Great places to live: Quebec

We continue our series on great places to live across Canada with two towns in Quebec.

Bromont: More than its share of charm
With a backdrop of glacier-formed lakes, fast-flowing rivers and majestic mountains, Bromont (population 5,000) offers an abundance of sports activities. And big city life is not far away with Bromont located halfway between Montreal and Sherbrooke, an hour’s drive east of Montreal.

A thriving modern town whose history started at the end of the 18th century with the arrival of the Loyalists, it was later enhanced by Francophone and Irish communities. With its own airport, resort hotels, high-calibre year-round sports facilities, excellent golf courses and a ski centre open day and night, Bromont has an international reputation and warmly welcomes visitors and new residents alike.

While the anglophone population in Bromont is quite small (10 to 12 per cent), the town’s location and its outstanding recreational facilities attracts a great number of tourists, especially from the United States.


• Average Jan temp (mean): –9 C
• AveragJuly temp (mean): 21 C
• Annual rainfall: 780 mm
• Annual snowfall: 237 cm

House facts

• New detached house: $175,000 to $275,000
• Existing house: $245,000
• Condominium: $100,000 to $150,000 for an in-town condo; $250,000 plus for a condo on the mountain near the ski resort
• Monthly rent for an apartment: $275 to $450 depending on size (studio, one- or two-bedroom) and whether hydro is included (many apartments are in private homes where residents are allowed to convert up to 75 per cent of the basement into a rental unit)
• There are no private residences for autonomous seniors in Bromont.
•  There are very few properties on the market currently. The few that are available are more expensive than in neighbouring Sherbrooke.
(Average prices provided by Louise Tardif, RE/MAX Professionnel Inc., Bromont)

There is no public transportation in this small community, although there is regular bus service between Bromont and the towns of Granby and Cowansville.

Great things to do
The community centre in Bromont is a busy scene. It offers classes in jazzercise, Pilates, tennis and yoga as well as guitar and kung fu. There is also a walkers’ club and a 100-member bridge club.

L’Ensemble vocal de Bromont and Les Jazzeries both perform publicly. Classical music lovers will enjoy the occasional concert in the Saint-François Xavier Church in the heart of the Old Village. Summertime brings free outdoor concerts in St-John Church Park.

In August, the Symposium Bromont en Art attracts thousands of visitors to see the efforts of about 90 area artists.

During two weekends in May, take in La fête du chocolate (Chocolate Fest) with its mouthwatering chocolate sculptures and the porto and chocolate tasting.

Year-round activities are offered on Mont-Brome Mountain. During the winter, there is day and night alpine skiing and snowboarding. In the summer, enjoy waterslides, hiking and biking.

Golf enthusiasts will have a difficult time choosing among four golf courses. Bromont’s Centre Equestre hosts prestigious riding competitions such as the Bromont International.

The Yamaska River, which criss-crosses around and through Bromont, offers water sports such as canoeing and kayaking.

La Villageoise bicycle path connects Bromont to l’Estriade bike path: 21 paved kilometres with sculptures gracing its route (in-line skating is allowed under proper supervision). From l’Estriade, cyclists travelling west can reach la Montérégiade I and II bicycle paths and, when travelling east, will meet la Campagnarde bicycle path.

If you get sick
There are two medical clinics in the town of Bromont. Those residents requiring more health-care services travel 15 kilometres to Hôpital Brome-Missisquoi-Perkins in Cowansville. As well as all the regular hospital departments, this hospital also has a special intensive care facility.

Next page: Sherbrooke

Sherbrooke: The bustling big town in the Eastern Townships
Nestled in the southeastern corner of Quebec between Montreal and the states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, the Eastern Townships have an Anglo-Saxon flavour that combines New England charm with Quebec joie de vivre. With a population of 76,000 in town and about 154,000 in the metro-politan area, Sherbrooke is the seventh largest city in Quebec, an Appalachian enclave sprinkled with British- and Victorian-inspired villages where Irish, Scottish, English, French, Catholic and Protestant traditions live side by side.


• Average Jan temp (mean): –12 C
• Average July temp (mean): 18 C
• Annual rainfall: 874 mm 
• Annual snowfall: 294 cm

House facts

• Individual houses: $156,000 (new); $133,700 (existing)
• Condominium: $128,100
• Monthly rent for a single room (meals included) in a private residence for autonomous seniors: $973
• Average rent for apartments in this same type of residence: studio $1,006; one-bdrm $1,043; two-bdrm $1,336  (prices include meals where they are compulsory, which is not standard)
• Average rent for apartments on the conventional market: studio $328; one-bdrm $392; two-bdrm $495; three-plus bdrm $591
(Average prices provided by City of Sherbrooke)

The bus service in the city is run by Société de transport de Sherbrooke.

Great things to do
For the physically active, Sherbrooke and area offer unlimited opportunities with 2,000 kilometres of snowmobile trails, 500 kilometres of cycling paths, 59 hiking trails, 38 golf courses, 23 beaches, eight outdoors recreational centres, five dogsled centres, seven ski centres, nine spas and four national parks. Whew!

Sherbrooke is a culturally rich area with more than 130 festivals, 42 museums and interpretation centres, 40 art galleries, nine theatres and two musical summer camps and three zoos.

There are two universities in the area: the University of Sherbrooke (which is French) and Bishop’s University (which is English) in Lennoxville, a town that is now part of Sherbrooke since the Quebec municipal mergers of 2002.

If you get sick
The city’s recently re-organized hospital system includes a short-term care supercentre: the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke (or CHUS), including the former Hôtel-Dieu de Sherbrooke hospital.

The second major hospital centre is the Sherbrooke Geriatric University Institute, which combines the old Sherbrooke Hospital with the Youville Hospital. This hospital is geared toward long-term care as well as active gerontology, rehabilitation and ambulatory services.

From the horse’s mouth
“Our aim is to demonstrate that here in Sherbrooke, we are more than ever before the best place to live, to study, to work and to invest.” – Jean Perrault, Mayor