Outaouais in French and Ottawa in English are both from the same Indian word. One wonders what it sounded like.
You will find in the Outaouais region a really bilingual population. You can easily get understood in French or English in most places, being so close to Ontario. Still, it's helpful to have some knowledge of French as most signs are posted solely in French.
If you come from Montreal, you are likely to take either the provincial road 148 (on the Québec side of the Ottawa river) or the trans-canadian highway 417 on the Ontario side of the Ottawa river.
Driving in Gatineau and Ottawa is fairly simple. Finding a parking spot anywhere in Gatineau is never a problem.
You can sail on the Ottawa and the Gatineau rivers and the Rideau canal.
There are many bike paths in the region, especially in Gatineau.