The Culture Trail: A public art trail to discover
Whether you’re a tourist or a resident, the downtown area has some surprises in store for you this summer! Follow the dots on the ground and discover the Culture Trail, a fun route where amazement awaits on every street corner.
What’s the Culture Trail?
It’s a 3-km pathway lined with more than 25 installations, including some 15 works that were added this year: sculpture, poetry, painting, photography, etc.
A platform for public art and artists, the Culture Trail is already in its fifth year, and it gets better every year. Not only is it a free activity, but it appeals to just about everyone!
A pathway to be discovered in more than one way
On foot, by bike or even on a scooter, choose the mode of transport that suits you best.
You can start the tour from the Maison du tourisme tourist office or from La Filature arts centre on Hanson Street, or in fact from any point along the route.
What’s nice about it is that you can explore the Culture Trail at your own pace and according to your own interests.
Seeing Old Hull differently
The sun is shining as I cycle along the path that runs alongside Brewery Creek. I have the Go Centre-ville app (available from the App Store and Google Play) open on my phone, handy for locating myself and the various points of interest along the way. An online map is also available.
Throughout the morning, wide-eyed and curious, I set off to discover each installation. Like a treasure hunt, I follow the dots on the ground and the signs along the way pointing me to my next destination.
I begin the journey on Montcalm Street, in front of the statue of Jos Montferrand, a legacy from the MosaïCanada botanical exhibition that came to Gatineau in 2017 and 2018. A few steps further on, I discover Josée Dubeau’s Mirador, an observation tower behind the La Filature building.
From one side of Brewery Creek to the other, I pause to contemplate the structures on my way before stopping near the Théâtre de l’Île. I fall in love with Brigades by Samuelle Desjardins, Geneviève L. Richard and Sharon MacDuff, a building with an eye-catchingly colourful facade.
Next, I stroll along Laval Street, where I find C’est la vie, a series of vibrant murals in bright colours illustrating the characteristic elements of Old Hull over the years. The mural Traces, painted by José Guénette, Philippe Landry and Marin Mitrasinovic, is just as impressive, covering 5,800 square feet!
Further on, as I walk along Hôtel-de-Ville Street, I come across One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, a work by Bordalo II made entirely of recycled materials, as imposing as it is powerful in the message it conveys.
A few minutes later, I sit down at a table to cool off by the fountain, in the middle of which shines Mathieu Fecteau’s work Je t’appellerai bateau-feu bateau-lumière. The walls around me are covered by the vibrant colours and patterns of Animosités (painted by five artists: Maria Rosa Szychowska, Marin Mitrasinovic, Philippe Landry, Anthony Léger and Mathieu Strike Désilets), which depicts animals on the verge of extinction.
So much to offer
Every street corner reveals its own surprises. Whether you’re passionate about literature, art, photography or history, the Culture Trail has a lot to offer!
Several shows and activities, including public readings, will be held in downtown Gatineau this summer. Audio and video capsules, the Old Hull Chronicles, are also available to accompany your visit.
For maximum enjoyment!
Once you’ve walked the three kilometres, your visit is far from over, as the Culture Trail is close to a variety of attractions! Whatever your interests, there’s no shortage of options: visit a museum, discover local flavours on a patio, or browse the nearby stores and markets.
Make the most of your experience and share your favourites on social media using the hashtag #CultureTrail!
In fact, the Culture Trail goes right by the Maison du tourisme tourist office, where you can ask an advisor for suggestions about must-do activities in the Outaouais. It’s THE place to go to find out about the region’s highlights!
Until September 30, the Culture Trail offers a memorable experience to enjoy with friends and family, as a couple or on your own.
And after a pleasant day in the sun, what could be nicer than a refreshing ice cream? Check out our blog post about local dairy bars.
The Culture Trail is a project of the City of Gatineau, in association with Vision Centre-Ville Gatineau and Outaouais Tourism.