Picking a getaway destination soon? Have you considered visiting the Outaouais? Neighbouring Canada’s capital, the Outaouais is a beautiful and vibrant region that holds an abundance of activities for visitors to choose from. Want to discover culture, food and fun? The Outaouais holds all of these areas of interests and so much more! Ottawa Mommy Club was invited by Outaouais Tourism to be a part of a guided tour of Gatineau in order to see just a sliver of what this region has for visitors to discover.
Sometimes, it is fun to live and move around like a local when on vacation. Using public transit is an economical way to visit sites around a city. Our day began just like this when we were treated to a ride on Gatineau’s public transit the STO . The L’Escapade Multi 3-Day Pass, riders will have access to unlimited trips for three consecutive days for only $20. Only in town for a day? STO also offers a Multi 1-Day pass. Both passes are available at select locations in Gatineau and can help get you around to experience the city in a fun way.
After having a bit of fun zipping around Gatineau, we had arrived at our first big stop for our trip: The Museum of Canadian History to get a look at the new Canadian History Hall opened to the public for Canada Day. Canada Hall aims to tell Canada’s history Through the experiences of real people and from various perspectives. Occupying over 4 000 square metres of exhibition space, this exhibit is the largest one devoted to Canadian history ever created. It features three sections and 1500 unique artifacts, some being national historic treasures.
Canada Hall aims to tell Canada’s history Through the experiences of real people and from various perspectives. Occupying over 4 000 square metres of exhibition space, this exhibit is the largest one devoted to Canadian history ever created. It features three sections and 1500 unique artifacts, some being national historic treasures.
There are so many interesting artifacts and interactive installations in this exhibit to see and learn from. I got lost in the amount of history the museum has displayed for visitors to discover. I could have stayed in all three sections all day if we did not have so much more to see and do.
Once we left the museum, we were brought across the street to stand by a long red line on the sidewalk. This line is important as it is downtown Gatineau’s Culture Trail. Not sure what to do while in Gatineau? The Culture Trail is a three kilometer line that allows visitors to explore sites that hold cultural significance to the city. This path also directs visitors to many sites involved in Canada 150 celebrations as well as several points of interest. Markers are posted along the Culture Trail for travelers to find different points of interest. An information cart will be present randomly along this trail to provide people with information, give out maps of the city, and they may have a surprise in store those who approach it.
Once divided, my group made our way to Soif – Bar à vin, a chic and bubbly wine bar owned by sommelier Véronique Rivest. She greeted us at the entrance and seated us at our table on her charming patio.
From all of the delicious selections on the lunch menu, I noshed on Soif’s Frittata and Greens and sipped on a glass of Julep 2015. The Frittata and Greens was like have brunch elegantly served all in one dish. My wine was fresh, with a bit of a floral scent to it. It was such a treat to get to relax and chat while enjoying a meal in this beautiful restaurant in the Gatineau.
After we filled our bellies with some of Gatineau’s finest food, the group reconnected at the Brasseurs De Temps , the first microbrewery in the Outaouais region. It brews seventeen different types of beer and can be paired with all of served in their restaurant.
We were taken on a tour of the museum which is a part of the brewery. We were introduced to some of the tools of the trade throughout the years. Stories of famous past visitors to the region because of prohibition were also shared.
After the tour, we were invited to taste three of the beers brewed on-site. Each one had its own distinctive flavour. Et La Lumière Fut is a pale ale with a slight honey flavour mixed with hops. Porter Fumé Café (Smoked Coffee Porter) is dark beer brewed in collaboration with La Brûlerie roasting house in Gatineau with a bold, smoky, coffee taste. Dumduminator is a honeyed-coloured beer with a caramel and a touch of banana hit the palate. We enjoyed our drinks while taking in the hidden wonders of the serene scene behind this brewery.
The group was then educated on Les Chemins d’Eau. It is a tourist route that runs parallel to the Ottawa River form the Petite-Nation and the city of Gatineau to the Pontiac. This route boasts of the natural and cultural heritage of the Outaouais.
The last site on the tour was to MosaΪcanada 150 – Gatineau 2017, a celebration of horticulture and art situated in Jacques Cartier Park. It is one of the sites hosting Canada 150 celebrations in the Outaouais region.
This site is home to thirty-three mosaiculture displays which are inspired by the history of Canada and the First Nations people. Earlier this year, Ottawa Mommy Club was invited by Outaouais Tourism to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the facilities where these wondrous structures were created for this year’s event. Remembering what some of these displays looked like a few months ago made visiting the site and seeing them complete even more impressive. The colourful vegetation covering each structure helped to bring each one alive.
One of the most impressive displays on the site is entitled “Mother Earth.” It depicts the legend of Aataentsic, the creation of the Wendat (Huron) people. Visitors marvel at her sheer size, the abundance of floral life and the waterfall flowing from one of her hands. It is a marvel that can only be appreciated in person.
My fun day in the Outaouais made me excited to want to plan more adventures, not only here, but throughout the whole Outaouais region! The sites, the culture and the food are just a few reasons why the Outaouais is the place to visit this summer. Fun is just around every corner of the Outaouais. All you have to is seek!
Ready to Discover Culture, Food and Fun in the Outaouais then plan a trip? Visit Outaouais Tourism on their website and connect with them on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+ pages!
Disclaimer: I was invited as a member of a press trip to Gatineau by Outaouais Tourism in order to share what I experienced in this post. The views shared are my own.