Big Hardware Stores in Gatineau – The Unofficial Tour

Big hardware stores are where you buy construction stuff – lumber, mouldings, fence, etc, along with other hardware materials. Biking to those in Ottawa from downtown can be pretty daunting, but Réno-Dépôt in Gatineau is accessible via bike paths pretty much all the way. Yesterday I had to return some prop items to both Réno-Depot and Pilon hardware stores in Gatineau. They happen to be close together, so I made sure my ride took me past both stores.

The red line on the map below shows the best route to get to Réno-Dépôt. The blue line is where I diverged from this recommended route to get to Pilon, then Réno-Dépôt and beyond.

These huge steam pipes hug the wall where the bike path passes under the Portage Bridge on the Quebec side. Not too long ago they used to hiss and pop.

Cool steam pipes

On one side of the path, just before it slips under Boulevard des Alummettières, sit these elegant, simple and effective demarcation posts.

Cool demarcation posts

Pilon is retro 60’s, from the design of the building, to it’s big old roof sign, to all the clean cut friendly salesmen sporting crisp shirts and ties. No orange bibs here, thank you very much.


Pretty soon there will be a bike path all along Boulevard de la Carrière, which you can take from Pilon to Réno, but right now they are in the middle of road repairs. Lousy to bike through. The changes to the road will result in separate lanes for cars, buses, trains and bikes. Here’s how it will appear, as seen in this section completed closer to Réno.

Lanes past Réno

To get to the streets I wanted to cover further north I had to cross under highway 5 at Boulevard St Joseph. Avoid this intersection at all cost. If there exists a list of ‘worst intersections for bikes in Gatineau’ I am sure this one is on it. Cars fly down St Joseph while others zip on and off the highway ramps with barely a glance. An absolute mess.

The streets I visited just south of Boulevard Mont Bleu are filled with a great mix of housing styles from the fifties and sixties. One intriguing period style I’ve come across throughout the region has big black rocks set into the facade like so.

Big black rocks

Great looking windows extending up to the roofline and tall recessed entrance on the one below.

Mid-century modern, Gatineau style

Although it’s been extensively altered away from it’s 50’s origins, I love the mish mash of growth all around this one. The little boat up top suggests an image of the whole house being submerged with seaweed growing up and around it.

Under the sea

I then followed designated bike lanes from Boulevard Riel all the way to the Ruisseau-de-la-brasserie Pathway.

A final look at big steam pipes on the way back seen from under the Portage Bridge.

Author: ottawavelo


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