Hull, Quebec


Hull, Quebec

Hull is the central and oldest part of the city of Gatineau, Quebec, Canada. It is located on the west bank of the Gatineau River and the north shore of the Ottawa River, directly opposite Ottawa. As part of the Canadian National Capital Region, it contains offices for twenty thousand "fonctionnaires" or civil servants.

Hull is in the Outaouais region and is located within the City of Gatineau; the name "Gatineau" itself sometimes is more specifically used to refer to a mostly-suburban former city of Gatineau on the opposite side of the Gatineau River.

Geography

Hull is located near the confluence of the Gatineau and Ottawa Rivers.

Navigation beyond Ottawa-Hull on the Ottawa River still remains difficult as watercraft must be removed from the Ottawa River due to obstacles posed by rapids such as the "Rapides des Chaudières" or "Kettle Rapids".

Demographics

Prior to amalgamation, Hull's population was 66,246 (2001 Census of Canada).

Approximately 80% of the "hullois" or "hulloise" residents speak French as their first language and about 9% English as their first language (2001 Census of Canada).

History

Hull is the oldest part of all places in the National Capital Region: it was founded in 1800 by Philemon Wright at the head of navigation of the Ottawa River (at the portage around the Chaudière Falls). At that time the location was a remote mosquito-infested wilderness and started out as an agricultural settlement. But soon after, Wright and his family took advantage of the large lumber stands and became involved in the timber trade. Originally the place was named "Wrightville" (or sometimes "Wrightsville" or "Wrightstown") [http://www.collectionscanada.ca/canadiandirectories/022009-1100-e.html] , which survives as the name of a neighborhood in Hull. While Wright arrived by way of Woburn, Massachusetts, the settlement was renamed after the name of his family's original home town Kingston-upon-Hull in the United Kingdom.

The Gatineau River, like the Ottawa River, was very much the preserve of the "draveurs", people who would use the river to transport logs from lumber camps until they arrived downriver; the Gatineau River drains into the Ottawa River, which ends at Montreal. The log-filled Ottawa River (as viewed from Hull) appeared on the back of the Canadian one-dollar bill until it was replaced by a dollar coin (the "loonie") in 1987; the very last of the dwindling activity of the draveurs on these rivers ended a few years later.

Ottawa was founded later, as the terminus of the Rideau Canal built under the command of Col. John By as part of fortifications and defences constructed after the War of 1812. Originally named Bytown, Ottawa did not become the Canadian capital until the mid-1800s after the original parliament in Montreal was torched by a rioting mob of English-speaking citizens on April 25, 1849. Its greater distance from the American border also left the new parliament less vulnerable to foreign attack.

Nothing remains of the original 1800 settlement; the downtown Vieux-Hull sector was destroyed by a terrible fire in 1900 which also destroyed the original "pont des Chaudières" ("Chaudière Bridge"), a road bridge which has since been rebuilt to join Ottawa to Hull at Victoria Island.

In the 1940s, during World War II, Hull, along with various other regions within Canada, such as the Saguenay, Lac St. Jean and Saint Helen's Island, had Prisoner-of-war camps.User:CyclePat/Currently Working On/template/reference/Robert Tremblay] Hull's prison was simply labeled with a number and remained unnamed just like Canada's other war prisons. [Note: See also List of POW camps in Canada.] The "prisoners of war" (POWs) where sorted and classified into categories including there nationality and civilian or military status. In this camp, POWs where mostly of Italian and German nationality. During the Conscription Crisis of 1944 the prison eventually included Canadians that refused conscription. Also, prisoners where forced into hard labour which included farming and lumbering the land.

During the 1970s and early 80s, the decaying old downtown core of Hull was transformed by its demolition and replacement with a series of large office complexes. Some 4,000 residents were displaced, and many businesses uprooted along what was once the town's main commercial area. [Harold Kalman and John Roaf, "Exploring Ottawa: an architectural guide to the nation's capital." Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1983. pg. 88]

The ill-conceived demolition of much of Hull's downtown core, including many landmark buildings such as the original post office and other commercial buildings, made way for the new federal office buildings. The result was devastating.

Under the shadow of these colossal towers Hull's population fell from 63,580 in 1971 to 56,225 in 1981. This represented a 12% or net 7,355 decrease in population. Approximately 4,000 of these people were displaced by the construction projects and the remaining 3,355 moved away from the ghetto that was created by city planners who built office towers among homes but with virtually no buildings remaining to house retail stores and other commerce.

The first disco opened its doors in 1974 and by 1984 there were 27 drinking establishments including discos, taverns and a strip bar within a three block stretch of Promenade du Portage which was known as the Hull bar strip. Hull swiftly became a haven of drugs, prostitution and debauchery for which it is famous to this day.

During the mid 90's the city secretly set out on a campaign to shut down the drinking establishments with the intention of replacing each of them with any other more civilized commercial enterprise. Since the province, not the city, is responsible for renewing liquor licenses the city methodically purchased buildings through buyer's agents and temporary corporations one by one but left the tenants in place in order not to raise suspicion.

The plan succeeded to a very high degree. Eventually though, the story leaked and the building owners began raising their asking prices; in some cases quadrupling their asking prices. The city quickly bought a few more buildings until the prices got out of hand and then stopped abruptly. By the time the smoke cleared the city had purchased virtually every building that housed a licensed establishment and then the hammer came down; no leases were renewed.

The city did not renew the "tavern" licenses at any of the buildings and then sold the buildings at fair market value. Since "tavern" licenses are only available for renewal and none will ever again be issued to new establishments there can never again be new establishments that sell only liquor. The only licenses available to new applicants require that the vendor sell 50% "prepared food product". Consequently only restaurants, cafes and bistro's can operate with a new license.

The urban renewal project is well underway with tax incentives given to qualified owners who revitalize the facade of their buildings. Promenade du Portage, which at one time required crowd fencing at night to keep pedestrians from leaving the overcrowded sidewalks to walk on the street, is now home to many European style cafe's and bistro's with patios and an assortment of retail ventures.

The neighbourhood is the most affordable in all of Ottawa and Gatineau (Hull). Rents on average cost 1/3 of what they do in Ottawa. It is convenient and pleasurable to walk from Hull to downtown Ottawa on the boardwalk of the Alexandra Bridge so many civil/public servants commute on foot or bicycle and save on their rent or mortgage.

Amalgamation

In 2002, the Parti Québécois, leading the provincial government, merged the cities of Hull, Gatineau, Aylmer, Buckingham and Masson-Angers into one city. Although Hull was the oldest and most central of the merged cities, the name Gatineau was chosen for the new city. The main reasons given were that Gatineau had more inhabitants, it was the name of the former county, the valley, the hills, the park and the main river within the new city limits: thus its name was less restrictive than Hull. Some argued that the French name of Gatineau was more appealing than a name from England to most French-speaking residents. Hull-Gatineau had been the most popular choice in the polls, but the transition committee excluded all hyphenated possibilities from being included on the ballot. Since the former city of Hull represents a large area distinct from what was formerly known as Gatineau, to be officially correct and specific many people say "vieux secteur Hull" (the former Hull part of town) when speaking of it.

In 2004, there was a referendum to decide whether Hull would remain in Gatineau. The majority of those who voted in Hull voted against the deamalgamation, and the status quo prevailed.

Economy

Hull now depends primarily on the civil service as an economic mainstay. A number of federal and provincial government departments are located here. The policy of the federal government to distribute federal jobs on both sides of the Ottawa River led to the construction of several massive office towers to house federal civil servants in 1970s and 80s; the largest of these are Place du Portage and Terrasses de la Chaudière, occupying part of what had been the downtown core of Hull.

Two paper mills (Scott Paper and the E.B. Eddy division of Domtar Inc.) still retain some industrial facilities on the Ottawa River in the centre of Hull, Quebec.

Hull is also the home to the Casino du Lac Leamy and to the Canadian Museum of Civilization directly opposite Parliament Hill. Hull is also Outaouais's cultural centre.

ee also

*List of crossings of the Ottawa River
*1900 Hull-Ottawa fire
*Municipal reorganization in Quebec
*Gatineau

References

External links

* [http://www.petitchicago.ca/index.php/Information/Histoire-du-Vieux-Hull.html History of Vieux-Hull aka Little Chicago (French)]
* [http://www.civilisations.ca/hist/hull/index_e.html The Canadian Museum of Civilization - The Architecture of Old Hull]
* [http://web.ncf.ca/dw413/ht_alph0.htm Companies,Orgs,Directory & Map of Hull - Companies Sort]


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  • Hull, Québec — Hull (Québec) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hull. Hull était une ville de l ouest du Québec, située sur la rive ouest de la rivière Gatineau et sur la rive nord de la rivière des Outaouais, directement en face d Ottawa, la capitale du Canada …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hull (Quebec) — Hull (Québec) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hull. Hull était une ville de l ouest du Québec, située sur la rive ouest de la rivière Gatineau et sur la rive nord de la rivière des Outaouais, directement en face d Ottawa, la capitale du Canada …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hull (Québec) — Gatineau Provinz Québec Region Outaouais Gemeindeart Stadt Gründung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hull (Québec) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hull. Hull était une ville de l ouest du Québec, située sur la rive ouest de la rivière Gatineau et sur la rive nord de la rivière des Outaouais, directement en face d Ottawa, la capitale du Canada, située dans… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Comté d'Hull, Québec — Comté de Hull Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hull. Le comté de Hull est une ancienne division administrative de la province de Québec, au Canada. Elle tire son nom de la ville anglaise de Hull, située dans l East Yorkshire. Le comté fut… …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Hull — may refer to: *Kingston upon Hull (invariably abbreviated to Hull), city in England named after the River Hull (Kings town upon Hull, prior to 1299 Wyke upon Hull) ** River Hull, river in East Riding of Yorkshire, England ** Hull City A.F.C.,… …   Wikipedia

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