150 Years of History in the Hills
The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the July 26, 2017 issue. Reprinted with permission.
'Summering' at the cottage on the Gatineau
The construction of the rail line to Maniwaki in the late 19th century opened up the Gatineau to Ottawans, who escaped the hot and humid summers in the city to modest (and not so modest) cottages, usually found close to water. Most were built along the banks of the Gatineau River, or near the shores of the many lakes that dot the region. This was known as 'summering' up the Gatineau.
In early days, there was no electricity or running water, and only simple outhouses. Many of the riverfront cottages were razed or relocated when the Gatineau River was flooded in 1926 to 1928 for the hydroelectric dams. Cottage country still thrives in the northern reaches of the Gatineau Valley, but many cottages in the Chelsea and Wakefield areas have been converted to year-round residences.