THE CULTURES OF OTTAWA AND GATINEAU

 

The Aboriginal Experience:  On Victoria Island the Aboriginal community has developed an interpretive centre where the aboriginal experience is on display via tours, dance, and food.

 

The Lumbering and Rural Experience: With the last of the mills recently shuttered, plans are afoot to turn the Chaudiere Falls area into a recreational and heritage area.  It is also one of the most picturesque sites in the Valley, and with a good guide, the roots of the two cities are revealed.

 

It is also possible to get some sense of what the early lumbering and farming communities were like by visits to to vibrant Lower Town Ottawa, a designated heritage area with its 19th century buildings still largely intact, and an active farmers’ market in their midst. Equally important for an insight into the local culture are the smaller towns in the city and valley.  As Ottawa City, by some measures, is about 70 per cent rural, the city’s website has links to its rural communities and the Valley.

 

Check  www.ottawa.ca/visitors/what_to_do/ and follow the tab “Ottawa’s Countryside” with links to “Rural Events and Attractions” and www.Ottawavalley.org .  The city site also has leads to entertainment possibilities.

 

A good guide to the many museums now part of the city as the result of a huge amalgamation in 2000 can be found at www.ottawamuseumnetwork.com.  

 

The Francophone Experience and The Working Experience: Specialized Museums have recently been developed in Ottawa to chart the Francophone and Working experience of the City. The former can be found in the Vanier Museopark at the former home of the seminary of Les Peres Blancs, in a gorgeous, little-visited site in Ottawa East.  Nearby is the Gamman House, at 306 Cyr, now home to the Ottawa Workers’ Heritage Centre.

 

Gatineau City: Ottawa’s sister city, across the Ottawa River in Quebec has its own rich culture and is always worth a visit.  A good guide iswww.tourisme-outaouais.ca available in both French and English.

 

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