Major Renovations Coming to Lac Philippe's Main Campground

Chelsea Quebec Local logo
by The Local
May 4, 2023
Photo credits:
National Capital Commission
For those planning to camp in Gatineau Park this summer, there's some important news to keep in mind. According to a recent announcement by the National Capital Commission (NCC), the main campground in the park will be closed for major renovations this summer and fall. This means that visitors will need to make alternative arrangements if they plan on camping in the park.

Reason for Closure

The Lac Philippe campground, built in the 1950s, has been in need of updates for some time. The NCC describes its facilities as "quite dated." The renovation project will modernize the site and bring it up to current standards.

The Renovation Plan

The renovation project will focus on improving the quality of the camping experience while reducing the environmental impact of the site. The improvements will include:

  • Upgraded campsites with electrical and water hookups
  • New washroom and shower facilities
  • Improved access to the beach and hiking trails
  • Addition of ready-to-camp units, including all-season tents, yurts, and cabins

The project is expected to continue into the fall, with the reopening planned for summer 2024.

Other Affected Campsites

In addition to the main campground at Lac Philippe, the semi-wilderness campground at Lac Taylor will also be closed for renovations. Only the canoe-access campground at Lac La Pêche will be open for summer 2023.

Background of the Renovation Project

The NCC has been considering improvements to the 244 camping spots at Lac Phillippe since 2014. In early 2016, NCC staff presented the board with an option to update the campground. The board deferred a decision at the time, asking staff to come back with more details on the recommended approach.

After a year of delay, the National Capital Commission board of directors approved spending $200,000 on a "feasibility study" on upgrading the campground at Lac Phillippe in Gatineau Park. The study is expected to take another year.

Some board members voted against the feasibility study as they don't believe the NCC's mandate should be to provide camping, especially as the plan calls for the eventual investment of millions of dollars. However, the NCC chief executive Mark Kristmanson pointed out that the campground would still be run by a private company, but it wouldn't be financially feasible for a third party to undertake the improvements being considered.

While the closure of the main campground at Lac Philippe may cause some inconvenience for campers this summer and fall, the renovation project will bring much-needed updates to the site, making it a more enjoyable and environmentally sustainable place to camp in the future.

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