Portions of the Pointe Gatineau community are established in what is now considered to be a 1:20-year floodplain. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the community experienced regular (and, some sources suggest, “annual”) flooding, the most severe of which (1876) swept away 30 houses and caused another 200 houses to be abandoned. Although the construction of upstream locks (1911) and hydropower dams (1920 and 1964) reduced the frequency of flooding, significant flood events continued to be experienced by the community, including in 1926, 1947, 1951, 1974 and 1976.
Water levels are monitored along the Ottawa and Gatineau rivers at 9 monitoring stations. The closest monitoring station to Pointe Gatineau is the Rivière Gatineau – Quai des Artistes, rue Jacques-Cartier, secteur de Gatineau, at the Confluence of Gatineau and Ottawa Rivers.
The floods of 2017 and 2019 had a major impact on the Pointe Gatineau community. Approximately 1,800 homes were affected by flooding in the wider Gatineau municipality during the spring 2017 floods, with the Pointe Gatineau neighbourhood being hit particularly hard, and flooding in the spring of 2019 exceeded the record set in 2017.
Planned retreat in the Pointe Gatineau community can best be summarized as being carried out reactively in the face of repeated flood disasters, funded by a combination of municipal, provincial and federal government funding.