Welcome to Cvent’s Meeting and Event Planning Guide to Outaouais, a guide for meeting professionals. A wonderfully multi-faceted business and leisure destination, the Outaouais region offers sophisticated metropolitan attractions nestled in a picturesque natural setting. Lying within the Canadian Shield on the western edge of Quebec just two hours from Montreal, Outaouais features a wide range of attractions, unique venues, and services that energize corporate events, including team building opportunities from golfing and zip-lining to exploring a water maze. In addition to its vast great outdoors, Outaouais and its surrounding area is home to a number of heritage treasures, museums, world-class entertainment, and art galleries, as well as outstanding lodging, shopping, and dining.
The Outaouais region spans nearly 30,000 square miles, featuring 20,000 lakes, dozens of rivers, and lush green spaces. The Ottawa River sits to the east and west, while other major rivers sit to the north and south, providing easy access to water sports and recreation. The region comprises five territories, which include Gatineau, Les Collines-de-l’Outaouais, La Petite-Nation La Lievre, La Vallee-de-la Gatineau, and Le Pontiac. As Quebec’s fourth-largest city and home to the Palais des Congres de Gatineau conference center, Gatineau is the region’s major urban center and puts delegates within easy reach of major Ottawa attractions.
In fact, Outaouais sits just nine miles from the Canadian capital of Ottawa (it is 127 miles from Montreal and 289 miles from Toronto). Visitors to the Outaouais region can fly into the Ottawa International Airport, which is located about 13 miles outside of Gatineau, as well as Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport, which sits less than 10 miles from Gatineau. The Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport features commercial air service between Gatineau and Quebec City. The two-terminal Ottawa International Airport accommodates nonstop service to major cities throughout Canada and the United States, and features direct access to Societe de Transport de l’Outaouais bus service, which transports passengers to the Palais des Congres de Gatineau in about 45 minutes.
Conveniently situated in Gatineau’s downtown core, the ultramodern Palais des Congres de Gatineau is the only multi-functional complex in the Outaouais region. The center spans 12 pillar-free meeting and event rooms in convention space totaling more than 55,000 square feet. Meeting spaces include the 26,668-square-foot Outaouais room, which is the largest room in the center and region, and divides into four separate rooms. Delegates have access to a full range of audio-visual and catering services and are within easy reach of major hotels, restaurants, attractions, and Societe de Transport de l’Outaouais bus service.
Aside from the expansive Palais des Congres de Gatineau, the Outaouais region and surrounding area is home to a variety of attractions that double as unique venues and perfect spaces for group gatherings and events. Nearby Ottawa features a number of world-renowned museums, including the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Canada’s most visited museum. Telling the story of the achievements of Canadian and world cultures through a series of life-size reconstructions and the world’s largest indoor collection of totem poles, the Canadian Museum of Civilization also features the Canadian Children’s Museum and an IMAX theater. The museum welcomes private event rentals in its exhibition spaces and meeting rooms, including the 1,000-person Grand Hall, flanked by the totem pole collection; 500-person River View Salon, complete with an inspiring mural on its dome; 160-person Panorama Lounge with private access to an outdoor terrace; and the 200-person Canada Hall, amid period recreations, among many other spaces. Also located in Ottawa, the Canadian War Museum showcases how human conflict in Canada and the world has shaped history, with an impressive collection of artifacts, artwork, military vehicles, and artillery housed in a riverside building acclaimed for its architecture. The Canadian War Museum welcomes private event rentals in such spaces as the sleek 400-person Barney Danson Theatre; 1,500-person lobby and Memorial Hall; and 1,200-person LeBreton Gallery (which boasts a view of the Ottawa skyline), among other spaces.
Groups looking to hold events and meetings against a backdrop of sophisticated entertainment can gather at Gatineau’s Casino du Lac-Leamy, which features 1,800 slots, 64 gaming tables, bars, restaurants, the 1,100-person Theatre du Casino, and five-story Hilton Lac-Leamy. Groups can hold events in the Lac-Leamy Conference Centre, which accommodates up to 1,600 delegates, as well as the 22-person L’Executif, which offers exclusive use of a gaming table, and the expansive Theatre du Casino. Groups looking for year-round outdoor adventure travel to Camp Fortune in Gatineau Park to join ski and snowboard lessons or hold team-building exercises at the Fortune Aerial Experience, a series of bridges, suspended walkways, and zip lines designed for all levels. Camp Fortune also features private event spaces in its 450-person Main Lodge and 100-person Chalet des Erables. Groups who want an outdoor experience set to a more relaxing tune can opt to gather at the Nordik Spa-Nature at the entrance of Gatineau Park. Touted as the largest Scandinavian spa in North America, Nordik Spa-Nature boasts a large variety of saunas, baths, massage, and body treatments and a gourmet restaurant, as well as the 15-person Lodge Nordik and a 120-person Salle Boreal for group events.