Regional Portraits

Estrie (05)


    Geography and administration

    Located on the south shore of the Fleuve Saint-Laurent, the Estrie region stretches to the east and south as far as the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. It is bordered to the north by the Centre-du-Québec and Chaudière-Appalaches regions and to the west by Montérégie.

    Estrie encompasses 89 municipalities, most of which are grouped into 6 regional county municipalities (French acronym MRC):

    Sherbrooke is not part of a regional county municipality. However, its administration exercises certain powers normally assigned to an MRC.

    The population of Estrie is mainly concentrated in Sherbrooke, the most populous city in the region.

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    Agriculture, fisheries and food

    Characterized by its valleys and hills, the Estrie region features a highly diversified agricultural sector.

    Estrie has more than 2,500 farming enterprises. The majority focus on dairy, bovine (beef), ovine (sheep), caprine (goat) and porcine (pig) production.

    Plant production, especially horticulture, has deep roots in the region. A wide variety of fruits and vegetables are grown there. Maple production, of syrup and its by-products, is also of considerable note. The region has more than 75 certified organic farms, primarily specializing in sugar maple cultivation and market garden production.

    Lastly, the processing sector is mainly represented by bakeshops, the manufacture of dairy products, the preparation of animal feed, and animal slaughtering.

    Agritourism is playing an increasingly important role in the region due to the large number of cheese producers, honey farms, sugar bushes, vineyards, and lavender fields found there.

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    Economy and employment

    The Estrie region features a diverse economic structure combining traditional and non-traditional sectors.

    Traditional sectors include:

    • transportation equipment
    • rubber product manufacturing
    • wood processing
    • paper manufacturing
    • textiles
    • agriculture

    Among the non-traditional sectors, several specialize in advanced technologies, thus helping to diversify the regional economy. They are represented by companies from the following sectors:

    • metal product manufacturing
    • machine manufacturing
    • biomedical technologies
    • information technologies

    The quality of the region's business structures, proximity to North American markets, and the vitality of its small and medium-sized businesses make the region a leading exporter.

    More than three quarters of the jobs in the region belong to the tertiary sector. The manufacturing sector, the construction sector and the primary sector follow in order of importance.

    Estrie is also recognized as a leader in Christmas tree production.

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    Tourism, recreation and culture

    The Estrie region (Cantons-de-l’Est tourist region), renowned for its vineyards, Wine Route and epicurean getaways, offers a unique setting that combines mountains, lakes and vast green spaces. The region features over 500 km of serviced bike paths. A wide array of activities and attractions, of tourist and cultural interest as well as sports or history-related, are at the visitor’s disposal, including:

    • theatres
    • art galleries
    • golf courses
    • agritourism farms
    • ski resorts
    • regional and national parks
    • tourist routes and circuits

    Cultural events such as the Festival international de la chanson de Granby (song festival) and the Festival des traditions du monde de Sherbrooke (world traditions festival) attract many tourists to the region. 

    Several renowned tourist sites, such as Parc national du Mont-Mégantic, Parc national du Mont-Orford, and the Granby Zoo, also add to the region’s vitality.

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