Heritage and Culture in Gatineau Park

Photo of the “Carbide” Willson ruins in Gatineau Park
The “Carbide” Willson ruins in Gatineau Park

Gatineau Park has a long human history. Occupation of the Gatineau Park area by pre-contact Aboriginal populations dates to at least 8,000 years ago. In the nineteenth century, settlers and early industrialists were drawn to the area due to its resources and closeness to Ottawa. Today, the traces of historic land use can be found throughout the Park, notably in its cultural and heritage landscapes. These include the Mackenzie King Estate, the “Carbide” Willson ruins, mines, farmsteads and many other heritage remains.

Our goal is to tell the stories of human history in the Park, while respecting the conservation of the natural environment. To this effect, the NCC takes the following approach to managing Gatineau Park’s heritage and cultural resources. The NCC will:

  • hold in trust cultural resources of heritage significance so that present and future generations may enjoy and benefit from them.
  • prioritize cultural resources of national and Capital importance, while working with partners to conserve cultural resources of local importance.
  • ensure the ongoing maintenance and care of priority cultural resources.
  • protect and interpret those heritage resources that promote public understanding and appreciation of the history, evolution, and role of Gatineau Park within the Capital.

Please help us conserve heritage landscapes in the Park by leaving them as you found them and by not climbing on any ruins.