The Eastern Townships are a tourist region in southwestern Quebec. They include the Estrie administrative region and the Brome-Missisquoi and Haute-Yamaska RCMs. Historically, the Arthabaska, Brome, Compton, Drummond, Frontenac, Mégantic, Missisquoi, Shefford, Stanstead and Wolfe townships were included in the territory’s limits.
The Eastern Townships name comes from adoption of the British system of tenure—the township—by Loyalists who settled in the area after US independence from England.
The region is located in a beautiful setting of mountains, glacier-formed lakes, rivers and forests. It is ecologically diverse in both wildlife and natural resources like copper and zinc. The region became wealthy due to sawmills and the railroad.
The Eastern Townships hide remnants of the past, like the round stables built in such a way as to protect them from the wind, and the covered bridges with roofs to increase their structural longevity.
The region also has a college city: Sherbrooke, which is the seventh largest city in the province of Quebec. Lennoxville, one of Sherbrooke’s neighbourhoods, and Sherbrooke itself each have their own university. Bishop’s University in Lennoxville is anglophone and is one of the oldest and smallest universities in Canada, with only five buildings. The University of Sherbrooke is renowned for its science and information technology programs.
In all four seasons, the national parks and tourist resorts are open and offer a wide range of activities including a 500-kilometre bike path for cyclists and numerous cross-country skiing trails.
Local products are also showcased, because the region has many vineyards, orchards and farms.
Over 130 festivals and events are held in the Eastern Townships throughout the year, to the great delight of tourists and residents alike.