DescriptionColonists arrived in St-Hyacinthe in 1757 and began clearing land for crops. Shortly after, a waterfall was discovered on the Yamaska River and a sawmill, a flour mill and a carding mill were built. Today it ranks among the 30 largest cities in the province and its rich soil and bountiful harvests have made the area the agribusiness capital of Québec. This bounty is celebrated the third Friday in July through the last Sunday of the month when more than 175,000 visitors attend the St-Hyacinthe Agriculture and Food Exposition, a celebration held annually since 1837; phone (450) 773-9307. Many other special events are offered throughout the year.
St-Hyacinthe has been the seat of a Roman Catholic diocese since 1852 and therefore has many churches and chapels worth a visit. The St-Hyacinthe Cathedral, 1900 rue Girouard Ouest, was built in 1878 and is noted for its chandeliers. The Our Lady of Fatima Sanctuary (Sanctuaire Notre-Dame de Fatima), 650 rue Girouard Ouest, is an eight-sided chapel. Our Lady of the Rosary Church (Église Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire), 2200 rue Girouard Ouest, is richly decorated.
May through September the domesticated animals and 300 species of perennial plants of Ferme la Rabouillère delight visitors; phone (450) 793-4998. Birds of prey are the subject of presentations given in French late June to early October at the Chouette à Voir—The Owl Sees site in nearby St-Jude; phone (450) 773-8521, ext. 18545.
In nearby Huberdeau, Ferme Du Coq à l'Âne des Laurentides offers French narrated tours of a working farm by reservation; phone (819) 687-9314. For a hands-on agricultural experience, there are farms where you can pick your own blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes and apples—or you can always just purchase these fruits from the roadside stands.
Visitor InfoSt-Hyacinthe Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau 2090 rue Cherrier ST-HYACINTHE, QC J2S 8R3. Phone:(450)774-7276 or (800)849-7276
ShoppingA public market built more than 100 years ago, Le vieux marché de St-Hyacinthe at 1555 rue Des Cascades Ouest dominates the old part of the town and continues to offer foodstuffs; it is open Mon.-Wed. 9-6, Thurs.-Fri. 8:30-9, Sat. 8:30-5:30 and Sun. 9-5. Galeries St-Hyacinthe, 3200 boul. Laframboise, houses more than 100 stores and restaurants and fast-food establishments.
Things to SeeDaniel A. Séguin Garden