Cédric Pelletier

Conseiller en communications stratégiques

Thursday, October 3, 2019 11:00 am

The brisk, fresh air, combined with an explosion of colours adorning the landscape, tells us that it’s time for the National Capital Commission’s (NCC) Fall Rhapsody.

From October 5 to 27, 2019, gather your family or a few friends, and come out and enjoy the beautiful shades of ochre, orange and red that nature offers in Gatineau Park and the Greenbelt, as well as in the Capital’s urban parks, and on its pathways and shorelines.

The free NCC shuttle is back again this year, offered in partnership with Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO) and Camp Fortune. The departure point in Ottawa has changed this year, and is now in front of the Supreme Court of Canada, close to the Parliament and Lyon light rail train stations. In Gatineau Park, the stops are at the same places as last year, except for Huron Lookout, which has been temporarily taken off the route.

NOTE: Various work is currently ongoing in Gatineau Park — at Champlain Lookout, in the Meech Creek Valley and at Philippe Lake, but the sites remain accessible. The NCC is asking visitors to respect the barriers and signage, obey flag persons’ instructions, and not to enter closed areas.

Free NCC shuttle during Fall Rhapsody

With departure points at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, as well as in Gatineau and Camp Fortune, the NCC shuttle will link to Gatineau Park’s most popular destinations: Pink Lake, the Mackenzie King Estate, King Mountain and Champlain Lookout.

Hop on for easy access over four weekends:

  • October 5 and 6
  • October 12, 13 and 14
  • October 19 and 20
  • October 26 and 27


  • From Ottawa: 9 am to 1 pm, every 20–30 minutes
  • From Gatineau: 9:05 am to 1:05 pm, every 30–40 minutes
  • From Camp Fortune: 11 am to 3 pm, every 15–20 minutes

Return trip: Last shuttle from Champlain Lookout (stop no. 13) to Camp Fortune at 3:50 pm and to Ottawa–Gatineau at 4 pm.

Routes, stops and schedules are available on the NCC’s interactive map.

Access to parkways

On Fall Rhapsody weekends, from 10:30 am to 4 pm, the southbound lane of Fortune Lake Parkway (toward Champlain Lookout) will be closed to all regular traffic (including cyclists), and open exclusively to the shuttle.

The northbound lane of the Fortune Lake Parkway (toward Dunlop Road) will remain open to all traffic to enable motorists and cyclists to access Camp Fortune and Chemin du Lac-Meech.

The Gatineau and Champlain parkways will remain open to all traffic in both directions, except during temporary parkway closures required during high traffic periods. Please note that the Gatineau Parkway, between the intersection with the Champlain Parkway and parking lot P9 will be closed until 10:30 am on weekends for the Short Loops program.

The pilot project to close the parkways at night will remain in effect during Fall Rhapsody. The Gatineau, Champlain and Fortune Lake parkways will close 30 minutes after sunset and will reopen starting at 8 am.

Fall Rhapsody special events

Discover Gatineau Park in a new way, by travelling to the four corners of the Park, where the fall foliage is bold and bright, and where there are fewer visitors.

During the first three Fall Rhapsody weekends, the NCC is organizing special events in partnership with the municipalities of Chelsea, La Pêche and Pontiac, Fairbairn House, the Relais plein air du parc de la Gatineau and the Algonquin Anishinabeg communities. Visitors can get a taste of local flavours, watch artists and artisans at work, chat with NCC nature interpreters, and meet local merchants.


The Relais plein air du parc de la Gatineau welcomes you at 397 Boulevard de la Cité-des-Jeunes, on October 5, 10 am to 2 pm

Make the Relais plein air your base camp for exploring Gatineau Park.

  • Brunch
  • Outdoor yoga
  • A variety of other activities

Folk Picnic and Kites in Meech Creek Valley near the iconic Cross Loop covered bridge, October 6, 10:30 am to 3:30 pm

Kick off Fall Rhapsody in Gatineau Park with a fun-filled day of activities in Meech Creek Valley.

  • Traditional folk music
  • Square dancing workshop
  • Kite-flying demonstrations by experts
  • Storytelling
  • Activities for children
  • Artisans
  • Picnic area and canteen on-site

Take the opportunity to read the interpretation panels on Cross Loop Road. The covered bridge makes a stunning backdrop for family photos.

Activities organized by the Municipality of Chelsea, in partnership with the NCC.

Nature Days at Breton Beach, Philippe Lake, October 5 and 6, 11 am to 4 pm

Come and admire the stunning colours of the magnificent maple trees, and take part in a variety of family activities in natural surroundings at Philippe Lake.

  • Demonstrations with birds of prey at 11:30 am and 2 pm
  • Guided hikes with nature interpreters at noon in French and 2:30 pm in English
  • Interpretation and ongoing activities for families
  • Bring a lunch: Breton Beach is equipped with barbecues and picnic tables


Anishinabe Nibin (Algonquin Summer) at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre, October 12 and 13, 10 am to 4 pm

Join us as Gatineau Park celebrates Algonquin culture. Anishinabe Nibin or “Algonquin summer” is a great opportunity to learn more about the traditional Algonquin way of life, as well as a chance to see artisans at work.

  • Demonstrations: How to build a birchbark canoe; how to make snowshoes; how to tan a hide.
  • Presentations by Daniel (Pinock) Smith on building a traditional birchbark canoe

Activities are organized in collaboration with the Algonquin Anishinabeg communities.

Pontiac Country Fair at the Luskville Falls, October 12, 13 and 14, 10 am to 4 pm

A popular annual event, the Pontiac Country Fair provides an opportunity to discover the region’s various products and services, as well as the artists and artisans who add colour to the local culture.

  • Pontiac merchant and craft kiosks offering various products and services: demonstrations, tastings and sale of products on-site
  • Nature interpretation kiosk: find out why leaves change colour in the fall, and explore unique ecosystems
  • Demonstrations with horses, mini-farm and other animals
  • And much more

Organized in collaboration with the Municipality of Pontiac.


The Relais plein air du parc de la Gatineau welcomes you again at 397 Boulevard de la Cité-des-Jeunes, October 19, 10 am to 2 pm

Make the Relais plein air your base camp for exploring Gatineau Park.

  • Brunch
  • Outdoor yoga
  • A variety of other activities

Fairbairn Heritage Harvest at the ​Fairbairn Heritage House Centre, 45 Wakefield Heights, October 19, 10 am to 4 pm

The Fairbairn House Heritage Centre is celebrating the fall harvest. Join us at this charming heritage home in Wakefield. Learn more about local products, and enjoy watching various demonstrations and performances. A great way to have fun as a family!

  • Ice-cream-making workshop (1 pm)
  • Performance by Tractor, a folk-rock band from Wakefield (2 pm)
  • Butter-making workshop (3 pm)
  • Cider press demonstration (Ferme et Forêt)
  • Pumpkin painting ($)
  • Local products available for tasting and purchase (Quebec Association for Independent Living and Ferme et Forêt)

Take the opportunity to explore the village shops or to spend time on a local terrace at the end of the day. The reflection of colourful trees on the water and the famous covered bridge in the background make a perfect scene for your fall photos.

Nature Days at Breton Beach, Philippe Lake, October 19 and 20, 11 am to 4 pm

This activity will be presented on two different weekends this year.

  • Demonstrations with birds of prey at 11:30 am and 2 pm
  • Guided hikes with nature interpreters at noon in French and 2:30 pm in English
  • Interpretation and ongoing activities for families
  • Bring a lunch: Breton Beach is equipped with barbecues and picnic tables

Don’t forget the Greenbelt

Truly spectacular, yet still a secret to many, Canada’s Capital Greenbelt offers dazzling views of fall landscapes — and 150 kilometres of trails.

  • Shirleys Bay (7 km)
  • Stony Swamp (40 km)
  • Pine Grove (18 km)
  • Green’s Creek (6 km)
  • Mer Bleue, one of the most studied wetland environments in the world, offers 20 kilometres of hiking trails and boardwalks to admire the brilliant fall colours.

Instagram Contest: Share your best fall photo

To enter, add #FallRhapsody and @NCC-CCN to your photo and post it on Instagram before October 31, 2019. You could win a winter season pass for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snow biking in Gatineau Park.

The NCC is proud of its association with the following partners of Fall Rhapsody: Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO), Camp Fortune, Outaouais Tourism, Municipality of Chelsea, Municipality of Pontiac, Municipality of La Pêche, Fairbairn House, Relais plein air du parc de la Gatineau, the Algonquin Anishinabeg communities, and Imagi Communications.


“Come and enjoy the spectacular fall colours on display throughout Canada’s Capital Region! In addition to the popular spots in Gatineau Park, many other unique places offer magnificent views. Whether you want to stay in the downtown core or explore the peaceful Greenbelt, there are so many ways to enjoy Fall Rhapsody. It’s also a great occasion to get a taste of local flavours, watch artists at work, chat with our interpreters and meet local merchants.”
—Tobi Nussbaum, Chief Executive Officer, National Capital Commission
“Once again this year, the STO is proud to be associated with Fall Rhapsody. Every Saturday and Sunday in October, from the 5th to the 27th, as well as on Monday, October 14, citizens will be able to travel free from downtown Gatineau (Hull sector) and Ottawa by shuttle bus, to the heart of Gatineau Park. Those who wish to further reduce their ecological footprint by leaving their cars at home can also take advantage of the family rate, in effect on our regular network every weekend, to go to one of the four shuttle stops. This fall, experience Gatineau Park by bus!”
—Myriam Nadeau, Chair, Société de transport de l’Outaouais (STO)
“In the Outaouais region, we are fortunate to have nature right at our doorstep. The free shuttle service allows many local and international visitors in Ottawa to experience Fall Rhapsody in the parks of the Outaouais. It is an efficient and environmentally friendly means of transport that allows people to discover these places and access them during this busy season. We hope that visitors and travellers will also take the opportunity to visit other regional attractions in the areas surrounding Gatineau Park.”
—France Bélisle, Chief Executive Officer at Outaouais Tourism


Media Information:

Cédric Pelletier
NCC Media Relations
613-239-5678 ext. 5709 (office)
613-852-2804 (cellular)