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Settling in Canada City of Gatineau PROFILE

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Gatineau offers all the advantages of a big city without the inconveniences. People-centred, this city boasts countless green spaces, large sports and cultural facilities, as well as an efficient transit system.


Gatineau Facts

Population: 265,350 (2011)

Location — Eastern Canada
On the border between Quebec and Ontario, at the junction of the Ottawa, Gatineau and Lièvre Rivers.

Continental temperate climate; warm humid summers, cold and snowy winters, particularly in January. Expect wide temperature variations in each season!

Gatineau offers all the advantages of a big city without the inconveniences. People-centred, this city boasts countless green spaces, large sports and cultural facilities, as well as an efficient transit system.

Gatineau is the fourth largest city in Quebec and has the second highest proportion of foreign-born citizens in the province. The Gatineau area is also the second largest urban agglomeration in Quebec. Come join this cultural mosaic…

Gatineau Features

  • City in the province of Quebec, with a predominantly French-speaking population, situated directly across from Ottawa, Canada’s capital.
  • Population profile: young with many families.
  • Area attracting more and more investors and businesses.
  • Major centre of economic and social development.
  • Mix of traditional economic activities and leading-edge technologies.
  • Graduate study programs (university and technical college levels) available to foreign students.


Gatineau is the urban agglomeration with the second highest proportion of immigrants in the province of Quebec.

In 2011, the city of Gatineau population was 265,350 (2011 Census). In all, there were 28,590 immigrants living there, or 10.8 per cent of the population (2011 National Household Survey) and, between 2006 and 2011, 7,520 immigrants arrived in the city of Gatineau, or 2.8 per cent of the immigrant population at that time.

Countries of origin
The following are the top 10 places of origin of the immigrant population: Other places of birth in Africa, Lebanon, France, Haiti, Other places of birth in Americas, Portugal, China, Colombia, Morocco, Other places of birth in Europe.

First languages spoken
French, English, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese.

Catholic, No religious affiliation, Other Christian, Muslim, Christian Orthodox, Anglican.

Countries of Origin

These are the most common birthplaces of immigrants to Gatineau.

Country of Origin Total Immigrant Population
Immigrants Arriving
1996 – 2006
Other Places of Birth in Africa 4,890
Lebanon 2,280 360
France 1,610 355
Haiti 1,480 505
Other Places of Birth in Americas 1,480
Portugal 1,340
China 1,315 230
Colombia 1,190 650
Morocco 1,180 560
Other Places of Birth in Europe 1,000
Algeria 945 295
Other Places of Birth in Asia 910
Bosnia-Herzegovina 810
Romania 695 145
Mexico 645 220
United State 600 95
Vietnam 455 20
United Kingdom 445 35
Germany 435 50
El Salvador 390
Iraq 370 150
Iran 350 105
Philippines 320 85
Poland 275 0
Peru 260 55
Croatia 255
Italy 230
Russian Federation 185 50
Egypt 185 30
Turkey 155 20

‡ Statistics Canada did not publish data for some countries of origin for recent immigrants.
Source: Statistics Canada (2011 National Household Survey)

First Languages

These are the top first languages (mother tongues) spoken by people who live in Gatineau.

Mother Tongue Number (2011) % of Population (2011)
French 209,755 79.7%
English 34,440 13.1%
Arabic 6,470 2.5%
Spanish 4,205 1.6%
Portuguese 2,675 1.0%
Creoles  955 0.4%
Romanian  840 0.3%
Chinese, n.o.s.*  840 0.3%
Serbian  520 0.2%
Persian (Farsi)  505 0.2%

* Not otherwise specified.
Source: Statistics Canada (2011 Census of Canada)


These are the religions that are present in Gatineau.

Religion Number of People (2011)
Catholic 190,375
No Religious Affiliation 42,300
Other Christian 9,270
Muslim 7,190
Christian Orthodox 2,780
Anglican 1,820
Baptist 1,745
Pentecostal 1,675
United Church 1,425
Buddhist 1,085
Other Religions  600
Presbyterian  450

Source: Statistics Canada (2011 National Household Survey)

Housing Information

Gatineau Housing Information

Gatineau offers a large selection of houses and apartments for sale and for rent. The price of houses and the rents are much lower there than around Ottawa.

Average rents
In Gatineau, the average monthly rents in April 2013 were $627 for one-bedroom apartments, $746 for two-bedroom apartments and $821 for three-bedroom apartments.

Vacancy rate and availability
The vacancy rates in April 2013 were 4.5 per cent for one-bedroom rental apartments, 3.9 per cent for two-bedroom apartments and 2.4 per cent for three-bedroom apartments. These were the proportions of rental apartments that were vacant and ready for move-in.

The proportions of apartments that were vacant or for which the present occupant had given notice to move out were 7.2 per cent for one-bedroom apartments, 6.3 per cent for two-bedroom apartments and 4.2 per cent for three-bedroom apartments.

Home purchase prices
In Gatineau, the average house price, in 2012, was $241,378.

For more up-to-date information, see CMHC's Housing Market Information website, and the Canadian Housing Observer.

Housing Help

Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation —  Housing information for Newcomers

These agencies can help you find an apartment:

Office municipal d’habitation de Gatineau

Confédération québécoise des coopératives d'habitation (CQCH-Outaouais)
Telephone: 819-243-3717

Accueil-Parrainage Outaouais
Telephone: 819-777-2960

Associations des femmes immigrantes de l’Outaouais
Telephone: 819-776-6764

Regroupement des OSBL d’habitation et de logement avec support communautaire de l’Outaouais (ROHSCO)
Telephone: 819-669-6032

This website offers advice specifically for immigrants:

Immigration and cultural diversity


Tourism, technology, agri-food and the service sector are some of the industries that offer excellent business opportunities and drive the regional economy.

Job Search Help

These websites could be helpful:




Service Intégration Travail Outaouais (SITO)

Carrefour jeunesse emploi de l’Outaouais (CJEO) — Programme Passeport

Centre de formation professionnelle, Compétences Outaouais

Private employment services may also be available.

Business Start-ups

These organizations offer advice and support to people starting up small businesses:

Développement économique-CLD Gatineau
This organization helps set up businesses in the city of Gatineau.

Canada Business
The home page of this website offers a section on services for non-Canadian businesses and a link to access all the necessary information.

Business Assistance Program
This program offers several services to businesses wishing to better serve their clients in English and in French: translation, workshops and help in the recruitment of bilingual staff.

Option Femmes Emploi
This organization welcomes, informs and equips Outaouais women to define their work plans and take their place on the job market.

Compétences Outaouais

Entering the Workforce

This organization helps immigrants evaluate foreign credentials:

World Education Services

These organizations can help you enter the workforce:

Service Intégration Travail Outaouais (SITO)

Carrefour jeunesse emploi de l’Outaouais (CJEO)

The following website provides a very useful list of organizations:

Immigration and cultural diversity

These organizations help immigrants evaluate their foreign credentials for accreditation:

Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles (MICC)

Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO)

University of Ottawa (Ontario)

Centre de formation professionnelle de l’Outaouais (CFPO)


University Studies

The Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) is located near the downtown sector of Gatineau, close to the Ottawa River and Gatineau Park.

It is the only exclusively French university in Canada’s Capital Region.

UQO put in place an internationalization policy for foreign students, student and professor exchanges, and international research. Visit the international section of the UQO website: uqo.ca/international.

College, Pre-university and Technical Studies

Cégep de l’Outaouais has three campuses: Gabrielle-Roy, Félix-Leclerc and Louis-Reboul. It is the only French public general and vocational college in the region, offering 5 pre-university programs and 17 technical programs.

Heritage College is an English general and vocational college in the Outaouais, offering 8 vocational programs, 5 pre-university programs and 6 co-operative education programs.

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Elementary and secondary schools (for children and youth) are listed on the following school board websites:


Private schools may also be available.


Compétences Outaouais
Compétences Outaouais is intended as a centre of excellence in vocational training and education.

The options taught there are exclusive to the Outaouais region.

Community Services

Gatineau Community Services

You will adopt the city of Gatineau as your new home from the outset! It offers an array of resources and services that will help you feel welcome and be part of the community.

Over the past few years, the City has introduced several initiatives showing its commitment and leadership in this regard. Here are a few examples:

  • Adoption of a cultural diversity policy.
  • Reiteration of the commitment to the broad principles and values stated in the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.
  • Participation in the UNESCO working committee against racism and discrimination.
  • Development of welcome sessions with bus tours of the city on the services offered by the City to newcomers.

For more information, visit the immigration and cultural diversity section of the City’s website.

Language Training

Whether you want to perfect your French or learn English or another language, you can get information from the following organizations:

Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles (MICC)

Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO)

Cégep de l’Outaouais

You can also visit the following school board websites:

Community and Settlement Services

These organizations provide all kinds of advice and support to immigrants:

Availability of public transit

Immigrant settlement and adaptation services

Accueil-Parrainage Outaouais (APO)
Telephone: 819-777-2960

Association des femmes immigrantes de l’Outaouais (AFIO)
Telephone: 819-776-6764

Citizenship and Immigration Canada
This site provides information on coming to Canada to immigrate, study, work and live and contains forms, policies and regulations, research, publications, services and information on visa offices.

One Immigrant’s Story

A native of the Republic of Benin, Ayénan Doumatey arrived in Montreal in 1993. After successfully completing his studies in accounting and financial analysis at the Université du Québec à Montréal, he starting working in 1998 for the Desjardins Group as a business services consultant. In 1999, he moved to Gatineau to pursue a career opportunity as an accounts manager at the Desjardins Business Centre in Hull. “My integration in the beautiful Outaouais region started with a stimulating job, in a pleasant and dynamic environment…” At first, his plan was to “gain some work experience and move back to Montréal.”

But Ayénan is still living in Gatineau and working at the Desjardins Business Centre where he began 13 years ago. After making his way up the corporate ladder there, which included holding the position of senior accounts manager responsible for key account business development, he is now the director of management support. He also recently earned his master’s degree in business administration.

“For me, Gatineau is a very stimulating environment, with many integration facilities for newcomers, countless employment opportunities, and very friendly and open-minded people. The city is welcoming, with its many green spaces, unique charm and location close to the big urban centres. The quality of life is exceptional here, and there are lots of family activities available...”



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