The Culture Trail is back, more dynamic than ever!
The Culture Trail is back for the third consecutive year, for the enjoyment of all. Inspired by Boston’s legendary Freedom Trail, the 3‑km red line guides residents and visitors to the many urban and cultural attractions along the route.
(Re)discover downtown Gatineau
If you’re from around here, you’re probably familiar with the little corner of the region known to many as Old Hull. But how much do you know about the attractions and artworks that make it such a vibrant cultural environment?
Whether you live in the area or are just passing through, I invite you to roam the streets of this legendary neighbourhood and learn about its history, the attractions that shape it, and the public artworks (including several new ones) that enrich it a little more each day!
Equipped with your Culture Trail map or the Go Centre-Ville application, you’re invited to “play tourist” and discover everything the red line has to offer.
Follow the red line
Start your tour at the Maison du tourisme
I suggest you start your journey at the corner of Des Allumettières Boulevard and Laurier Street. Why? Well, as long as you’re playing tourist, you might as well do it right!😉
Stop by the Maison du tourisme tourist office to pick up a Culture Trail map and chat with the agents on duty. They can recommend the “must-sees” along the 3-km trail, and equally important, the must-sees all around the region!
Glance into the windows of the Maison du tourisme and you’ll see animals peering out at you to welcome you to our wonderful corner of the world. They’re part of Viens nous voir, a work by artist Jérôme Bertrand. Across the street is an imposing bronze statue of Outaouais-born hockey legend Maurice Richard.
Make way for culture
Next stop, the Canadian Museum of History to take in the spectacular views of Parliament Hill and immerse yourself in Indigenous culture. Don’t miss the special exhibition about Neanderthals, and turn the kids loose in the Canadian Children’s Museum!
Visit the Maison du citoyen, home to an art gallery and a performance hall. As well, there are several impressive outdoor artworks nearby.
My top pick: Temps libres (#4 on the Culture Trail map) by Daniel Bennett and Cinthia Plouffe. These artists have combined two of my favourite things: art and reading! In fact, public readings are held here every Monday night. Bring your lawn chair!
#4 on the Culture Trail map, «Temps libres» is created by Daniel Bennett and Cinthia Plouffe.
Time for a little break
Parc du Portage is the place to enjoy the public market on Thursdays, participate in free summer activities, photograph the work Je t’appellerai bateau-feu bateau-lumière (created by Mathieu Fecteau) in the fountain, and admire the multiple murals on the surrounding buildings. Nearby, the work of international artist Bordalo II, made entirely of recycled materials, will certainly catch your eye.
#10 on the Culture Trail map, One man's trash is another man's treasure is created by Bordalo II, an International artist.
A few steps away are Place Aubry and Laval Street, where you can relax on the magnificent terrace of one of the local establishments and admire the architecture of the neighbourhood’s heritage buildings.
Be sure to see: The unique art installation Pléiades d’Éole by Samuelle Desjardins and Mathieu Fecteau, a suspended canopy of more than 700 pinwheels. The work changes with the hours, shifting with the breeze and the shadows cast by the sun by day and the street lighting by night.
#12 on the Culture Trail map, «Pléiades d'Éole» is created by Samuelle Desjardins and Mathieu Fecteau.
Psssst: Not far from here, on the Zibi site, Cirque du Soleil’s big top will be set up for the whole month of August for the 25th‑anniversary presentation of the show Alegría! 😉
On the arts trail
After taking a break on Laval Street, continue along Promenade du Portage and turn onto Montcalm Street, where you’ll be treated to the sight of a multitude of outdoor artworks!
And you absolutely have to stop at the Théâtre de l’Île, whether it’s to attend a theatre performance or to appreciate Mélanie Myers’ work Carrousel, a nod to the traffic roundabouts found in and around Gatineau.
#22 on the Culture Trail map, «Carroussel» is created by Mélanie Myres.
Keep going along Brewery Creek, where there’s a public market on alternate Saturdays, and stop in at one of the nearby craft shops, studios and art galleries.
My recommendation: L’Entre deux, at 101 Montcalm Street, is a collective studio of artists whose medium is … the building itself!
The Culture Trail, a free activitiy
Next time you’re looking for a fun (and free) activity to enjoy with your partner, friends or family, consider playing tourist along this 3-km route.
Don’t forget to share your experience with us on social media using hashtags #SentierCulturel #SuivezLaLigneRouge #OutaouaisFun #JaimeMonCentreVille
#8 on the Culture Trail map, «Je t'appellerai bateau-feu bateau-lumière» is created by Mathieu Fecteau
I’ve listed only some of the attractions and artworks along the Culture Trail. In total, it links 13 attractions, 25 artworks, 12 exhibition and performance venues, 7 heritage guided tours, and a multitude of summer activities!
To make sure you don’t miss anything, and to make the most of what the red line has to offer, look for the red information stations along the trail containing trail maps and additional information.
The Culture Trail is a project carried out by the City of Gatineau, in close partnership with Vision centre-ville and Outaouais Tourism.