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Outaouias

Giles Lake—Outaouais, Quebec

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Why We Chose It

You have to get up pretty early to get a shot like this. The water is like glass in this sunrise shot, and the colours are spectacularly vibrant. We love the many layers created by the treeline, the mist, the rounded mountain behind and everything again in the reflection. And the sun creeping in from the left uplifts the entire shot. This quiet corner of Quebec, near Gracefield in the Outaouais region about an hour-and-a-half north of Ottawa, couldn’t have been captured more beautifully.

Photo: Phil Grondin

Road Trip: Outaouais and La Petite Nation

Photo by Quoi Media

By Tim Johnson

Tracing the languid flow of the big, beautiful Ottawa River along its northern banks, the Outaouias region of Quebec is a pleasing a mix of water and wild. Add in a dash of Quebecois cuisine, some high-flying adventures and one of the quirkiest hotels in the nation and you’ve got a great drive. And best of all? The region, which includes an area around Montebello known as La Petite Nation (an old Algonquin term), lies roughly halfway between Montreal and Ottawa, so you can take it all in en route, driving from one of Canada’s best cities to another.

Roadside Attractions

1. The charming village of Montebello, right on the river about a two-hour drive west of Montreal, is a place where you’ll want to linger, with its abundant green spaces and compact main street lined with cute shops and cafes.

2. Just north of town, hidden out in the woods, the Fairmont Kenauk—an institution since 1930 and a private club until the 1970s—offers stylish access to the great outdoors.  Now owned and operated by luxury hotelier Fairmont, the Kenauk spans a stunning 65,000+ acres of Quebec wilderness and includes 70 lakes and countless hills and small mountains. Go fishing, take out a canoe or kayak, shoot some clay pigeons with a 12-gauge, hike, bike, and even bed down for the night in one of their lovely, rustic cabins—each of which comes with its own private lake.

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