Photo Essay: The Beauty and Glory of Autumn Foliage in Ottawa-Gatineau, Canada’s Capital Region

(Publisher-Editor Simerg and Simergphotos)

 Simerg Ottawa-Gatineau Foliage 2015

I couldn’t live (leave) without them — the blog(s) and the car!

Each year, in October, I make it a point to visit Gatineau Park to enjoy the autumn foliage. In 2014, I had extended my trip and covered Wakefield, and wrote a piece which was well received by readers of this blog as well as staff of tourism bureaus in the region. Please click Photo Essay: Two Great Canadian Prime Ministers, Mackenzie King and Lester B. Pearson, Feature in Simerg’s Peep into Gatineau Park’s Autumn Foliage.

This year (2015), by the time I made it to Gatineau on October 18, the fall colours in the Park had subsided as they passed the peak a few days earlier. A week earlier during the Thanksgiving weekend both the entrances to the Park were jammed with cars, and my patience caved in and I made a U-turn. While I missed out on Gatineau Park’s most vibrant fall colours during my visit to the Park on the 18th, the streets and parks in and around the capital region, Ottawa-Gatineau, were filled with amazing foliage.

Rideau Hall 2015 Autumn Foliage

Rideau Hall

On the same day I also made my first ever autumn visit to Rideau Hall, the Residence of Canada’s Governor General. The foliage at the  Rideau Hall left me breathless, and I ended spending a good 2 hours enjoying it in cool crispy air (a few minutes earlier at Gatineau Park I had seen some snow falling). I was thrilled to see children and adults throwing autumns leaves at each other, and taking photos and videos. I could feel their happiness in the midst of the splendid Rideau Hall grounds. My companion was my car, so I splattered it with fall leaves that I collected from outside Rideau Hall. Please enjoy this small collection of photos taken on October 18 and a week earlier when I visited Byward Market with my daughter, Nurin.


01 Pumpkins Ottawa Byward Market 2015

Halloween theme at a stall in the Ottawa Byward Market. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

02 Giant Pumpkin Ottawa Byward Market 2015

My daughter Nurin stands behind  a giant pumpkin at the Byward Market in Ottawa on Thanksgiving Weekend. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg


Hogs Back Park

Hog’s Back Park. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

The Hog’s Back Falls, officially known as Prince of Wales Falls, is part of Ottawa’s Hog’s Back Park. At Hog’s Back  the Rideau River continues its way for several kilometres, passing Carleton University, until it merges into the Ottawa River at Sussex Drive. Just 200 metres further up from Hog’s Back (photo not shown), controlled gates allow the water from the Rideau River to flow into the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The water from the canal merges into the Ottawa River, just west of the historic Chateau Laurier hotel on Wellington Street. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.




The Pamirs, Badakhshan

“The Qur’an refers very often to nature as a reflection of Allah’s power of creation, and it says, look at the mountains, the rivers, the trees, the flowers, as evidence of Allah’s love for the people whom He has created. Today, I look at the environment and I say to you, I believe Allah is smiling upon you, and may His smile always be upon you.” — His Highness the Aga Khan speaking in a mountainous setting in Badakhshan in 1995.


Hoggs Back Park, Ottawa

A splendid day at Hog’s Back Park. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Hogs Back Park

Hog’s Back Falls, with a rainbow strip at left, on a very fine and warm autumn day on Thanksgiving weekend. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.


Gatineau Park

A week after Thanksgiving, a view of the Ottawa Valley and the Ottawa River from Champlain Lookout at Gatineau Park. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg

 Gatineau Park

A view of autumn foliage surrounding the Champlain Lookout, Gatineau Park, a few days after the foliage had peaked. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Pink Lake, Gatineau Park, has a superb walking trail that goes around the entire lake which can be completed in about 45 minutes to an hour. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Rosina, her sister Djalila with husband Iqbal Motani at Pink Lake.

A few snow flakes on Rosina, Djalila (centre) with husband Iqbal, as they arrive at Pink Lake, just as I was preparing to leave the scenic site in Gatineau Park. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.


Ottawa street with some delightful autumn foliage

A street off Prince of Wales Drive in Ottawa, with vibrant fall colours. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Street off Main Street Ottawa with vibrant fall colours

A beautiful tree on a street in Ottawa near St. Paul’s University on Main. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.


Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat

The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building on Sussex Drive, Ottawa’s Ceremonial Street. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Foliage on Sussex Drive, Ottawa's Ceremonial Street.

Foliage on Sussex Drive. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Rideau Falls merging into the Ottawa River

The Rideau falls on Sussex Drive where the Rideau River plunges into the Ottawa River. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.


Jacques Cartier Park, Gatineau

Geese seem to be enjoying at Jacques Cartier Park, Gatineau, amidst the foliage. Many of their compatriots have already flown South to escape the winter. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.



“When I invited Professor Maki, a master of form and light, to design this [Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat, photo below – ed.] building, I made a suggestion to him – one that I hoped would help connect this place symbolically to the Faith of Islam. The suggestion I made focused on creating a certain mystique, centred around the beautiful mysteries of rock crystal. Why rock crystal? Because of its translucency, its multiple planes, and the fascination of its colours – all of which present themselves differently as light moves around them. The hues of rock crystal are subtle, striking and widely varied – for they can be clear or milky, white, or rose coloured, or smoky, or golden, or black. It is because of these qualities that rock crystal seems to be such an appropriate symbol of the profound beauty and the ever-unfolding mystery of Creation itself – and the Creator. As the Holy Qur’an so powerfully affirms, “Allah is the Creator and the Master of the heavens and the earth.” And then it continues: ‘Everything in the heavens and on earth, and everything between them, and everything beneath the soil, belongs to Him’.” — His Highness the Aga Khan, on the occasion of the inauguration  of the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building in Ottawa on December 6, 2008.


Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat from Jacques Cartier Park, Gatineau.

The crystalline dome of the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat Building seen from across Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau. The Ottawa River separates two Canadian Provinces, Quebec and Ontario. Gatineau is on the Quebec side and Ottawa, the Nation’s Capital, in Ontario.

Jacques Cartier Park, Gatineau

An “avenue” of magnificent autumn foliage at Gatineau’s Jacques Cartier Park. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Rideau Falls, Ottawa.

Rideau Falls seen from Gatineau’s Jacques Cartier Park. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.


Rideau Hall, the Governor General's Residence

Rideau Hall, the Residence of the Governor General of Canada. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg

Rideau Hall

Outside the grounds of Rideau Hall. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

The Grounds of Rideau Hall

Names of Canada’s Governor Generals inscribed onto maple leaf shaped frames planted just outside the Rideau Hall Building, the official residence of Canada’s Governor General. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Rideau Hall

The splendid Grounds of Rideau Hall in Ottawa on a beautiful 2015 autumn day. The grounds are open year round to the public, and the Governor hosts a variety of thematic activities. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Rideau Hall

A jogger and a cyclist cross the grounds of Rideau Hall. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg


Flashback: The present Governor General of Canada,  His Excellency David Johnston (right), receiving His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam of Shia Ismaili Muslims, at Rideau Hall on October 7, 2010 shortly after he became the country’s 28th Governor General. The Ismaili Imam, who is addressed by his followers as Mawlana Hazar Imam, is the direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him). Photo: The Offices of the Governor General of Canada.

Rideau Hall

The joy of autumn – visitors enjoying fall foliage at Rideau Hall. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Rideau Hall

A “carpet” of fall leaves from the Red Oak that was planted by Captain Marshall some 30 years ago. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Rideau Hall

The Red Oak planted at Rideau Hall by Captain Marshall 30 years ago, now soars several metres into the sky. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Rideau Hall Cricket Pitch

Rideau Hall’s cricket pitch in front of the pavilion. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Rideau Hall A 1993 sculpture by Susan Stromberg entitled “Osmosis” at Rideau Hall grounds. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Rideau HallA fountain at the magnificent grounds of Rideau Hall. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Rideau Hall Foliage 2015

At Rideau Hall, visitors take maximum advantage with their cameras of the autumn foliage the grounds offer. Photo:  Malik Merchant/Simerg


Rocklifee ParkLooking across the Ottawa River from Rockliffe Park, which is located a few hundred metres from the Governor General’s Rideau Hall Residence. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

Rockliffe ParkA bus painted with the theme of the recently held exhibition “Body Worlds” stops by at Rockliffe Park, Ottawa. Photo: Malik Merchant/Simerg.

…..And Just One More

Malik Merchant of Simerg at Rideau HallNot to be left out, Simerg’s Malik Merchant has his photo taken on what was a superb afternoon for him and hundreds of others who visited the Rideau Hall grounds on Sunday, October 18th, 2015.

Date posted: Sunday, October 25, 2015.
Last updated: Saturday, October 31, 2015.

Copyright. Malik Merchant/Simerg. Reproduction of this post/photos permitted with credit to Malik Merchant/Simerg as well as a mention of this blog,


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