Accessible outings in the Outaouais
The Outaouais is packed with amazing attractions and activities that are universally accessible, whether you’re looking for a self-guided heritage tour, a wildlife observation trail or a getaway to an old-growth forest. Plan your next hassle-free outing, where urban art, culture and majestic scenery will take your breath away. To help you find what you’re looking for and ensure you have an unforgettable experience, here are some destinations that are adapted and inclusive.
Outdoor activities in Gatineau Park
Looking for fresh air and great views? From spring to fall, Gatineau Park maintains several wheelchair-accessible trails, including the 1.3-km Pioneers Trail loop and the 1.9-km Sugarbush Trail loop. Stroll on these relatively level trails that are accessible for everyone. Motorized mobility aids are allowed on the Capital Pathway network. Take this paved route and immerse yourself in nature for hours.
For panoramic views, drive to the Huron, Étienne-Brûlé, Champlain, Mulvihill Lake and Pink Lake lookouts. Each location has parking spaces for visitors with disabilities. In summer, take advantage of the free shuttle accessible service and let someone else do the driving!
After your excursion, enjoy a gourmet meal at Arôme Seafood and Grill, then spend the night in a spacious room at the Hilton Lac-Leamy, where convenient features include an elevator nearby, a handheld shower and grab bar in the bathroom, a vibrating alarm clock, and other adapted equipment. While you’re there, visit the Casino du Lac-Leamy and try your luck at the gaming tables!
Accessible sports activities all year round
Throughout the year, the Relais plein air outdoor activity centres offer several types of equipment designed for people with reduced mobility. From cross-country sit-skis and tandem bikes to all-terrain wheelchairs, you’ll find everything you need to enjoy the great outdoors. Take part in group activities, and take advantage from the services of a guide for activities.
Keen to make the most of winter? Head to Sommet Edelweiss when the mountain is covered in snow. Go sit-skiing on a monoski or dualski and speed down the snowy slopes in complete safety. This innovative equipment will have you loving winter!
A getaway for nature lovers
You’ll be captivated by the Parc national de Plaisance, home to over 250 bird species. From the marsh boardwalk, admire the beauty of the flora and fauna. Follow the Zizanie-des-Marais gravel path without difficulty, or take the bike path for another accessible trail.
Observe wild animals in their natural habitat on Parc Omega‘s 12-kilometre safari trail. Roll down the window of your vehicle to feed carrots to the inquisitive deer, or take another route to watch the Arctic wolves strut their stuff.
Extend your adventure in Petite Nation with an overnight stay at Fairmont Le Château Montebello, the ultimate in comfort. While there, be sure to make a reservation at Aux Chantignoles restaurant to savour tasty seasonal dishes featuring fresh local ingredients. Before you hit the road again, you absolutely must try the decadent chocolates at ChocoMotive!
An accessible day packed with culture
Cultural jewels of our region, our museums are sure to quench your thirst for knowledge! Many of them are committed to being as accessible as possible, and are continually developing their offerings for all visitors.
Take a self-guided tour of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. You can request a braille binder (a physical copy of the self-guided tour information), or you can download the Braille Ready File (.brf) for use on your personal braille reading device, or the Portable Document Format (.pdf) for use with text reading software.
For people with autism, the Canada Science and Technology Museum provides sensory guides and reserves specific time slots for persons with special needs. The National Gallery of Canada‘s SPARK! is a free, informal, conversation-based program designed for individuals living with dementia and their care partners. Together, participants look at and talk about works of art in the Gallery collection.
Most museums, including the Canadian Museum of Nature, the Canadian Museum of History and the Canadian Children’s Museum, offer free admission for one person accompanying a person with a disability. To help you prepare for your visit, take a look at the accessibility pages on museum websites. In particular, you’ll find a list of adapted equipment and facilities such as grab bars, quieter areas, cane-friendly podotactile surfaces and wheelchair loan services.
Filled with history and works of art, Parliament: The Immersive Experience will plunge you into the heart of the decisions that have been made in the main Parliament building. Immerse yourself in this exhibition and multimedia show through subtitled videos and videos with simultaneous sign language interpretation. Braille and large-print guides are also available. The site is accessible to wheelchair users , and service animals are welcome. Continue your visit with a guided tour of the Senate of Canada for an overview of the country’s iconic legislative buildings.
Urban exploration, public art and rich heritage
Download the BaladoDiscovery podcast app (which includes a feature for persons with a deaf and hearing impairment) and take the self-guided Old Aylmer Historical Tour to view ancestral homes steeped in history. While you’re there, visit the Symmes Inn Museum and admire the river and the lively neighbourhood. Have lunch at La Femme à Marier et Cie or a beer at the 5e Baron microbrewery, both are equipped with an access ramp.
For an urban and cultural experience, from July to October, follow the coloured dots marking downtown Gatineau’s Culture Trail. Admire public artworks, colourful exhibitions and points of interest along a 3-km route through the heart of the city. Turn off onto the paved paths of Jacques-Cartier Park and follow the Ottawa River for spectacular views of downtown Gatineau–Ottawa. These barrier-free routes’ gentle inclines make it easy to get around.
Where to eat and sleep near these activities? There are several restaurants with a ramp access in Old Hull. Sip a comforting hot drink at Café-Bistro Le social. For lunch or dinner, try the homemade Italian delights at La Squadra or the healthy and varied fare at Le Troquet. In the evening, opt for the casual atmosphere of Les Brasseurs du Temps to enjoy popular draft beers and pub grub. If you’re looking for a place to sleep, the Four Points by Sheraton Gatineau–Ottawa has several rooms.
Outaouais tourism businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of accessibility, and are constantly implementing solutions. For more information, visit the Kéroul website to find out about the accessibility features of specific establishments. Take advantage of the personalized service of Transport spécialisé médical de l’Outaouais (TSMO) to get to your next social engagement or even to take a city tour. You’re all set for your next outing in the Outaouais!
Discover our inclusive tour, designed for all travelers to enjoy.
This blog post was reviewed by Kéroul.