Credit: Ottawa Tourism
Chaudiere Bridge, Ottawa, ON
With breathtaking views of Parliament Hill and the natural environment, here is a perfect spot to get in touch with history and take in some award-winning cultural experiences.
Profile Last Updated: June 11, 2007
Victoria Island is situated in the Ottawa River, right at the border between Ontario and Quebec. Aboriginal travellers and other explorers depended on this ancient waterway for millennia as a vital transportation route. The island in particular is of immense historical value. When combined with neighbouring Chaudière Falls, the immediate area is of monumental national importance. Today the Pont du Portage Bridge that connects Gatineau with Ottawa, and Quebec with Ontario, crosses over the island. This bridge commemorates the historic portage trail that was used for centuries as a passageway over these very same geological formations. Because of its strategic location, people of the local Algonquin Nation used this island for thousands of years as a sacred place to meet, trade and celebrate.
In more recent history, Victoria Island has been central to commerce and technology. Throughout the 1800s and well into the 1900s it played a pivotal role in the region’s historic lumber industry. It has been vital to the region’s urban growth and is the site of several heritage buildings. The island has one road on it known as Middle Street.
Culture and History
Victoria Island comes to life from May until October with a traditional native village that includes tipis, wigwams, canoes, a longhouse and much more. The village provides a wealth of cultural and educational experiences throughout the summer months. These experiences are aimed at sharing the rich heritage of Canada’s Aboriginal people. There are events and activities for all age groups, including craft workshops, guided tours, theatrical story telling, enactment of native legends and pow-wow dancing.
Nourishment for Body and Soul
The village also features an aboriginal café and a trading post. The café gives you a choice of traditional Aboriginal meals based on a nutritious diet of game meats, wild rice, local fruits and vegetables. Some more standard fare is also available. The trading post offers a whole gamut of authentic native fine arts and crafts.
A Great Tip: To get there by car, access the island from Booth Street
Note: Accessible by foot, bicycle, and car