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  • Hunter Cresswell

NCC bad neighbour

One might assume that a community of outdoor recreational enthusiasts like Chelsea would get along great with Gatineau Park, but the municipality and the National Capital Commission, which manages the park, have a love-hate relationship.

First off, the love.

Gatineau Park offers hiking, running, camping, swimming, downhill and cross-country skiing, road and mountain biking, and rock climbing opportunities galore.

Gatineau Park accounts for 60 per cent of the municipality of Chelsea’s territory, so the park is just a short walk, ride, or drive away for most residents.

Chelsea consistently pumps out top-notch young athletes – like Olympian Katherine Stewart-Jones, who grew up skiing in the park. The mayor of Chelsea himself, Pierre Guénard, can usually be found cross-country skiing in the winter and road biking in the summer.

Tourism is an economic driver in Chelsea. People come from far and wide to visit Gatineau Park to see the vibrant autumn colours, ski, bike, or snowboard in the park, or just to walk the peaceful trails. Chelsea businesses rely on those tourists who grab a bite to eat before or after their park outing or need to pick up ski or bike gear on their way into the park.

Gatineau Park is intertwined with life in Chelsea.

And now, the hate.

The NCC has not been paying full payments in lieu of taxes