Jacques-Cartier Park, built in the 1930s, is a site rich in history, which was named after one of Canada’s early explorers. As one of the Capital’s major parks, it is often the site of national events, such as Canada Day and Winterlude.

Jacques-Cartier Park is located in the Hull sector of Gatineau, along the Ottawa River on Laurier Street. It is close to the Alexandra Bridge, Canadian Museum of History and the Maison du Tourisme. Its location provides magnificent scenes of the river and Parliament Hill.

In the south part of the park, the grassed areas are fenced off for site rehabilitation work, but the rest of the park and pathways remain accessible.

Facilities

  • Parking: The park offers several options for free parking (two hours), at the Charron House, Maison du vélo and in the northern part of the park. There are paid parking spaces at 210 Laurier Street and at the marina.
  • Washrooms: There are washrooms at the Maison du vélo.
  • Picnic areas: There are a few picnic tables in the park’s northern sector, one of which is universally accessible.

Recreational activities

Jacques-Cartier Park offers many recreational opportunities. The Capital Pathway, which runs through the park, is a perfect place for a nice walk with a view of the river. The park’s large expanses of grassy areas are great for spreading out a blanket and having a picnic. The park is also the location of the Hull Marina and a public dock.

Cycling

Take the recreational pathway to the Capital’s downtown core, to admire the beauty of nature at Leamy Lake or explore Gatineau Park — and beyond.

Boat launch

The boat launch accommodates both large and small boats, including motorboats.

Rentals

The Grenier du petit sportif, located in the Maison du vélo, offers a rental service for bicycles, enclosed child trailers, trailer bikes and tandems. They also carry a full line of bikes specially adapted for persons with disabilities, limited mobility or visual impairments.

Escape Tours and Rentals offers bike, kayak, canoe and paddleboard rentals from the marina.

Boat Cruises

Outaouais Cruises, Capital Cruises and Palapa Tours offer boat tours from the marina.

History

Built in the 1930s, the park was named after Jacques Cartier, one of Canada’s early explorers. In the past, this area was a place to stop and camp before portaging around Chaudières Falls.

Two buildings of historical interest can be seen in the park:

  • The Charron House was built between 1826 and 1841 by Philemon Wright, the founder of Hull. It is an example of an early European settler home. It also housed the offices of the Ottawa Transportation Company (1912).
  • The Gilmour and Hughson Limited Office (1892) is located at the north end of the park. It is one of the last sites on the Ottawa River linked to the Gilmour Hughson Lumber Co., a major Canadian lumber company of the 19th century. The building now houses the Maison du vélo.

Other parks

Discover more about the NCC's parks in this map journal.