This summer and fall, some of the best photo opportunities in the Ottawa region await at the larger-than-life horticultural event, Mosaïculture Gatineau 2018. Take a magical journey along a one-kilometer path lined with 45 breathtaking floral masterpieces made with more than 5.5 million living plants of all colours and textures. This special event takes place June 22 to October 15, 2018 in Jacques Cartier Park, just across the Ottawa River from downtown Ottawa in Gatineau, Quebec.
Mosaïculture Gatineau 2018 is presented by Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal, an organization that creates spectacular horticultural events all over the world. Following their hugely successful MosaïCanada 150 event at the same location in 2017, the team expanded the experience this year with new impressive sculptures and immersive programming. All of the beautiful creations have connections to Canadian history, culture and environment.
New impressive works of floral art are scattered throughout the site, including these jaw-dropping pieces:
- Tree of Birds: Over 50 endangered bird species from around the world are perched on an immense tree sculpture that is 16 metres (52 feet) high. Each branch weighs one ton and the bird at the very top weighs 7 tons! You might spot another type of creature lurking in the pond below…
- The Man Who Planted Trees: This structure honours L’homme qui plantait des arbres, the beloved French short story and animated film about the positive impact man can have on his environment. The shepherd (accompanied by his dog) toils the land while his flock grazes. You can also watch clips of the Oscar-nominated film at the entrance.
- The Ballerina: One of the most endearing new sculptures is the dancing ballerina that spins around to music! The mobile piece – a tribute to Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal – is reminiscent of a childhood music box.
Some of the popular masterpieces from 2017 are back in their full floral glory, including a replica of a Canadian Pacific Railway locomotive and the iconic representation of Anne of Green Gables near the entrance. Sweet foxes, galloping horses, curious puffins and hairy muskoxen dot the landscape along with boats, inukshuks, instruments and hockey players. The 11 metre (36 feet) tall Mother Earth – complete with waterfall cascading from one hand and woodland creatures all around her – is as magical and powerful as ever. These are just some of the fan favourites that are on view in 2018!
Visitors often ask what types of plants are used in the exhibit. This year, Mosaïculture created a garden that contains and identifies the 200 plant species used in the exhibit. A perfect way to expand your horticultural knowledge!
The process artists use to create the three-dimensional works of art is fascinating. Base structures are shaped with metal wire, then stuffed with soil and covered in landscape fabric. Carefully selected plants are painstakingly inserted to create just the right visual. Annuals and perennials are also used throughout the two-dimensional landscapes. As the weather and seasons evolve, the plants grow and their colour and texture changes. The living exhibit is continuously being pruned, watered and maintained to provide the best possible experience for visitors!
Throughout the exhibit’s run, special programming and activities are offered, such as traditional Algonquin Nation cultural performances on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Photography, culinary, art and events for kids are being announced regularly. Visit the Programming page on the Mosaïculture website for the latest updates.
Location and access
The entrance to Mosaïculture Gatineau 2018 is at the South end of Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau, Quebec (near the corner of Laurier and Saint-Étienne streets, near the Alexandra Bridge). The 1-kilometer loop brings you back to this location.
Public transportation stops and bike parking are located nearby. Paid parking is available at several lots near the park.
Food and beverages are available at the on-site Mosaïcafé and washrooms are located throughout the outdoor exhibit.
The site is accessible for people with reduced mobility. Note that the pathways are fine gravel.
Hours and admission
The site opens at 10:00 a.m. daily and closes at dusk, rain or shine! Allow approximately one hour to fully admire the sculptures and to take photos.
Admission is $20 per person (12 years of age and older), $18 for seniors and students, $5 for youth 6 to 11 years of age, and free for children 5 and under. Family packages, group rates, a guided tour option, and season passes are available. Local residents can receive discounted admission. Tickets can be purchased on the website or on site.
Don’t miss your chance to experience this ephemeral experience before it closes on October 15, 2018! For complete details regarding Mosaïculture Gatineau 2018, visit the official website.
More beautiful gardens
Want to explore more of the Ottawa region’s beautiful garden spaces? Follow Ottawa’s Garden Promenade and discover more of the area’s horticultural treasures!