Life in Gatineau

International Students Life in Gatineau


The National Capital Region is the official federal designation for Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, the city of Gatineau and its surrounding area. It is also known as Ottawa-Gatineau (or previously Ottawa-Hull). The National Capital Region has a total population of 1,323,783 (2016)1 and covers an area of 5,318.36 km2 between the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. It is the only urban area in Canada that crosses a provincial border. 

All about the City of Gatineau

  • In 2010 and 2011, Ottawa-Gatineau ranked as the best place to live in Canada, according to MoneySense. 
  • In 2007, the Ottawa-Gatineau region was ranked as one of the seven smartest regions in the world by the Intelligent Community Forum.
  • The region was also ranked sixth in the world for quality of life by the Swiss-based Corporate Resource Group. 
  • Ottawa-Gatineau was identified as having the lowest cost of living of any major city in North America. 
  • A cross-Canada survey also showed that this region is the best place to live and work in Canada.
  • Ottawa-Gatineau is considered by some to be the Silicon Valley of Canada. The region is home to more than 1,800 high-tech companies. 

Places to visit

  • National Arts Centre (NAC) – offers a wide variety of performances, English and French theater, concerts and dance.
  • Royal Canadian Mint – This is where Canada’s currency is made. The Canadian currency is full of innovations. Did you know that the first coloured coin was made in Canada? 
  • Supreme Court of Canada 
  • National Library and Archives 
  • Parliament: a must when visiting Ottawa. Visit the Senate, the House of Commons, the Peace Tower, the Library of Parliament, and more! 
  • Canada Agriculture Museum 
  • Canada Aviation Museum 
  • Canada Science and Technology Museum 
  • Canadian Museum of History 
  • Canadian Children’s Museum 
  • Canadian Museum of Nature 13 

Acivities to do 

After sunset, you can catch a movie at Canada’s only bilingual drive-in theatre, Templeton Drive-In. 

You can also attend the Sound and Light Show on Parliament Hill. Northern Lights” is a free bilingual show that runs nightly from July to September.  

The Byward Market, located in downtown Ottawa, is a vibrant place with several clubs and bars serving food and drinks and open until 2 a.m. 

Some good suggestions:  :

  • Mercury Lounge, 56 Byward Market Square, open at 9 pm 
  • The Bourbon Room, 400 Dalhousie Street, open at 10 pm 
  • The Whiskey Bar, 112 York Street, open at 9 pm 
  • Pub 101, 101 York Street 
  • Junxion, 15 George Street, open at 10 p.m. 
  • Green Room, 130 York Street, open at 9 p.m. 

For your shopping

  • St. Laurent Centre, located off Highway 417, has almost 200 stores. There are both upscale and less expensive stores. There are also many fast food restaurants with table service. 
  • Billings Bridge, located on the Transitway with its own bus stop, has nearly 90 stores. Most of these – such as Walmart and BulkBarn – are affordable. 
  • Rideau Centre, located in the center of the City of Ottawa, is the first shopping destination for locals and tourists alike. It has 180 stores and services, from high fashion to dollar stores! 
  • Les promenades de Gatineau, a major shopping center in Canada’s National Capital Region. It is located in the city of Gatineau near the intersection of Gréber and Maloney boulevards, which is one of the busiest intersections in the city and is located near Highway 50. It is considered the second largest shopping center in the region in terms of retail space, surpassed only by the 90,300 square meter St. Laurent Centre. Its website indicates that it offers approximately 78,500 square metres of total space, including the three-storey office building on the south side of the complex, which hosts federal government offices.