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  #1  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 2:50 PM
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Thumbs up HULL, Québec | Contrasts and Contradictions

Hull, Québec

Hull is directly across the river from downtown Ottawa. Downtown Hull has been destroyed twice. The first was by a great fire that destroyed 2/3 of the city in 1900. Thus, despite being the oldest settlement in the Ottawa area, there is almost nothing from before 1900. The second was in the 1960s and 70s when over 4000 residents were displaced and much of the core demolished to build a series of government office complexes. The result is the series of contrasts seen below:


promenade du Portage






















Place du Portage




















Vieux-Hull




















rue Eddy


















Les Terrasses de la Chaudière









rue Laurier








Canadian Parliament across the river in Ottawa

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  #2  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 4:20 PM
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Great pictures. I remember a couple threads by someone else of Hull (Gatineau? What city became what?) and I was hoping that you would cover it as well.

Hull seems to be the Canadian equivalent of Bethesda, Maryaldn, and the surrounding areas, in that not all government buildings and organizations are in Washington DC anymore. (The National Archives and some of the Library of Congress are examples, if I remember correctly.) Hull is much more centralized than that part of Maryland, though.

So with this thread, you have done threads of three places outside of Ontario, correct? New York, Michigan, and Quebec?
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 4:38 PM
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I never get tired of brick. Excellent shots! Hull looks like a nice city. Thanks!
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  #4  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 4:39 PM
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Amazing work you really have an artistic flare.

It looks like the city still maintained it's vibrancy in the areas that still retain the character, which is nice. Beautiful, beautiful & amazing architectur!
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 4:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xzmattzx View Post
Great pictures. I remember a couple threads by someone else of Hull (Gatineau? What city became what?) and I was hoping that you would cover it as well.
Five cities (including Hull, which had about 65,000 people) were merged to form the new city of Gatineau. There was already a city named Gatineau just to the east of Hull with just over 100,000 people. But the former Gatineau was and is quite sprawly and lacking a true centre, so what was previously Hull has become the downtown of the new Gatineau.

As such, the central Hull part of Gatineau is not particularly vibrant outside of the 9 to 5, Monday to Friday office hours. It has not been abandoned residentially but can be a pretty depressing and deserted area evenings and weekends, except perhaps for the area around Place Aubry/Rue Laval which has some lively cafés and restaurants.

Something will have to be done to rejuvenate it if Gatineau is to have a downtown that you would normally expect in a city of its size (250,000 people). Though I do realize that the downtowns of many North American cities much larger than Gatineau are much worse off than ours.
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 5:38 PM
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You must have been out on your lunch break when you snapped these.. I've never seen so many people on Promenade du Portage. Great shots.

I'm glad some of those storefronts have finally received some permanent signs (Molto, Chez Fatima).. what they had there before was just a nylon banner flapping in front of the previous establishment's name. It was pretty depressing and seemed to speak volumes about the permanency of business.

I used to live just down the street from the Epicerie Carillon (it's actually nowhere near a grocery store now).
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  #7  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 9:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
Something will have to be done to rejuvenate it if Gatineau is to have a downtown that you would normally expect in a city of its size (250,000 people). Though I do realize that the downtowns of many North American cities much larger than Gatineau are much worse off than ours.
With downtown Ottawa just a hop skip and a jump away the downtown of Gatineau will have a hard time approaching what should be a logical downtown size for its population.

Great photos of Hull.....
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Old Posted Jul 22, 2009, 11:05 PM
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I think it looks great, and I liked to see all of those people on bicycles!
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  #9  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2009, 2:50 AM
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I think downtown Hull compares quite favourably with other similar sized cities (e.g. Kitchener or St. Catharines). Sure, Portage gets quieter outside 9-5 hours, but having over 20,000 well paid government workers is still a good thing. Nevertheless, there is decent nightlife in Hull, and quite a few good restaurants.

The office complexes can present some ugliness at times, but also some beauty, and I've grown to appreciate some of the designs despite their monolithic appearance and the destruction they wrought on old Hull. For the most part, the massive Place du Portage/Place du Centre complex is quite functional and has some nice outdoor spaces.

There are also a number of very progressive things going on transportation-wise in Hull: pedestrian streets (Aubry and Kent), extremely walkable, huge numbers of cyclists, and high transit usage. It's nice to see people making big salaries on the bus.

The residential streets of Hull can be gritty, but are generally not too bad. Many people consider Hull to be sketchy, but I think that's mostly because the streets are narrow and the houses are built right up to the sidewalk. You will often see people sitting out front of their houses, basically right out on the sidewalk. Perhaps it's a bit too "close quarters" for some tastes. Hull's residential areas are very walkable and fairly urban, I will do a neighbourhood tour sometime.



xzmattzx: this is my first Quebec tour. Outside Ontario I previously had two Michigan tours (Port Huron and Marine City) and one tour in Buffalo.
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Old Posted Jul 23, 2009, 2:56 AM
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With downtown Ottawa just a hop skip and a jump away the downtown of Gatineau will have a hard time approaching what should be a logical downtown size for its population.
Indeed. Ottawa's Byward Market, probably one of the top 5 most attractive urban districts in all of Canada, is actually walking distance from where these pictures were taken.
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Old Posted Jul 23, 2009, 3:30 AM
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I love that 60’s 70’s concrete architecture. It blends nicely with the heritage buildings. Nice thread!
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  #12  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2009, 3:54 AM
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Beautiful shots, man.
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Old Posted Jul 23, 2009, 4:11 AM
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Thanks!
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  #14  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2009, 1:38 PM
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Very nice shots.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2009, 1:51 PM
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Good stuff - this one is a classic
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  #16  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2009, 2:56 AM
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Great shots!

I never realized that Bixi was in Hull, when did that happen? I've heard nothing but good things about it from friends in Montreal
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  #17  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2009, 3:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flar View Post
xzmattzx: this is my first Quebec tour. Outside Ontario I previously had two Michigan tours (Port Huron and Marine City) and one tour in Buffalo.
That's what I thought, although I kind of would've expected you to do one or two more Michigan or New York threads. With your trips along the St. Clair River to Port Huron and Marine City, and to Wallaceburg et al, I would've thought that maybe you did a Detroit thread early on that I missed or something. Same thing on the other side with the Niagara River; with a thread of Buffalo and your visit to the Canadian Niagara Falls and Niagara-On-The-Lake, you would've also taken picture of Niagara Falls NY or other places close by.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jul 24, 2009, 5:54 PM
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^^I did a Detroit skyline thread from the Windsor side (forgot about that one), but generally I haven't crossed the border much in recent years because of the unpredictable amount of time it can take and the hassles that I often get. I'm on a supertight schedule, I usually only have 2 or 3 hours max to do a photo tour. Entering the US is a lot different than when I was a kid and you could pretty much come and go freely.
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Old Posted Jul 25, 2009, 5:15 AM
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weird. it looks so european in some pics, so american in some pics.

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  #20  
Old Posted Jul 25, 2009, 4:50 PM
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^^I did a Detroit skyline thread from the Windsor side (forgot about that one), but generally I haven't crossed the border much in recent years because of the unpredictable amount of time it can take and the hassles that I often get. I'm on a supertight schedule, I usually only have 2 or 3 hours max to do a photo tour. Entering the US is a lot different than when I was a kid and you could pretty much come and go freely.
That makes sense. How come you only have a couple hours to take pictures? Do you travel to visit these places as part of your work and take some time off on the side?
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