April 6 to 12: Heritage Tours in Outaouais
The snow is melting, but the wooded trails are not quite ready to welcome hikers. Do not stay home bundled up! Take the opportunity to discover the rich history of the region through an #outaouaisfun heritage trip.
Heritage Walking Tour: Buckingham, a city of energy
Located on either side of the Lièvre River, the Buckingham sector, which dates back to the 1800s, houses an unusually rich collection of built heritage, thanks to the presence of trappers, who were involved in the fur trade, and the 19th century industrialists.
Its main street, avenue de Buckingham, has also retained the charm of an olden-day town. On your path, you will cross, among others, the Buckingham Castle (built in 1187 and the only Victorian vestige of this period in Buckingham), the Landing Park (former landing pier site used for transporting minerals mined from the valley) and the St. Andrew’s United Church (who’s flamboyant round stained glass window captures the attention of onlookers). While the architecture of many of the buildings, including Kenny (1845) and Lauzon (1911) houses, serve as reminders of the sector's Anglo-Saxon origins, other buildings, such as Saint-Grégoire-de-Nazianze Church (1887), highlight the important contribution made by the Francophones to its history.
Heritage Road Trip in Pontiac
By car or motorcycle, discover the history of Pontiac on a 113 km circuit that mainly follows Route 148. Note that a number of excursions are offered if you decide to explore the neighboring roads. Here are a few stops currently available in Fort-Coulonge, which is a section of the proposed route:
Declared as a historical monument in 1980, the mansion is distinguished by extensive outbuildings and a rooftop tower. It’s now home to the municipal library.
The main street of Fort-Coulonge was renamed ''the Mansions Avenue''. The name derives from the stone houses built in the 1870s whose architecture is one of the few examples of its kind in the Outaouais. This avenue is also home to Spruceholme, a large villa built in 1875, which has now been restored and converted into an inn and restaurant.
Marchand Covered Bridge
Built in 1898, this is the longest covered bridge in Quebec (and second largest in Canada). Supported by six pillars made of wooden beams, the bridge is 129 meters long. Built entirely in pine, the walls and roof that cover the bridge were crucial in preventing its degradation caused by weather changes.
For more details on the tour, contact the Campbell's Bay Tourist Information Bureau.
Heritage Walking Tour of Aylmer’s Old Village
The Aylmer sector has the largest concentration of heritage buildings in the region. Ancestral homes, religious buildings and imposing public buildings make it a destination for heritage lovers. On the walking tour: the Wyman C. Davis House (one of the oldest houses of Aylmer and built in hewn beams), the Old Court House (dated from 1852, the neoclassical building had several functions including a courthouse, jail, city hall, fire station, library and now a cultural center), the British Hotel (where the first municipal elections were held), the John Foran House (the first stone house built in Aylmer) and the John Smith House (which celebrates its 125 years).
During the summer, enjoy a guided tour of old Aylmer to discover the legends of the area, classical stories and some mysterious tales.
Numerous other summer heritage tours are available in the #outaouaisfun. Surround yourself with the landscapes and lift the veil on history to discover the countless historical treasures the region has to offer. For additional information, please contact the region’s touristic information offices.
And follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram … remember our hashtag, #outaouaisfun. The 2015 “People’s Choice Award” contest is now officially open, with more than $6,000 in prizes to be won! From now to April 10, VOTE for your favourite regional tourist attractions!