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The rich history of the Gatineau River can be read in terms of the people who have lived here, especially the industrious settlers who founded and developed the communities along the shores of the river. Relatives and connections from various regions overseas began moving into the unoccupied Gatineau region, as there was land available to anyone willing to work it.

Many of these families set aside their previous trades, their previous existences, to make a new life for themselves here.


Cottages along the Gatineau
Cottages along the Gatineau

Farming, the main occupation of these founding families, was bred out of the necessity to work the land in order to survive. As the people of the area became more established, they began tapping into the area's resources in more elaborate ways. Soon, various types of mills, factories, and businesses began sprouting up.

Eventually, the local economies shifted into a more service-oriented, tourist-based economy, with a large portion of the summer population being cottagers.

There is a rich heritage of founding families whose legacies live on in these communities. These are the people who were at the forefront of the uncovering of this land, making it inhabitable by society's standards for the many people who enjoy it both as a home and as a recreational playground.

People of Note

Pearson's gravestone
The grave site of Lester B. Pearson, MacLaren Cemetery, Wakefield

Some, such as Canada's former Prime Minister, Lester B. Pearson, chose it as their final resting spot.

The region also inspired another Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King.

Along side his monumental estate at Kingsmere runs a vast monument of the area's natural landscape, known as the Gatineau Park. Its preservation was instigated by King's great, if sometimes eccentric, affection for the region.


The quality of life in the Gatineau region has attracted many people. It has also retained many descendants of the founding families, breeding many fond memories and stories to be told.

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