Crossing the Lady Aberdeen Bridge over the Gatineau River just before it blends into the Ottawa River, one arrives in Pointe-Gatineau. NCC bike paths can be followed the entire way from downtown Ottawa.
Named after the point of land on which it sits at the confluence of these two mighty rivers, the area has a long history of settlement dating back to the early 1800’s. From the outset the Catholic Church established a dominant presence. The picturesque Saint-François-de-Sales church greets you just as you pedal over the bridge onto the eastern shore.
UPDATE– Fall 2016: There is a new multi-use path that goes along the edge of the river infront of the church, along Rue Jacques-Cartier and it’s fantastic! Click here for a description.
Many of the streets I explored behind the church are named after Catholic Saints (Rue Saint Josephat; Rue St Antoine; etc). Most of these streets are lined with comfy one story homes, however the main street beyond the church, Boulevard Gréber, feels like a battered strip which progress has left behind.
On the way there, or back, if you follow the bike path behind the Museum of Civilization you will come across this great series of sculptures titled People by Louis Archambault, originally presented at Montreal’s Expo 67.