One Sunday back in August, I decided to go seek out a place I haven't explored before, a park on the Gatineau side of the Ottawa River. Today we're going to start taking a look at that walkabout. Rather than take the usual Alexandra Bridge across, I chose the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge to the east. This view is taken from Sussex Drive as I crossed over.
The Ottawa River along much of its length forms the lion's share of the boundary between Ontario and Quebec, and is wide here. The park I was headed to is Leamy Lake Park (Parc Ecologique du Lac Leamy), the wooded area over to the left. The Gatineau River finds its outlet into the Ottawa River there. I had never been there before.
Here is a view of Earnscliffe, the residence of the British High Commissioner, which I last showed you during Doors Open. It stands overlooking the river, a couple of minutes walk away from the bridge. The second view taken at more of a distance shows its neighbours, the National Research Council on its left, and the foreign ministry to its right.
This is something we don't see on the Alexandra Bridge- a clear marker of where the provinces begin and end. On the other side of the bridge, a similar sign is marked welcoming you into Ontario.
The Ottawa River is a big one, travelling over 1270 kilometres from its headwaters to its outlet in the St. Lawrence at Montreal. Here in the National Capital Region, the river has begun its final section, wide and well traveled. I had never crossed the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge on foot before; I have driven across, but on foot it's a different experience. This bridge is the last one over the river in the city; downstream from here you have to drive out to the Hawkesbury area an hour away to cross the river by bridge.
It also offers a different perspective of the Rideau Falls, which of course are east of Earnscliffe.
Here we are on the Gatineau side of the river. Jacques Cartier Park actually extends eastward a good deal, adjoining Leamy Lake Park, and these views take in the Rideau Falls on the far shore.