On the northern bank of the Ottawa River, Gatineau is best known as the French-speaking portion of the National Capital Region. Some 80% of residents speak French as their first language—though you’ll find a majority speak English as well.
Directly across from Ottawa, and bordered by the Gatineau Hills to the north and east, Gatineau offers plenty of ways to tire your children out, whether you want to head indoors or outside.
Several beaches and parks are located along the Ottawa River and nearby lakes, including Sandy Beach, Jacques Cartier Park, Leamy Lake, and Lac Beauchamp Park. Lac Beauchamp Park has a beach and canoe rentals in the summer, as well as 15 km of ski and snowshoe trails and a skating area in the winter.
The vast Gatineau Park (361 sq km) offers year-round recreation opportunities. There are several lakes, with beaches at three of them (Meech Lake, Lac Phillipe, and La Pêche) as well as 165 km of hiking trails and 90 km of mountain bike trails. Cross-country skiing is popular in the winter. Camp Fortune offers downhill skiing and snowboarding in the winter months, and, in the summer, its aerial park and zip lines are open.
If it’s an indoor kind of day, check out the Canadian Children’s Museum, located in the Canadian Museum of History. There are tons of hands-on exhibits and artifacts from around the world, as well as toys and games. There are also huge indoor playgrounds, such as Zigazoom and Tubes & Jujubes, with 11 slides, three levels of labyrinths, a baby zone, and arcade.
*Source: Statistics Canada (2016)
Aylmer, Bassin-du-Lièvre, Beau-Mont Acres, Buckingham, Cousineau, Farmers Rapids, Gatineau, Hull, Ironside, Jeanne-d’Arc, Masson-Angers, Quinnville, Simmons
Top Family Attractions in Gatineau
Canadian Children’s Museum/Canadian Museum of History, Lac Beauchamp Park, Chaudière Falls, Camp Fortune, Top Karting, Altitude Gym, Gatineau Park, Brittania Park, Jacques Cartier Park, Dunn-D’s Mini Golf, Zigazoom, Tubes & Jujubes, Winterlude