Hull

1894 versus 2013

It was in 1969: Pierre- Elliott Trudeau had been elected the year before and promised bilingualism from coast-to-coast. Since Ottawa was the national capital, it was clear that Ottawa had to lead the way, especially given its geographical position: Québec was just on the other side of the Ottawa river.

In the 1960s, very few federal departments were located on the Québec side of the National Capital Region. To correct this, Trudeau announced that 25% of the regional federal workforce would work on the Québec side. Consequently, the government needed new office space on the Quebec side.

Downtown Hull seemed to be the perfect area to build. With ailing infrastructure, poor sewage systems and crumbling roads, the area needed a major face lift. In the late 1950s and 1960s, revitalization of North American city cores was mainly done by complete demolition and then starting from scratch. Hull was no exception.

The federal government started by acquiring the E.B. Eddy paper mill just across from the parliament building, exactly where the Civilization museum stands today. Rumors began to fly about the future of Hull and its residents.

Protests began as residents worried about massive expropriation. The Québec provincial government also began to worry about its territorial integrity.

The night before the federal government announced its master plan, the Québec Government acquired an empty lot right in the middle of the area targeted by the federal government. The goal was to stop, or at least to slow down the expansion plan of the federal government on the Quebec territory. This announcement made minister in charge of the National Capital region, Jean Marchand, furious.

Despite this Quebec’s actions, the federal government went ahead and built the Terrasse Chaudière and Place de Portage. 1500 buildings were demolished and 5000 persons had to move out. The price given for the expropriation was considered too low for people to be able to relocate properly.

With the 2 new towers being currently built in old Hull, the objective 25% of the federal civil servant working in Québec will almost be fulfilled, almost 50 years later.

~1920
2012
Former Main Street in Hull
Promenade du portage in Hull in 2012
sources
BAN Québec
Title: Untitled. Reference number: No reference number provided.
We gave it a
-3
Former Main Street which became soulless.
Visitors's vote
-1.5
120 votes
Vote here
  • -5
  • -3
  • 0
  • +3
  • +5
better
now
better
before
~1920
2012
Former Main Street in Hull around 1910
Promenade du portage in Hull in 2012
sources
BAN Québec
Title: Untitled. Reference number: No reference number provided.
We gave it a
-2
Former Main Street which became soulless.
Visitors's vote
-2.2
112 votes
Vote here
  • -5
  • -3
  • 0
  • +3
  • +5
better
now
better
before
Former Main Street in downtown Hull showing the Block Scott on the left-hand side.  The archival photo also shows the streetcar and its rails that used to service the streets of Hull several decades ago.The ambiance on Main Street, now Promenade du Portage, has considerably changed.  Back in the day,...
Read more >>
~1940
2012
Former Main Street in Hull
Former Main Street in Hull
Title: Untitled. Reference number: No reference number provided.
We gave it a
-3
Former Main Street with human scale buildings became soulless.
Visitors's vote
-3.0
92 votes
Vote here
  • -5
  • -3
  • 0
  • +3
  • +5
better
now
better
before
~1940
2015
Aerial view of Brewery Creek in Hull around 1940
Aerial view of Brewery Creek in Hull around 2015.
Title: Untitled. Reference number: CA010002
We gave it a
-5
Decades of decay of the urban fabric which needs to be fixed.
Visitors's vote
-1.8
98 votes
Vote here
  • -5
  • -3
  • 0
  • +3
  • +5
better
now
better
before
Gatineau mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin seems convinced that he will succeed in bringing life into the long-time ignored and decaying area around the Brewery Creek in Hull.The area is quite different when you compared both pictures which are separated by about 60 years.  Almost all the buildings on the East-side of...
Read more >>
x close

Stay Updated!

Receive an email everytime we publish a new comparison.








submit

ps. don't worry, we keep your email for ourself.