôtel-de-Ville. Most of the law firms that represent local businesses
throughout the region are also based in Gatineau.
The 250-man Service de police de la Ville de
day-to-day policing for the city, with other agencies such as the SQ
and the RCMP assisting as necessary. They are also responsible for
patrolling sections of the highways located within the city limits.
The Service de police is equipped with a CID unit, marine unit, drugs
unit, gang suppression unit, and a tactical unit (Groupe d'endiguement
et d'arrestation à risque, or GEAR). Patrol officers are armed with
Smith & Wesson M&P .40 calibre pistols. The Service de police
uses the same vehicles as similar police forces throughout North
Main article: Media in Ottawa–Gatineau
Gatineau is the city of licence for several television and radio
stations serving the National Capital Region, which is a single media
market. Many of the Ottawa-
Gatineau region's TV and FM broadcast
stations transmit from Camp Fortune just north of Gatineau. All of the
stations licensed directly to
Gatineau broadcast in French.
Weekly newspapers published in
Gatineau include Le Bulletin d'Aylmer
(bilingual) and The West
Gatineau does not have its own
daily newspaper, but is served by daily newspapers published in
Ottawa, including the French
Le Droit and the English
Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL (
Quebec Major Junior Hockey League)
Gatineau Jr. Olympiques
Gatineau Jr. Olympiques (also known as
Gatineau Junior Express) are a
Canadian Junior ice hockey team based in Gatineau, Quebec. They play
National Capital Junior Hockey League
National Capital Junior Hockey League (NCJHL) since 2006.
FC Gatineau, a semi-professional soccer team in the Première Ligue de
soccer du Québec (PLSQ).
Gatineau Vikings, Canadian football team
Hull-Volant de Gatineau, a junior elite baseball team of the Ligue de
Baseball Junior Élite du Québec.
L'Intrépides de Gatineau, are a Midget AAA hockey team.
La Machine de l'Outaouais: a
Kin-Ball team of the ligue Senior élite
Kin-Ball du Québec.
Population and demographics
Division of population by sector in the city of Gatineau.
According to the 2011 census the city of
Gatineau had a population of
265,349. This was an increase of 9.6% compared to 2006. Most of the
population live in the urban cores of Aylmer, Hull and the former
Gatineau. Buckingham and
Masson-Angers are more rural communities.
Gatineau is the fourth largest city in
Quebec after Montreal, Quebec
City and Laval.
Quebec part of Ottawa-
Census Metropolitan Area
Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) —
which includes various peripheral municipalities in addition to
Gatineau — had a total population of 314,501.
The following statistics refer to the
Quebec portion of the
Gatineau CMA (as it was defined in the 2006 census):
First Nations comprise 2.7% of the population.
Languages: Counting both single and multiple responses, French was a
mother tongue for 80.0% of residents in 2006, English for 13.9%,
Arabic for 1.7%, Portuguese for 1.1% and Spanish for 1.0%.
(Figures below are for single responses only.)
Religion: About 83% of the population identified as
Roman Catholic in
2001 while 7% said they had no religion and 5% identified as
Protestant (1.3% Anglican, 1.3% United, 0.7% Baptist, 0.3% Lutheran,
0.2% Pentecostal, 0.2% Presbyterian). About 1% of the population
identified as Muslim, 0.5% as Jehovah’s Witnesses, 0.3% as Buddhist,
and 0.2% as Eastern Orthodox.
Visible minorities: The 2001 census found that 4.3% of the population
self-identified as having a visible minority status, including, among
others, about 1.3% who self-identified as Black, about 1.0%
self-identifying as Arab, 0.5% as Latin American, 0.4% as Chinese,
0.3% as Southeast Asian, 0.2% as South Asian, and about 0.1% as
Canada terminology is used throughout.)
Canada 2006 Census
% of Total Population
Mixed visible minority
Other visible minority
(Percentages may total more than 100% due to rounding and multiple
Immigration: The area is home to more than five thousand recent
immigrants (i.e. those arriving between 2001 and 2006), who now
comprise about two percent of the total population. 11% of these new
immigrants have come from Colombia, 10% from China, 7% from France, 6%
from Lebanon, 6% from Romania, 4% from Algeria, 3% from the United
States and 3% from Congo.
Internal migration: Between 2001 and 2006 there was a net influx of
5,205 people (equivalent to 2% of the total 2001 population) who moved
Gatineau from outside of the
Gatineau area. There was also
a net outmigration of 630 anglophones (equivalent to 2% of the 2001
anglophone population). Overall there was a net influx of 1,100 people
Quebec City, 1,060 from Montreal, 545 from Saguenay, 315 from
Toronto, 240 from Trois-Rivières, 225 from Kingston, and 180 from
Ethnocultural ancestries: Canadians were able to self-identify one or
more ethnocultural ancestries in the 2001 census. (Percentages may
therefore add up to more than 100%.) The most common response was
Canadian / Canadien and since the term 'Canadian' is as much an
expression of citizenship as of ethnicity these figures should not be
considered an exact record of the relative prevalence of different
ethnocultural ancestries. 43.1% of respondents gave a single response
of Canadian / Canadien while a further 26.5% identified both Canadian
/ Canadien and one or more other ethnocultural ancestries. 10.4% of
respondents gave a single response of French, 1.1% gave a single
response of Portuguese, 1.0% gave a single response of Irish, 0.9%
gave a single response of Lebanese, 0.8% gave a single response of
English, 0.7% gave a single responses of Québécois and 0.7% gave a
single response of North American Indian. According to Statistics
Canada, counting both single and multiple responses, the most commonly
identified ethnocultural ancestries were: 70.7% North American, 37.8%
French, 14.3% British Isles, 4.5% Aboriginal, 4.0% Southern European,
3.8% Western European, 1.9% Arab, 1.7% Eastern European, 1.0% East and
Southeast Asian, 0.8% African, 0.7% Latin, Central and South American,
0.7% Caribbean and 0.5% Northern European.
See also: Neighbourhoods of Gatineau
The larger communities within
Andrew Leamy (1816–1868), a pioneer industrialist and community
leader in Lower Canada.
Champlain Marcil (1920–2010), photojournalist.
Philemon Wright (1760–1839), founder of Hull.
Camille Charbonneau (1993–), Montreal-based artist.
List of regional county municipalities and equivalent territories in
Chemin de fer de l'Outaouais
List of cities in Quebec
List of crossings of the
List of mayors of Gatineau
Municipal reorganization in Quebec
^ Ville de
Gatineau (1933-1974) - Armoiries
^ Reference number 24715 of the Commission de toponymie du Québec (in
^ a b Geographic code 81017 in the official Répertoire des
municipalités (in French)
^ "(Code 2481017) Census Profile". 2011 census. Statistics Canada.
Quebec part) (Census metropolitan area), 2011
Census profile. The census metropolitan area (
Quebec part) consists of
Gatineau, Bowman, Cantley, Chelsea, Denholm, L'Ange-Gardien, La
Pêche, Mayo, Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette, Pontiac, Val-des-Bois,
Val-des-Monts. In the 2006 census, the census metropolitan area had
not included Bowman, Mayo, Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette, Val-des-Bois.
^ a b "(Code 2466023) Census Profile". 2016 census. Statistics Canada.
^ Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics. "Census Profile, 2016
Quebec part) [Census metropolitan area],
Quebec [Province]". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved
^ Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics. "Census Profile, 2016
Gatineau [Census metropolitan area], Ontario/Quebec
Ontario [Province]". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved
^ Territorial Division Act. Revised Statutes of
^ John H. Taylor, Ottawa: An Illustrated History, James Lorimer &
Company, Publishers, Toronto, 1986, p.11
^ Martin, Michael, Working Class Culture and the Development of Hull
QC pg 48, 2006, online: 
^ a b c d e Tremblay, Robert, Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, et
all. "Histoires oubliées – Interprogrammes : Des prisonniers
spéciaux" Interlude. Aired: 20 July 2008, 14h47 to 15h00.
^ Note: See also List of
POW camps in Canada.
^ Harold Kalman and John Roaf, Exploring Ottawa: An Architectural
Guide to the Nation's Capital. Toronto: University of Toronto Press,
1983. pg. 88
^ "'War Never Again' memorial". National Defence Canada. 16 April
2008. Archived from the original on 23 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May
^ "Referendums of June 20, 2004". Directeur-Général des Élections.
Retrieved 19 February 2017.
^ "Contact Us." Transportation Safety Board of Canada. Retrieved on 31
^ Crews will work through winter to have Highway 50 open in 2012 The
Review. Thereview.ca (21 October 2010). Retrieved on 2013-07-12.
Gatineau (Que. part - Partie Qc)". Aboriginal Identity
(8), Sex (3) and Age Groups (12) for the Population of Canada,
Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census
Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data. Statistics Canada. 15
January 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
Gatineau (Que. part - Partie Qc)". Detailed Mother Tongue
(148), Single and Multiple Language Responses (3) and Sex (3) for the
Population of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan
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Gatineau (Que. part - Partie Qc)". Detailed Mother Tongue
(186), Knowledge of Official Languages (5), Age Groups (17A) and Sex
(3) for the Population of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census
Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2001 and 2006 Censuses -
20% Sample Data. Statistics Canada. 20 November 2007. Retrieved
Ottawa - Hull (Que. part - Partie Qc)". Religion (95A), Age Groups
(7A) and Sex (3) for Population, for Canada, Provinces, Territories,
Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 1991 and 2001
Censuses - 20% Sample Data. Statistics Canada. 1 March 2007. Retrieved
Ottawa - Hull (Que. part - Partie Qc)". Visible Minority Groups
(15) and Immigrant Status and Period of Immigration (11) for
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Areas 1 and Census Agglomerations, 2001 Census - 20% Sample Data.
Statistics Canada. 1 March 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
^ , Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics
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Period of Immigration (8) and Place of Birth (261) for the Immigrants
and Non-permanent Residents of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census
Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gatineau.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Gatineau.
Official website of the City of
Gatineau Youth Commission
Adjacent Municipal Subdivisions
Chelsea / Cantley / Val-des-Monts / L'Ange-Gardien
Bridges to: Ottawa, Ontario
Adjacent Counties & Equivalent Territories
Administrative divisions of
Outaouais (Region 07)
Regional county municipalities
and equivalent territories
Administrative divisions of Quebec
Census metropolitan areas (CMAs) in
Canada by size
Quebec City, QC
St. Catharines-Niagara, ON
St. John's, NL
Greater Sudbury, ON
Thunder Bay, ON
Saint John, NB
ISNI: 0000 0004 0368 265X