Old Aylmer: A Cultural Paradise to Discover

Published on October 28 2021

The OldAylmer sector has a certain jne sais quoi that makes it totally different from the rest of Gatineau. Could it have something to do with its more bohemian atmosphere or its charming main street? Or maybe the prominence of art and culture? Whatever it is, you absolutely must visit. Here are some suggestions for things to do in Old Aylmer.

Take a historical tour

Did you know that in the 19th century, Aylmer was an important commercial and administrative hub? Find out everything there is to know about the history of this centre with the help of the BaladoDécouverte mobile app. On this 1.5-kilometre historical tour of Old Aylmer, take a self-guided walk around this lively neighbourhood and follow in the footsteps of the residents of days gone by. See what the architecture of the buildings can tell you about the Aylmer of yesteryear! 

To learn more, visit the Symmes Inn Museum, a designated National Historic Site of Canada. This stately home, built in 1831 by Charles Symmes, the founder of Aylmer, is a must-see!

Visit art galleries


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Art lovers, come and admire the original works displayed in Old Aylmer’s many art galleries! 

The Espace Pierre-Debain in the Old Aylmer Cultural Centre specializes in exhibitions of arts and crafts, including multidimensional art—we’re moving beyond the 2D canvas. See three-dimensional works in a range of fascinating media! At Bouquinart, literature and the visual arts join forces, as the business is both a bookstore and an art gallery. As for the Espace 33 gallery, it presents a number of professional regional and Canadian artists working in various media. Finally, a stop at L’Imagier Art Centre with its numerous contemporary art exhibitions is also a must.

Go for a riverside stroll

On your own or with your dog, go for a walk in Des Cèdres Park on the shore of the Ottawa River. Enjoy the view of the Aylmer marina and several boats anchored there. And just wait until you see the sunset—its a guaranteed WOW! In the summer, vacationers can relax on the beach or practise a multitude of water sports!

Discover new craft beers


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Take advantage of your visit to Old Aylmer to try something new—a new microbrewery beer, for instance! The Bistro L’Autre Œil has such a vast menu of craft beers that you’ll have a hard time making a choice … but that’s a nice problem to have! 

If you want to visit a microbrewery, the 5e Baron on Principale Street allows you to try more than a dozen of its beers and enjoy a nice patio, weather permitting. You can also buy cans of beer on the spot, to enjoy later.

Enjoy a restaurant meal


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On the menu, a variety of cuisine to satisfy your craving of the moment! Whether ita plate of authentic Italian food, the southern touch of a real Mexican fiesta at Bistro Mexicana129 or the freshness of a gourmet menu that changes every week at Antonyme, you wont go hungry! 

Sleep in a heritage building


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Located right on Principale Street in the heart of Old Aylmer, the British Hotel is the perfect place to spend the night. Although the hotel has retained its 19th-century architecture, the completely renovated rooms will impress you with their luxury and modern feel. Treat yourself to a night’s sleep worthy of a lord! 

The same building houses a pub-style restaurant, the Public House, where you can get a good burger or a pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven. For a snack, the British Café is open all day and offers table service for coffee and pastries.

Catch a show

Cabaret LaBasoche is a unique performance venue in the heart of OldAylmer. During your visitcheck out the program—there are lots of musical and artistic discoveries on the bill! This is a great place to end your evening in this sector of the City of Gatineau.

With so many activities to enjoy, take time to soak up the culture! You can easily spend several days in OldAylmer. For another fun getaway, why not take atrip to the village of Wakefield?

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