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Gatineau River: Then and Now

Lower Gatineau River from the air in 1926 and 1997

The following 20 sets of NOW and THEN photographs were taken from the Chelsea Dam north to Wakefield. The "THEN" photographs on the left side were taken by an RCAF aircraft on November 6, 1926. The "NOW" photographs on the right were taken from approximately the same height and angle on November 26, 1997 unless otherwise noted by Marshall Maruska Aerial Images.

Take a flight or start at one of the following locations:

Come take a flight in our aerial time machine to see in amazing detail the massive changes to the lower Gatineau River's environment that resulted from the completion of the Gatineau Power Company's Chelsea and Farmers Rapids Dams in the Spring of 1927.

The two dams with a combined drop of 48 metres created the forebay we enjoy today. However it was at a cost of many farms and several villages being flooded. It also forced the re-location of the CPR rail line westward to higher ground for the stretch from just below Tenaga up to the village of Cascades. As well the rising waters drowned out six sets of beautiful white-water rapids and a waterfall at the Eaton Chute.

These 40 photographs have been donated to the Gatineau Valley Historical Society by Marshall Maruska Aerial Images of Chelsea, Quebec. They have been entered into the GVHS's Digital Image Bank to be made available for use in GVHS publications and on their web site. These images are available as high quality prints and in electronic format from aerialphotographs.ca.

See articles Early Aerial Photography of the Gatineau River Valley published in the Up the Gatineau! Volume 27 and Flying through time with the Historical Society published in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" (2008).