NeilyWorld Birding Ottawa - Northwest - Gatineau River West
LAC LEAMY ECOLOGICAL PARK (WEST)
Spring: **** Summer: ** Fall: **** Winter: ***
Endangered Site: LAC LEAMY SAVED! - FOR NOW. Great news! Loto-Quebec has cancelled the plan to build a golf course at Lac Leamy after a poll showed 48% opposed the project and only 38% supported it. Then again, perhaps it was the "secret" report from Fisheries & Oceans. Whatever the cause, the proposed destruction of the park has been shelved, but perhaps not entirely forgotten. Nicole Desrochers, director general of CREDDO, hinted that further legal measures might be undertaking by the parties in favour of the golf course. Perhaps this is only face-saving, but we must be wary of new initiatives to use what Gatineau mayor Yves Ducharme views as an "undeveloped" area, rather than one of this community's most beautiful parks. "Plan B" may be next; these people obviously have no respect for nature. Congratulations to all those who fought so long and hard to save Lac Leamy. Keep alert! For more information about how you can continue to help support this beautiful natural site, click on the following links to go to the SOS Leamy Coalition website.
Independent Directions to this Site: Going east on Autoroute l'Outaouais or Highway 50, 0.3 km beyond where it crosses over Autoroute de la Gatineau or Highway 5, take the exit for Autoroute de la Gatineau or Highway 5 north. Follow the exit ramp around 0.6 km or 270 degrees to head west on Highway 5. Going west on Highway 50, take the Highway 5 north exit and drive south 0.4 km to join the eastbound exit ramp. Continue along it to join Highway 5 headed west. Follow Highway 5 for 1.2 km, first passing under Highway 50, then heading north. Exit right via the 0.2 km ramp onto Boulevard de Casino. Turn right or northeast on du Casino and follow it for 0.2 km to Boulevard de la Carrière. Turn left or north on Carrière and go 0.3 km to Chemin du Lac-Leamy. Turn right or northeast onto it and drive 0.3 km past the Réno-Dépôt to the large parking lots at Lac Leamy Ecological Park (West).
Gatineau River West Route Directions: From Lac Leamy Ecological Park (East), return to Boulevard Fournier and head south (1.9 km from Promenade du Lac-Leamy or 1.4 km from the small eastern parking lot) to the turnoff, on the right or southwest, for Autoroute de la Gatineau or Highway 5. Follow the ramp west 0.5 km to join Highway 5. Proceed west, then north, on Highway 5 for 1.5 km to exit 3, Boulevard du Casino. Exit right or northeast via the 0.2 km ramp onto Boulevard de Casino. Turn right or east on du Casino and follow it for 0.2 km to Boulevard de la Carrière. Turn left or north on Carrière and go 0.3 km to Chemin du Lac-Leamy. Turn right or northeast onto it and drive 0.3 km past the Réno-Dépôt to the large parking lots at Lac Leamy Ecological Park (West).
Site Description and Birding Information: This park, whose sign has mysteriously lost its "ecological", has many attractions. Trails are found throughout. The northern and western portions of Lac Leamy Ecological Park and the strip of city owned parkland to the north, the sections under discussion here, are perhaps the best birding areas in the park, wedged between the Richelieu Industrial Park and the Gatineau River. This floodplain forest has been threatened by "progress", in the form of a golf course. The forest is home to Great Horned Owl, Ruffed Grouse and Brown Creeper, has breeding Wood Duck and is excellent in migration. The fields north of these woods are productive as well (Gray Partridge and Brown Thrasher). Willow Flycatcher and Northern Rough-winged Swallow breed along the Gatineau River in this sector.
In winter, Le club des ornithologues de l'Outaouais (COO) maintains two feeding stations along the trail north of Lac Leamy. One is located just east of the parking lot, along the lake. The second is along the bike path shortly after it begins to follow the west bank of the Gatineau River.
Rare birds reported from Lac Leamy include nesting Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Carolina Wren (Sept. 3, 2001), Great Gray Owl (Jan. 16, 2005), etc.
Gatineau River West Route Directions: From the parking areas at the Lac Leamy Ecological Park (West) site return the 0.3 km on Chemin du Lac-Leamy to Boulevard de la Carrière. Turn right or NNW onto it and proceed 1.7 km to where it becomes Rue Jean-Proulx. Follow Jean-Proulx an additional 0.7 km to the Sportheque de Hull at 72 Jean-Proulx, on the right or north. Go around behind and park at the back of the spacous lot adjacent the next site on this route, Sabourin Marsh.
Return to Gatineau River West.
Return to Birding Ottawa Table of Contents.
Map of Lac Leamy Ecological Park
Creek in Lac Leamy Ecological Park
Copyright © 2000 - 2009 Larry E. Neily
Last update: October 27, 2009