Mexico Lands in Hull: A Place of Convergence

This exhibit originated from an invitation to become part of a new culture trail – the “red line” – an initiative of the City of Gatineau and various organizations such as Tourisme Outaouais and Vision Centre Ville to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Canadian confederation. The invaluable support of a group of volunteers made possible this exhibition on the transformation that this sector of the city experienced over time, concentrating on the role that UNAM-Canadá assumed in this process.

The exhibition was conceived around four important themes which help one to imagine the different stages that Hull experienced throughout its history. A corresponding document accompanies each topic:

1) The Beginnings

The location which today is the Hull sector went from being a transit neighbourhood to one of a permanent settlement following the initiatives of public figures such as Philemon Wright and Ezra Butler Eddy, among others. The driving forces of economic and population growth were inevitably interrupted by the Great Fire of 1900, forcing the settlement and its population either to admit defeat or to launch the reconstruction process.

This first segment presents the recreation of a fictional first page of a newspaper inspired by a weekly newspaper of that period called Le Réveil, located in the archives of the city of Gatineau.

2) Reconstruction – Rising from One’s Ashes

It was in the seventies of the XXth century that the reconstruction of the city of Hull intensified, impelled by various governmental initiatives, both federal and provincial. However, and as a result of this impulse, many residents of the neighbourhood were forced to leave their homes and relocate outside the city centre. This would provoke the closing of many businesses in this sector. Hence, in the eighties, the municipality itself was to launch new initiatives attempting to recover the neighbourhood’s vitality.

This second segment features a section of an 1898 map, which, at that time, served to show the extent of the Great Fire of 1900. Added to the original map are various elements that were key to the reconstruction process of the settlement, as well as others that resulted directly from the process.

3) Recovery

The geographic location of Hull, just as much as its political context, inevitably affected its recovery process. This set the stage for Hull to acquire a unique, unenviable reputation, which would carry with it the nickname “Little Chicago”, a clear allusion to its widespread criminality. In the nineties, finally, after several attempts to control the situation, the city authorities adopted a zero-tolerance policy along with the firm intention of revitalizing the Old Hull sector.

The third segment is a combination of three elements: a poster announcing the projection of a film for adults in a theatre situated on the main street; pasted over the latter is a fictitious recreation of what one could imagine 4 might have been the reaction of the bar and discotheque owners to the zero tolerance policy; and, finally, a copy of the minutes of the municipal council meeting regarding the adoption the necessary measures to allow the arrival of UNAM-CANADA in Hull.

4) Revitalisation

A convergence of objectives emerged naturally between the city of Gatineau and UNAM-CANADA: the diffusion of knowledge and the interchange of ideas, not only in the academic but also the cultural and artistic fields. The foregoing would facilitate the integration of UNAM-CANADA and the local community, all the while highlighting the multicultural character of the region.

This fourth and final segment includes the fictitious recreation of the central pages of the Gaceta UNAM, the official communications vehicle of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). These pages highlight the cultural, academic, artistic, and institutional activities and events of the UNAM campus in Gatineau (Quebec, Canada).


55 promenade du Portage
Gatineau (Hull), Québec J8X 2J9
Free admission


Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Group visits with pre-arranged reservations by email: or by telephone: 819-777-8626.
Services: washrooms, drinking fountains, wireless internet and reading room (library).

Important message:

the exhibition is located in the principal staircase (main entrance), which makes proper precautions essential to prevent accidents. Young visitors require the supervision of an accompanying adult at all times. Please note that the exhibition does not yet provide access for mobility - impaired visitors.

Please consult this page periodically to become aware of any changes.