Ville de Gatineau
Skip to main content

Learn more

On this page

See also

Learn more

In this page

See also

The Gatineau Cenotaph

A cenotaph was erected at the corner of boulevard Maloney Est and rue Notre-Dame in 1965 to commemorate the soldiers from Gatineau and its surroundings who had given up their lives for their country. This monument was a joint effort between Gatineau and the Royal Canadian Legion’s Norris Branch (Quebec no 227).

On November 18, 1963 Gatineau’s Municipal Council offered to pay for the plans and specifications for a cenotaph. A year later, the Royal Canadian Legion’s Norris Branch (Quebec no 227) took on the responsibility for raising $16,000 towards this project.

On May 3, 1965, the Municipal Council commissioned architect Jean Ouellet to prepare the plans and specifications. On October 4, Gatineau accepted the submission by Gatineau Construction ltée to build a cenotaph in Gatineau at a cost of $29,418. On May 15, 1967, Gatineau’s Municipal Council accepted the submission by Bélec Asphalt Paving for the paving of the area around the cenotaph. The new cenotaph’s inaugural Remembrance Day ceremony took place on November 11, 1968. In 1985, the Royal Canadian Legion installed three plaques on the cenotaph with the names of the soldiers killed in the three wars.

The three cement blocks represent the three wars: the First World War, the Second World War and the Korean War. They also symbolize the three armed forces: the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force. These three components are brought together on a single foundation to form a harmonious complex that is in tune with the modern Canadian military concept of unified armed forces. These elements rise in salute to the air force, are anchored to the ground in honour of the army and are surrounded by water in tribute to the navy. The enormous dimensions of the three pillars accentuate the importance of this trio in modern times, and express our eternal gratitude to those who gave up their lives for our country.

The goal was to have a monument that would be a modern structure in line with Gatineau’s progressive mindset, and that would, together with the surrounding park, become a historic site displaying the names of Gatineau residents who gave their lives in defence of our country. This goal has been achieved. As the trees grow, this site becomes increasingly more attractive.


The monument is located at the corner of boulevard Maloney Est and rue Notre-Dame, in the Gatineau sector.

The monument in tribute to Philemon Wright

Philemon Wright (1760–1839) and his family were the original settlers in this region in 1800. He founded Wright’s Town—the former city of Hull, which is now part of Gatineau—and started the timber industry.

The people of Hull erected this bronze portrait of Philemon Wright on the 150th anniversary of his arrival.

At the base of the monument, there are two metal plaques with bilingual inscriptions. The one on the left reads: “Erected by residents and unveiled by His Excellency Field Marshal, The Right Honourable The Viscount Alexander of Tunis, K.C., Governor General of Canada, on the 20th day of June 1950, on this 150th anniversary of the foundation and 75th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Hull. Anno Domini MCML.”

The one on the right displays the names of the members of the Municipal Council of the city of Hull.


The monument is located close to the intersection of rue Montcalm and rue Laurier, in the Hull sector.

National Capital Commission, Street SmART: A Guide to Art on the Streets of Canada’s Capital Region, 42 p.
Le Droit, June 21, 1950
City of Hull, H005, holdings of the clerk’s office, city of Hull

Hull memory bench

The last of the bicentennial activities, this project, presented by Jérémie Giles, was inaugurated on December 15, 2000. The purpose was to invite the residents of Hull to leave a footprint in time on the occasion of their bicentenary by providing objects, testimonials and photos to be sealed in two capsules.

The bench is anchored on the outdoor terrace of Maison du citoyen, rue Laurier, at the main entrance. It consists of two temporal cement pedestals into which are sealed steel boxes connected to one another to form a bench. This “Hull memory bench” is explained on a granite plaque, and each pedestal is identified by a plaque indicating the year when it is to be opened.

The first pedestal is to be opened in 2050, and was intended to give Hull residents the opportunity to leave to their descendants a message going back 50 years.

It contains: texts by members of the Municipal Council, texts and drawings received from the public, drawings by grade 3 students in the newest and oldest schools: Saint-Jean-Bosco, which opened in 1926 (école Laverdure) and du Plateau, which opened in 1998, and a digital copy of the documents placed in the capsule.

The second pedestal is to be opened in 2100, and was intended to give Hull residents the opportunity to make projections for the future.


Hard copy documents: a speech by the Mayor; texts received from the public; a Dallaire 2000 calendar; road maps (Hull and Aylmer by bike, City of Hull, urban circuits, 2000 edition); a pamphlet (municipal coat of arms); pamphlets (socio-economic information from 2000); a pamphlet (La fusion municipale à Hull: vers une ville nouvelle); a press kit (Hull bicentennial); another press kit (city of Hull); and a sign (Hull bicentennial).
Cloth items: flag of the city of Hull (coat or arms, 3 x 6 inch format); police crest.

Metal items: napkin ring (municipal coat of arms); pin (municipal coat of arms); pin (Hull bicentennial); pin (IVth Jeux de la Francophonie).

Electronic items: city of Hull virtual business card. Digital copy of documents included in the 2050 capsule.

City of Hull, news releases, 2000
City of Hull, H005, holdings of the clerk’s office, city of Hull

The lighted cross

On June 25, 1950, the day the city of Hull closed its anniversary celebrations, the Archbishop of Ottawa, the Most Reverend Alexandre Vachon presided over the inauguration of a giant lighted cross on the highest point of Columbia Park, where an enormous crowd of at least 10,000 had gathered to witness the project that had been so warmly approved by the Archbishop of Ottawa.

This was the general historical description of the event by the Saint Jean Baptiste societies of Eastview, Hull and Ottawa in a document introducing the national holiday of French Canada on June 24, 1951.

The idea of a lighted cross for Hull was first presented on July 4, 1938 to the Municipal Council, which had just set up a committee to study the project. But the war and economic conditions forced the project to be postponed until February 1949, when the committee that had been set up ten years earlier, met again and revived the project.

In the space of six months, the committee, supported by key local personalities, gave the city of Hull a monument that the local Saint Jean Baptiste Society, the Municipal Council, the religious authorities in the diocese, the municipality and its residents received with a sense of pride: a monument that will inspire future generations to retain the Christian and basically religious character of the city of Hull.

The lifting of the cross in 1995

On August 15, 1995, Hull Mayor Yves Ducharme, announced at a press conference that the lighted cross of the city of Hull, located at the North end of rue Boucherville would be lifted.

Because of its location amidst growing trees, it was becoming increasingly difficult to see the cross, even from a distance. Therefore the city of Hull undertook to correct the situation.

As the Mayor indicated, it made more sense to find a solution involving the structure of the cross than to cut down the obstructing trees. As a result, they opted to lift the cross 9.5 metres, thereby bringing it to a height of 23.9 metres.

This gave the Mayor the idea to organize a bee, and he approached a number of businesses around Hull and the region to ask them to contribute to the lifting of the cross. These included:

  • Bellai et Frères ltée: engineers
  • Yves Auger de Hull: official engineer of the project
  • Les toitures Raymond inc.: services of a mobile crane
  • All in Crane d’Aylmer: the three steel sections that were used to lift the cross
  • Fertal inc. d’Aylmer: steel and welding work
  • Givesco de Hull: assembly bolts
  • Marois électrique de Hull: electrical work
  • City of Hull, public works employees: reconstruction of the cement foundation

National Capital Commission, Street SmART: A Guide to Art on the Streets of Canada’s Capital Region, 42 p.
City of Hull, news release, 1995
City of Hull, H005, holdings of the clerk’s office, city of Hull

Fontaine des bâtisseurs

This fountain, designed by Hull artist Vincent Théberge, commemorates the centenary of the incorporation of the city of Hull as a municipality.

Composed of cylinders symbolizing logs, this fountain measures just over 15 metres. The work highlights the importance and growth of the lumber industry to Hull (which is now part of Gatineau). The harmonious blending of the 194 small cylinders grafted onto the eight large cylinders at the centre evokes a large organ and its grand melodies. The spouting and cascading water is a reminder of the rivers that have contributed to the city’s growth over the years.

National Capital Commission, Street SmART: A Guide to Art on the Streets of Canada’s Capital Region, 42 p.
City of Hull, H005, holdings of the clerk’s office, city of Hull

Jean Dallaire

Jean Dallaire, a native of old Hull, is known for his imaginative, poetic, occasionally playful and whimsical art. He marked his era with his exceptional vision of painting and his varied and prolific output. His work reveals an extraordinary talent for uniqueness, daring and freedom, admirably revealing his creative genius and his undeniable contribution to the history of art.

On June 18, 2001, the city of Hull paid special tribute to Jean Dallaire, the well-known international painter, by inaugurating a bust in his memory in the Carré Vaudreuil, across from the house where he grew up, at 57 rue Vaudreuil.

At the inauguration, Mayor Yves Ducharme pointed out that since Dallaire was born in the city of Hull, it was a great honour to celebrate the work that he left and to pay tribute to his memory. The municipal councillor for the Montcalm neighbourhood, Roland Michaud, added that Jean Dallaire had shown perseverance in the pursuit of excellence, serving as a fine example for our youth.

National Capital Commission, Street SmART: A Guide to Art on the Streets of Canada’s Capital Region, 42 p.
City of Hull, news release, 2001

Monument to the memory of Father Louis-Étienne Delille Reboul

Designed by Hull artist Vincent Théberge based on a proposal by Raymond Ouimet, the project coordinator, the brushed stainless steel work is a reminder of the narrow and high “matchstick houses” that were so typical to Hull, the altarpiece or inner structure of some cathedrals, and finally the unique architecture of some church steeples. All of these point to Father Louis-Étienne Reboul, Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

Father Louis-Étienne Delille, born in Saint-Pons, in Ardèche (France), settled in Hull in 1860, every winter visiting the work sites in Upper Gatineau. At the time, the village of Hull was but a small borough, part of the municipality of the township of Hull, whose administrative offices were located in Chelsea. In 1908, Hull journalist Ernest Cinq-Mars wrote that father Reboul found himself in Hull, at the very start, and started it all. Barely off the boat, the priest from Ardèche founded a parish, building a church and schools for boys and girls, worked on building streets, promoted the opening of roads, helped set up policing services and started the steps to split the village of Hull from the township in order to procure it a municipal charter. This led to the foundation of the City of Hull in 1875. When Father Reboul died in 1877, Monsignor Thomas Duhamel, Archbishop of Ottawa told the residents of Hull that they would never forget that he was, as he put it, the first and most active of those who worked on the foundation and growth of their young city.

The work by Vincent Théberge was made possible by the close financial cooperation between the Hull Bicentennial Corporation and the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, whose representative had been Father Bernard Ménard. The monument to Father Reboul was unveiled on June 12, 2001 before Hull Mayor Yves Ducharme, Father Claude Champagne, Provincial Superior of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and Marc Senécal, President of the Hull Bicentennial Corporation.

City of Hull, news release, 2001

Never Again War – Monument to Peace and Remembrance

How the monument came to be

This project has a long history, going back to 1939, when the first standing committee for the cenotaph was set up at the Hull branch. A number of people supported this cause, in particular Gaston Garceau, who steadfastly promoted the project throughout the 1980s.

In order to support the efforts of legionnaires, a remembrance monument committee was set up in 1984 with representatives of the Hull branch and the City of Hull.

In 1991, thanks to the approaches made by Michel Légère, at the time Mayor of Hull, to the Honourable Marcel Masse, Minister of National Defence, the use of a parcel of land located in front of the Salaberry Armoury was approved. In February 1992, landscape architect Denis Massie and his team were selected by a jury to create the Monument to Peace and Remembrance.

A positive outlook to the future

Never Again War – Monument to Peace and Remembrance in Hull is a double dedication. The first is a message of peace and harmony for the future, the second pays tribute to the men, women and children of Hull who suffered because of the wars. In this regard, the members of the municipal councils that contributed to the creation of this monument were happy to provide a quality public site for the city’s residents to remember war in order to better work on preserving peace.

National Capital Commission, Street SmART: A Guide to Art on the Streets of Canada’s Capital Region, 42 p.
Recollection Album: Monument to Peace and Remembrance in Hull, Hull: Galerie Montcalm: Royal Canadian Legion, Hull Branch, Quebec 30; Ottawa: Department of National Defence, 1992, 63 p.
City of Hull, news releases, 1992

Monument to the family

On May 15, 1995, as part of the International Year of the Family, the City of Hull inaugurated the Place de la famille monument.

Located at the corner of rue Laval and boulevard Saint-Laurent, blending into the parc du sentier de l’Île, this site was chosen because of its location on the island of Hull, where the first Hull families lived.

This monument is specifically dedicated to those born in 1994, and was erected to demonstrate the importance of the family unit in the Hull community.

This site was chosen in connection with the International Year of the Family. Twelve trees planted in November 1994 and surrounding this site, serve as reminders of the twelve electoral districts of the City of Hull. The exercise involved local artists from the Tripode group in creating the monument and engraving the names of those born in 1994.

The inauguration of this monument marked an important moment for the city, because it reiterated its position on its family policy which, without prejudice to any given domestic arrangement, aims to foster the development of people making up the family unit.

National Capital Commission, Street SmART: A Guide to Art on the Streets of Canada’s Capital Region, 42 p.
City of Hull, news release, 1994–1995

Place du Portugal

Monument to Hull’s Portuguese community

On October 10, 1996, Hull Mayor Yves Ducharme inaugurated, in the presence of His Excellency Fernando Da Silva Marques, Ambassador of Portugal, a monument at the corner of rue Morin and rue Papineau dedicated to Hull’s Portuguese community.

The monument, a sign of recognition from the host community to the immigrants it welcomed, is made of Dark Caledonia granite from Quebec, representing durability and nobility. There are two plaques on the front, one a message from the Ambassador of Portugal, the other a message from the Mayor of Hull. The Portuguese coat of arms and two maple leaves also appear. The coat of arms is enamel on copper, a work by Ghislaine Van Dyck. Along the path leading to the monument are the flags of Canada, Portugal, Quebec, the Azores and the city of Hull, and a floral arrangement completes the landscape.

This project was initiated in the 1990s by Michel Légère, the mayor at the time. It was only after the last elections that the project was revived by the municipal councillor of the Montcalm district, Roland Michaud. He was a key link between the Portuguese community and the city of Hull. He also added $6,500 to the project from his discretionary budget. Mr. Michaud indicated that the $50,000 project was a sign of recognition by the city to one of its communities, for its loyalty and social involvement.

The site coordinator was Michel Diver, land use and urban coordinator for the city of Hull. José Rego, President of the Portuguese Community Centre, Les Amis-unis, was closely involved in the project.

The addition of three enamel-on-copper medallions was inaugurated on June 3, 1999. The medallions represent three symbols of Portuguese history and culture:

  • the caravel: a ship invented by the Portuguese, capable of crossing any ocean;
  • the carnation: the flower of a revolution without war; and
  • the rooster of Barcelos: from Portuguese legend and tradition.

The artist, Ghislaine Van Dyck, is a descendant of a pioneer family in Rigaud. She is one of the few painter-enamelers in Canada. Sensitive, attentive to the language and beauty of nature, Ms. Van Dyck creates works that reflect the secrets and emotions of our seasons. She has been practicing her art with great skills for 27 years.

National Capital Commission, Street SmART: A Guide to Art on the Streets of Canada’s Capital Region, 42 p.
City of Hull, clerk’s office, contract series
City of Hull, news releases, 1996 and 1999

Monument commemorating the visit by Pope John Paul II to Hull

In an effort to commemorate this memorable event forever in the minds of the resident of Hull and the Outaouais, Mayor Marcel Beaudry unveiled a commemorative monument to the papal visit during a very special ceremony. He was accompanied by Archbishop Roger Ébacher and a large group of church dignitaries and special guests.

A monument of African black granite

The monument on the property of the Sisters of Servants of Jesus-Mary at 210 rue Laurier was built by Gatineau’s St-Martin et fils company.

Measuring 183 cm (72 inches) in height and 76 cm (30 inches) in diameter, the monument is made of the finest quality African black granite. Every one of its surfaces is polished. The cylinder rests on a cylindrical base of the same material, measuring 30 cm (12 inches) in height and 107 cm (42 inches) in diameter.

An engraving measuring 46 cm (18 inches) in height and 30 cm (12 inches) in width represents the Pope’s face on the main cylinder, and is accompanied by a commemorative text.

National Capital Commission, Street SmART: A Guide to Art on the Streets of Canada’s Capital Region, 42 p.
City of Hull, news releases, 1991

Place du marché (1843)

Commemorative Park

This site, which was originally set up in 1843 as a marketplace on land donated by Aylmer’s founder Charles Symmes, quickly became the community’s business and social hub. In the early 1920s, stone monuments were erected with funds donated by the local chapter of the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire to commemorate Aylmer residents who lost their lives in World War I. This particularly charming park remains a point of interest in the centre of Old Aylmer.

The Dasken affair

In 1970, the peaceful existence of the residents of Jardins Taché was disrupted by a major event. Land along rue Saint-François was sold by the nuns of the Ville-Joie-Sainte-Thérèse orphanage to Aylmer Road Holdings, and then resold to Dasken Enterprises.

This company wanted to build six towers (four ten-storey and two sixteen-storey) in a neighbourhood where zoning prohibited the construction of high buildings. This zoning had been passed by the City of Hull in the 1960s at the request of the neighbourhood’s residents.

The Jardins Taché property owners association (today the Association des résidants des Jardins Taché) pulled together to fight the project. A new resident, lawyer Renée Joyal, noticed that the City had given Dasken—behind the backs of the residents—a building permit that violated the zoning by-law.

A legal battle ensued, with the Association opposing, step by step and up to the Supreme Court of Canada, the retroactive amendment of the zoning by-law. Between the different stages of the legal saga, the City tried to amend the zoning through private bills tabled in Quebec’s National Assembly. The requests were dismissed by the Parliament.

The Supreme Court ruling (December 1971) was unequivocal: the zoning by-law prohibited the issuance of the permits to Dasken. The court revoked the permits and ordered the demolition, at the developer’s expense, of everything that had been erected.

The City would not accept the ruling. As a last recourse, it decided to amend the by-law unilaterally, first through a public survey (which was ruled illegal, null and void), and then a referendum. The latter was held in August 1972, and was won by the residents, and the decision was final: the neighbourhood’s zoning would not change.

With this part of the battle over, there remained only one last step: have the buildings under construction demolished at Dasken’s expense, in this case one two-storey one and another seven-storey one. With Dasken having filed for bankruptcy, it fell upon the members of the Association to have them demolished, in part at their expense. The contractor who was put in charge of the demolition was greeted by an enthusiastic crowd on rue Saint-François.

Enfin le soleil by artist Luc Paris

Parc Sainte-Thérèse was installed by the City at the site of the two demolished buildings. To commemorate these events, a sculpture by artist Luc Paris (1949–2009), made from the iron and concrete rubble of the buildings, was erected in the park in the early 1990s.

Entitled Enfin le soleil (finally the sun), this piece symbolizes the residents’ victory over the powerful developers, and the triumphant sunlight once again shining over the neighbourhood, freed from the shadows cast by the tall buildings. The sculpture serves as a reminder that the events that unfolded at this site were anything but humdrum.

About Gatineau

Recognized for its quality of life, Gatineau is a city of 290,000 inhabitants. It is located on the north shore of the Ottawa River, and extends east and west of the Gatineau River.

Return to top of page