Victoria Island and the Chaudière Bridge
Written by Bytown Museum
Much of Ottawa's early history has passed by the shores of Victoria Island, from the people of the Algonquin (or Odawa) nation to the arrival of Samuel de Champlain to the thousands of timber rafts on their way to Québec City. The Odawa named the great falls at Victoria Island “Asticou” (the boiler). The French translation was “Chaudière.”
For the Odawa, Victoria Island was a place to gather, trade and celebrate and to many, the island is still sacred. In 1613, Samuel de Champlain travelled through this area on his quest to find the mythical sea that would provide a navigable route to China. And during Ottawa's lumber heyday, over 15,000 cribs of timber would pass through the timber slides alongside the Chaudière#### Falls every year. The slides were needed to help the cribs navigate around the dangerous falls.
Today, Victoria Island is home to Aboriginal Experiences, a local cultural attraction that offers programming related to the history and culture of Canada's First People.