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Originally known as Hull, Gatineau lies across the river from its ‘twin’ city, Ottawa. This predominantly French-speaking city lies within the province of Quebec whilst its ‘twin’ has an Ontario postcode.
Three of the area’s most visited tourist attractions lie on the Gatineau side of the Ottawa River. The Canadian Museum of History celebrates Canada’s rich history, including outstanding achievements of First Nations people, while the Casino Lac-Leamy features slot machines, gaming tables, restaurants, a theatre and nightclub, creating the ultimate atmosphere for an unforgettable night out.
Parks and green spaces are plenty, with one of the best views of Parliament Hill being from Jacques Cartier Park. Sit here and gaze at the view while picnicking and watching small boats cruising up and down the river. An easy half hour walk back towards Ottawa will take you to Chaudiere Island, where a viewing platform at the west end will enable you to walk to the edge of the majestic Chaudiere Falls.
Popular for locals and visitors alike, Gatineau Park is only 15 minutes from downtown. Year-round recreational opportunities include hiking, biking, swimming, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. A well-trodden hiking trail will take you to Pink Lake. Despite its name, the lake is actually a brilliant emerald green, but was named Pink Lake after the family who settled the land back in the early 1800s. The lake is “meromictic” - this means that its upper and lower water levels never mix and there is no oxygen at the deepest seven metres of the lake. The trail is a 2.5km round trip making it ideal for families with young children. The McKenzie King Estate, former home of Canada's 10th prime minister, is open to visitors - visit the historical ruins or just enjoy the magnificent gardens.
RV camping is available in the Phillippe Lake sector of the Park. Advance reservations are strongly advised.