"Hull, Quebec - Another Tale of Two Cities!!" Top 5 Page for this destination Hull Travelogue by johngayton

Hull Travel Guide: 87 reviews and 200 photos

When Hull Was A City!!

Whilst Hull as a separate entity no longer exists, merely being a "secteur" of the Ville de Gatineau, its previous incarnation pops up in all sorts of diverse locations, from official street signs to shop fronts. Most of the signs refer to the days when Hull was a Francophone Ville in its own Wright (HA!) and others go back a little further.

This manhole cover is no museum piece but actually sits in the middle of the junction of a side street leading onto the main thorofare of St Joseph Blvd and is especially interesting in that it predates the present French-only signage to be found on this side of the river.

Mise En Garde!!

OK so Hull no longer exists as a physical entity but it does continue having a political life with M. Cholette being the local MP (Liberal Party) whose office is once again on Blvd St Joseph here in Gatineau!!

With this being an up-to-date piece of signage you will note that the WARNING poster is written in French only - if you don't read French then let me translate:

"BEWARE - If you come to press my office door button and you can't read in French then you will become a snowman!!" ...Or words to that effect anyway ;-)

OK This IS An Old One!

Here's a pic from a mural on the wall of the Kruger toilet paper factory on the Ottawa riverbank commemorating the trans-Canada relay of 2000 when water from all three of Canada's oceans was carried along the 18,000 kilometres of what is claimed to be the world's longest recreational trail. The relay commenced in the Arctic Circle in February and involved over 5000 carriers, 800 communities and 350,000 various spectators before finishing here in The National Capital Region that September.

This sign is also in English but for PC reasons only the French half is displayed here! For English try this link - Kruger and be prepared, be very prepared!!

Never Miss The Shopping Oppportunity...

...after all next week it could be: "Galleries de Gatineau" - Hmmm...which actually has a better flow to it doesn't it? Must email their marketing departement!!

Couldn't Be In A Worse Location Tho'!!

This is a place I've been batting my eyelids at for the last couple of weeks every time I pass it. By all accounts this is where to get the "Veritable Poutine" - no fancy cheese or greaseless chips but the true KiloCal high-octane stuff. Unfortunately its stuck in the middle of St Joseph and nowhere near any of my bars and the buses stop at midnight and the taxi driver refuses point blank to make a quick stop-off for a take-away - Ach, Poutine doesn't smell THAT bad!!

Another Hull Institution

I suppose they had to keep this named as it was. I can just imagine going to school one day in Hull and then being told that tomorrow I would have to go to Gatineau - Hey, any excuse to play hooky right??

Not So Sure About The Yellow Seagull...

...is that a throwback to Hull, UK (The ex fishing port with lots of seagulls)??

Wander down any main street here in Hull/Gatineau and the street signs themselves are in a constant flux - old Hull, new Hull and Gatineau being almost randomly represented - this is scary stuff when stone-cold sober!!

So you can imagine what it's like after a few beers ;-(

If I Wanted To Learn To Drive...

...I could sign up with this local Hull driving school, then I need never not know where I am!!

It's actually not as confusing as perhaps I'm making out here in this page, well at least not on a day-to-day basis. So let me attempt to sum up Hull's role here in the National Capital Region:

Around 1800 Hull started off as Wrightsville. Gatineau at the time was a river leading up to some hills. Ottawa didn't exist but the Brits reckoned a canal to it might be useful. Canal is duly built at huge expense and Canada needs a capital city - HA! Where better than where we've just spent loadsa money?? It takes a few years to build Ottawa and in the meantime Hull gets called Hull, gets city status (1875) and then burns down in 1900. After the fire the town quickly recovers and both sides of the river develop apace.

During the following 50 or so years the Brits and the Frenchies share a couple of wars (being actually on the same side for a change!!) and so Canada's capital city gets shared between the two and in the 1970's the Canadian Government becomes centralised and fixed firmly astride The Ottawa River. Hull gets The Portage complex and gets to speak only in French. Ottawa gets the Parliament and has to be bi-lingual (imperatif BBB/BBB). Gatineau is at this time a small town but with a few tweaks and aquisitions suddenly becomes the major city in the area and so Hull is amalgamated into Gatineau in 2002 - by all accounts a referendum in 2004 seeking support for the political decisions didn't stimulate enough interest electorally to change anything and so that was that - Hull is now Gatineau, or Hull is part of Gatineau, or Hull (Centre-Ville) is...????

The Lost City CONTINUED>>

  • Page Updated May 9, 2016
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Comments (1)

  • alza's Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2015 at 1:05 PM

    Amazing inside knowledge of Old Hull, John! Btw, I was "very prepared" but the Kruger link is still trying to load, I gave up! Probably would have ended up in the UK anyway? I'm not patient enough... :-)
    P.S. I left Hull at six, for Québec City, where they laughed at my English pronuncitation of Fraser Street. In Québec, it's Frazère, Dorchestère, Voolfe for Wolfe, etc... We kids searched the city with Mum for an apartment on arrival in Québec, and could never get an answer to our "Excuse me, Sir, where is Fraser Street please?" (Frayzerrr...)
    We should have said "la rue Frazère, s'il vous plaît?"

    • johngayton's Profile Photo
      Feb 14, 2015 at 2:04 PM

      It's a bit weird that the French site introduces itself, "Decouvrez la Gamme" whilst the English version says, "Meet the Family" - which seems to me an odd translation?

    • alza's Profile Photo
      Feb 14, 2015 at 2:21 PM

      Perhaps... tho' to a Canadian mind, I think the translation is rather ingenious. Mind you, here, the French would not look for the English translation as a matter of fact and the English would not look for vice-versa. We go for the version offered in our own language and stop right there... Guess we don't know what we're missing... It's complicated! :-)
      And "swing la bacaisse dans l’fond d’la boîte à bois!" as we sing at New Year's!


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