Wakefield, QC

Maclaren's Grist Mill was established in 1838.

Settled in the early 19th century, Wakefield was the site of Maclaren's Grist Mill, established in 1838.

The Maclaren family was important to Wakefield's early economic life.

Maclaren house, a beautiful red-brick Victorian home, sits on a hill just above the mill. Above it is a pioneer cemetery where former Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson is buried. Pearson, who was Prime Minister in the mid-1960s, including centennial year 1967, won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the 1956 Suez Crisis.

Swimming in the Gatineau River.

Wakefield's attraction is also its natural setting. Located in the Gatineau Hills just outside Gatineau Park, the area is dotted with lakes and low mountains. In autumn, the sugar maple trees turn bright red, contrasting with the yellow of poplars and other trees.

Unlike the fertile flatland of the Ottawa Valley nearby, Wakefield is located in the rocky terrain of the Canadian Shield.

You can get to Wakefield from Ottawa by crossing the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge (from King Edward) and continuing north on Autoroute 5 in Hull, following signs indicating Maniwaki. Autoroute 5 ends shortly before Wakefield, and you are forced to take Route 105 the rest of the way.

For a scenic route, take the winding Route 105, which is the continuation of Boulevard St-Joseph in Hull. You can also take the narrow scenic road along the river into Wakefield, turning off Route 105 at Cascades.

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1999 Richard McGuire: digital photos, text & design.