Regional Portraits

Centre-du-Québec (17)

 

Geography and administration

The Centre-du-Québec region is still sometimes called "Bois-Francs". It is bordered by the regions of Mauricie to the north, Estrie to the south, Montérégie to the west and Chaudière-Appalaches to the east.

Its 5 regional county municipalities (French acronym MRC) include 79 municipalities:

The Centre-du-Québec region also includes two Indian reserves which are not part of a regional country municipality: Wôlinak and Odanak. The region’s main towns are Bécancour, Drummondville, Nicolet, Plessisville and Victoriaville.

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Agriculture, fisheries and food

The Centre-du-Québec region has a temperate climate and fertile soil, resulting in a diverse production potential. It is an important cranberry-growing region and also a leader in the processing area, due to businesses that specialize in cranberry drying and freezing.

In addition, the region’s food sector includes a canola and soybean crushing plant and a seed oil refining plant, both a boost to seed production.

Animal products have always been at the heart of the region's development. Known as the “dairy cradle of Québec,” the Centre-du-Québec now produces fine cheeses and specialty cheeses made from the milk of cows, sheep or goats. The production of poultry and pork is also of paramount importance for the economic growth of the region’s agri-food sector.

Grain, maple products, organic products, small fruits and processed products also play a vital role in the region’s agri-food sector, particularly in developing the consumer food offer. Public markets, agrotourism and various events held to promote products from the Centre-du-Québec region are a resounding success each and every year.

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Economy and employment

Conveniently located between Québec and Montréal and close to the eastern US markets, Centre-du-Québec is characterized by its dynamic manufacturing and agricultural activities. Furthermore, entrepreneurship is one of the strengths of the region’s economy.

The industrial park and port of Bécancour is a defining feature of the region. The park includes large-scale industrial companies in the electrometallurgy and electrochemistry fields, as well as in heavy industry.

The agri-food sector creates jobs in food growing, livestock production and food processing, with a focus on dairy products and cranberries.

Other manufacturing sectors are also an important part of the region’s industrial landscape, including machinery, metal and paper product, wood product, and transportation equipment manufacturing.

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Tourism, recreation and culture

Located halfway between Montréal and Québec on the south shore of the Fleuve Saint-Laurent, the Centre-du-Québec region offers a series of country villages where incursions into the past await all visitors. For example, in Victoriaville, the home of Wilfrid Laurier, a Canadian Prime Minister, is open to the public, just like a museum. Then, in Drummondville, the Village québécois d'antan (historical theme park) invites tourists to become immersed in 19th century Québec life.

Many visitors travel each spring to the Baie-du-Febvre migratory stopover, on the shores of Lac Saint-Pierre, to observe the snow geese migration. The Lac Saint-Pierre area and its archipelago were designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in the year 2000.

Travelers can take tourist routes to discover local products or antique gems, or set off on boat trips. The region also has a number of bike paths for cycling enthusiasts. Agrotourism and gastronomical tourism play an important role in the region, which is famous, among other things, for its cranberry industry. There is an interpretation centre for this little red fruit in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford.​

The Mondial des cultures de Drummondville (world culture festival) and the Festival international de musique actuelle de Victoriaville (contemporary music festival) are among the other interesting activities the region has to offer.

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