About Wakefield, Quebec
Located a short 20 minute drive from downtown Ottawa, Wakefield is a popular tourist destination for visitors from the Nation’s Capital and points further afar. Wakefield is also a popular destination for Ottawa residents looking for a weekend getaway.
An Outdoor Lovers Paradise
Wakefield offers a warm welcome with a variety of cafés, pubs, galleries and boutiques. For the outdoor enthusiast, Wakefield is a four-season playground. Located on the northern edge of the Gatineau Park, one can cross-country ski or snowshoe over 200km of some of some of the finest trails in Eastern Ontario or Western Quebec in the winter, or hike or mountain bike those same Gatineau Park trails during Spring, Summer and Fall. Rent a canoe, kayak or Stand-up Paddleboard for the day and paddle the Gatineau River, or experience dogsledding, horseback riding or other guided adventures only a short drive from the village.
A Music & Arts Lovers Dream
Wakefield, Quebec may be best known for its eclectic and lively arts scene. A home to many visual artists seeking refuge and inspiration in a tranquil rural setting, Wakefield gets put on the map again and again by the famed Black Sheep Inn, a “juke joint” that has hosted a diverse international collection of talent and launched the careers of musicians like alternative country diva Kathleen Edwards. And then there are the many festivals: the Wakefield Writers Festival, Wakefest Arts Festival, Artists in their Environment Studio Tour, and Dragonfest (Wakefield’s annual winter carnival), are just a few.
A Village with History
One of the first villages to be established along the Gatineau River, Wakefield was founded in 1830 by mainly Irish immigrants with the help of a few Brits and Scots. With its ideal setting on the Gatineau River, Wakefield grew thanks to the lumber industry, whose history one can visit at the Wakefield Mill, now restored into an award-winning four-star inn complete with fine dining and spa facilities. For a more complete history of the village of Wakefield, be sure to visit the Fairbairn House. One of Wakefield’s oldest dwellings, the Fairbairn house was the home of Scottish settler William Fairbairn. Now operating as a meeting place, event venue and heritage centre, the Fairbairn House focusses on preserving and promoting the history and heritage of Quebec’s lower Gatineau River Valley. The Centre features visual displays and special exhibits, interactive and audio-visual displays, school programmes, special events and community involvement. It is the only heritage centre between Gatineau and Maniwaki where residents and visitors alike can learn about, explore and experience the history of the Gatineau Valley.
Most who visit this unique small town succumb to its charm and stay – Tommy Douglas, the “father of Canadian medicare”, had his home here and Lester B. Pearson, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is buried in the MacLaren cemetery. Whether you are visiting for the day, the weekend or an extended period, Wakefield’s many hotels, B&B’s, cottages and campgrounds will offer you a warm and friendly welcome. Book your visit now and make your stay the first of many in our fine community.