Canadian Museum of History © M. Dupuis

Outaouais

Less than two hours from Montréal and just steps from Ottawa lies a 33,000 km2 (12,750 sq. mi.) playground that’s sure to satisfy all your recreational needs: Outaouais—where the effervescence of city life meets the quiet of nature.

Location and access

The Rivière des Outaouais (Ottawa River) draws the dividing line between the Outaouais region and Ontario. From Gatineau, which sits directly across the river from Ottawa at 200 km west of Montréal, Route 105 goes up to Grand-Remous where Route 117 brings you to the region’s northern reaches.

Nordik Spa-Nature © Nordik Spa-Nature
Fairmont Le Château Montebello © D. Delnea
Champlain Lookout – Gatineau Park © P. Tifo
Children’s Museum © P. Tifo

While visitors may be drawn to a region for its famous attractions, it’s the little unexpected discoveries along the way that often make a trip memorable.

Be it a natural whirlpool at the base of a cascade nestled deep in the forest, the largest selection of beers in Québec served up in an exceedingly charming neighbourhood, the ruins of an unusual industrial plant tucked away in the heart of a large park, artwork on display along a forested bike path, a terrace perched above the banks of the Ottawa River, where you can take in sublime sunsets…

Hidden treasures await you in every corner of the Outaouais region! Criss‑cross its roads or ask the locals to show you the way—you’ll discover Outaouais like you never imagined!

Éco-Odyssée offers a 6-km (3.7 mi.) water maze with some 60 intersections that you can explore by pedal boat. What’s more, a handy app available in seven languages functions like a GPS on your cell phone, allowing you to identify your location.

If a bison licks the window of your car to get some attention (or earn a carrot), if you can touch literally EVERYTHING in a museum, if you can fearlessly swing from tree to tree or run around in North America’s largest snow playground, then it’s safe to say that Outaouais is THE place for family fun.

In fact, July is designated family month here! We have everything you could dream of to experience unforgettable never-before moments with your loved ones. Get up close to dinosaurs and majestic totem poles or visit the trenches of the First World War. With a host of festivals, lakes and rivers—not to mention the largest skating rink in the world—visitors of all ages can find something to capture their imagination.

To shake your sillies out, as they say, or end your day a little the wiser, there’s no better than visiting Outaouais as a family.

The Canadian Children’s Museum is Canada’s largest exhibition centre designed just for little ones. It is located within the Canadian Museum of History, Canada’s most-visited museum and the country’s leading cultural attraction.

The air is great, here in Outaouais. You’ll discover this yourself as soon as you set foot in our outdoor playground, which includes Gatineau Park, among others, and is just steps from the city.

Burn off some steam on the cross-country and snowshoeing trails. Take to the miles of bike and walking trails. From Montebello to Fort-Coulonge, from Chelsea to Maniwaki, the scenery is ever-changing! There are canyons to scale, deserted islands to explore, rivers to tame… and you’ve got all four seasons in which to take advantage of literally hundreds of activities. While you’re at it, be sure to inhale deeply when you reach the Champlain Lookout by bike, as the air is even purer here.

In Outaouais, you can fly over and scale a canyon, go rafting under a full moon, plunge from the highest bungee jumping site in the continent, dogsled in summer, and recharge your batteries at the largest spa in North America.

What to do this winter: stay or go down south? We vote for south… the south of Québec, that is! In Outaouais, we’re warm to the idea of winter activities.

They say that matter contracts in cold, but here everything is bigger in winter. The largest skating rink in the world—you’ll find it here. The vastest snow playground in North America—that’s here too at the Snowflake Kingdom during Winterlude. Lace up your skates and glide along the Ruisseau de la Brasserie creek or the Rideau Canal. Strap on your snowshoes or cross-country skis in Gatineau Park. Hurtle along the trails via dogsled, go tubing down the slopes or trot through the snow on horseback.

To slow the pace, treat yourself to ultimate relaxation at the largest spa in North America and spend a magical night in a yurt, deep in the forest.

Outaouais has over 540 km (335.5 mi.) of cross-country ski trails. Spanning from city to wilderness, skirting lakes and carving into the heart of Gatineau Park, it is one of the most expansive cross-country ski trail networks in North America.

Online booking
Online booking
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