Old Hull is mainly known for its quaint entertainment quarter and its bleak office towers, but there’s a whole other side to this neighborhood that’s celebrated by the popular Instagram account What the Hull?
With more than 10,000 followers, it often sparks discussion online and off. Aimed at celebrating this unique part of Gatineau, the account focuses on its “weird and wonderful” aspects: a person in a bear head costume on the street, or a knife used to prop up a window.
The posts work because, according to Matt, the anonymous account operator, they “show all the facets of Hull which on the surface seems grimy; but it’s shown through a loving lens. If all of Hull’s unique properties disappeared, it would be Gatineau.”
He started capturing photos when he moved to Hull more than a decade ago. “I wasn’t familiar with the area and many things were making me mutter ‘what the hell,’ in a good way.”
Matt prefers to let the neighbourhood’s nature speak for itself. Even if he operates the account solo, his followers regularly send him submissions. “It is one of my favourite parts of having the account, as I can’t be everywhere at once,” he says.
This is one aspect that makes What the Hull? a genuine community account. “Hull has a small-town feel, but is nestled in a big city. It is a close-knit community, people talk to their neighbours. It’s unpretentious and unpredictable with a rich history.”