Victoriaville, Quebec Canada

Discover Victoriaville, Quebec: A Blend of History and Modernity

Victoriaville, a charming town nestled in south-central Quebec, Canada, is a place where history and modernity coexist. Situated on the Nicolet River, Victoriaville is the seat of Arthabaska Regional County Municipality and a part of the Centre-du-Québec (Bois-Francs) region. The town was formed in 1993 by merging Arthabaska, Saint-Victoire-d'Arthabaska, and Victoriaville, with the latter's name being used for the merged town.

Exploring Victoriaville, Quebec: A Town of Many Titles

Known as the Capitale des Bois-Francs, Victoriaville's size and location have earned it this title, referring to the Bois-Francs region of the province. The town is renowned for its production of numerous hardwood products, including furniture, caskets, and hockey sticks.

The Parc-Linéaire Des Bois-Francs bike trail traverses Victoriaville, offering numerous paths for cyclists throughout the town, including ones leading to the summit of Mont Arthabaska, at the southern limits of the town.

Victoriaville is also home to the Laurier Museum, a National Historic Site of Canada, which commemorates the summer home of Canadian former Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier. The town hosts many festivals throughout the year, including the Week-end En Blues series of concerts, the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (FIMAV) in the spring, and the Exposition Agricole in the summer.

Economic Growth in Victoriaville, Quebec

Investment in the industrial park has buoyed the town and spurred new residential and commercial development. Victoriaville is home to a prominent Lactantia dairy factory, two shopping malls, the Cégep de Victoriaville, and a quaint yet vibrant downtown core/shopping area on Rue Notre-Dame.

Victoriaville Airport, located at the town's northern limits close to Route 116, is a regional airport that receives business flights and light private planes. The current mayor of Victoriaville is Antoine Tardif, who was elected in the 2021 mayoral election. Victoriaville is also the seat of the judicial district of Arthabaska.

The Rich History of Victoriaville, Quebec

Known to the native Abenaki peoples as Arthabaska or Awabaska, meaning "place of bulrushes and reeds", the Victoriaville area was first claimed in 1802 by a fur trader named John Gregory. The first settlers began arriving around 1825, and the parish of Saint-Christophe d'Arthabaska was established in 1851, marking the town's true foundation.

Victoriaville became a full-fledged town in 1890, having reached a population of 1,000. The town has seen many milestones, including the establishment of a hospital, the Hôtel-Dieu d'Arthabaska, in 1931; the opening of a seminary, the Collège du Sacré-Coeur, in 1942; the creation of a school specialized in cabinet making and woodworking, the École Québécoise du Meuble et du Bois Ouvré (ÉQMBO), in 1965; and the inauguration of the Cégep de Victoriaville in 1969.

In June 1993, after a referendum on amalgamation, the municipalities of Sainte-Victoire-D'Arthabaska, Arthabaska, and Victoriaville merged to form the town of Victoriaville. The aboriginal name "Arthabaska" was retained in several ways, notably in the name of the regional county municipality and in the name of the highest (and only) mountain that overlooks the town.

Demographics of Victoriaville, Quebec

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Victoriaville had a population of 47,760 living in 21,864 of its 23,106 total private dwellings, a change of 3.5% from its 2016 population of 46,130. With a land area of 84.33 km2 (32.56 sq mi), it had a population density of 566.3/km2 (1,466.8/sq mi) in 2021.