Located in the Monteregie region near Montreal (40.7 km from the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel), the Saint-Hyacinthe region invites you to discover its perfect mix of rural and urban.
The true breadbasket of Quebec, this magnificent region is well-known for the richness of the land and the abundance of its harvests. The the region is crossed from north to south by the Yamaska River, and its heart is the city of Saint-Hyacinthe.
The agri-foods industry is one of the leading economic sectors for the region, which makes Saint-Hyacinthe the agri-foods capital of Quebec. It has also allowed the city to become, in 1993, a member of the prestigious Club International des Technopoles, a Canadian first. There is a scientific district which focuses on agri-foods, a Centre de la nouvelle économie (CNE), and, in the development stage, a Biotechnology district.
TODAY’S GREATER SAINT-HYACINTHE REGION
Supported by significant agricultural business activity, the city of Saint-Hyacinthe has continued its economic and industrial development. Today, its population is 53,347 (citizens are referred to a Maskoutains, in reference to the Yamaska River) and it extends over an area of 180 km². Given the city offers modern infrastructure and services, it is the perfect location to live and work. The MRC des Maskoutains includes the 17 local municipalities and extends over 1,310 km² and includes 83,526 citizens.
In 1748 Pierre-François Rigaud de Vaudreuil received the Maska seigneurie from Louis XV, king of France, as compensation for his long and loyal service. This forested territory, located on each side of the Yamaska River, would never be seen by the Marquis de Vaudreuil given that five years later he was forced to sell it to Jacques-Hyacinthe Simon Delorme, who would only arrive at the seigneurie in 1757. The first colonialists would arrive at what was referred to as “le Rapide Plat” and began settling on both sides of the river to clear and farm the lands.
Later, Delorme found a more promising site, at the foot of a waterfall that would provide hydraulic energy, which was the key ingredient for economic development. He called the site “la cascade” and it was around the falls that the new heart of the seigneurie would develop. Mills, churches, markets, all the community’s activities were regrouped in this new centre. Even the seigneurie’s manor was located on the cliff overlooking the river.
In 1849, almost a century later, Saint-Hyacinthe was designated a village municipality, in 1850 a city municipality, and in 1857 as a city.
To learn more about the region’s history, its historical figures, both big and small, who have had an influence on the city and the region since its founding up to today, please visit the Centre d’histoire de Saint-Hyacinthe’s website or the Ville de Saint-Hyacinthe’s website.
DID YOU KNOW…
Saint-Hyacinthe was the first Canadian city accepted in to the prestigious Club International des Technopoles?
In Saint-Hyacinthe you can find the Biotechnology, Agri-Foods, Veterinary and Agri-Environmental districts with research centres, teaching facilities and several companies associated with these sectors?
Saint-Hyacinthe is cultivating a sustainable development vision by implementing different green programs? This is how it has become a leader and reference in Quebec in the field of biomethanization and the management of residual waste.
The stone industry started to develop in the region at the start of the 19th century? An important material in the construction of buildings during the period, Saint-Dominique stone was used for the construction of the Victoria Bridge. More recently, its roller-compacted concrete was used to build earthquake-resistance structures at the Gentilly-2 nuclear plant.
The Quebec flag was designed in the village of Saint-Jude? Its priest, Abbé Elphège-Prime Filiatrault, designed the Carillon flag, which is the predecessor of the current flag. On January 21, 1948, the Honourable Maurice Duplessis, premier of Quebec, announced that Abbé Filiatrault’s flag, with the modified fleurs-de-lis, as the new Quebec flag. The same day it was flown from the National Assembly’s tower.
The agricultural zone represents 96% of the MRC’s territory and there are more than 1,000 agricultural companies? In order to meet changing consumer tastes, certain companies have developed specialised products: Muscovy Duck (Saint-Pie), elk (Saint-Bernard-de-Michaudville), quail eggs (Saint-Jude) or pasture-raised Berkshire pork (Saint-Valérin-de-Milton). These are only a few examples…