Discover the region
The Montérégie, a getaway region!
Montérégie, derived from the Latin form of the name Mont-Royal (mons regius) is named after the five hills that form the range between the island of Montreal and the Appalachian Mountains. This 11,000 km² territory has been a focal point of historical events that have shaped today’s Quebec. Discover the wealth of the four different areas of the region: Suroît, South Shore, the Richelieu River, and Montérégie-East.
Photo credit: Laurent Lucuix
The witness to a rich history
From its very beginnings, the Montérégie was favored for its fertile land and network of waterways, notably the Richelieu and Yamaska Rivers. The Richelieu River crosses through the region more than a hundred kilometers from south to north, and links Lake Champlain, which straddles the Canada-US border, to the St. Lawrence. To defend this preferred route used by First Nations and US troops, several fortifications (Fort Chambly, Fort Lennox, Fort Richelieu, and Fort Saint-Jean) were built over time on the Richelieu river banks.
The Richelieu River route that was used in the past for trade, First Nations transportation and military purposes, has played an important role in the history and development of not only the Montérégie region, but also for the province of Quebec and all of North America. To commemorate this historic fact, the Richelieu Tourist route was officially created in 2012.
The most tragic events in the history of the Montérégie occurred during clashes surrounding the Rebellions of 1837-38. The villages of Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu and Saint-Charles-sur-Richelieu will be the scene of heavy fighting between the Patriots and the British troops of General Colborne.
Despite these dark episodes in its history, the Montérégie is an exceptional place for meetings and exchanges between different cultures. For many years, Canadians, Irish, Scottish, English, and Americans have all come together on the land they collectively cultivate. As in other regions of Quebec, proximity of these different cultures has helped to build a culture unique unto itself. Rich in history, the region now has one of the most diverse cultural mosaics in Québec.
Photo credit: Canal-de-Chambly National Historic Site
Proud of its innovations
From the second half of the nineteenth century, the construction of the Chambly Canal and locks leads to an increase of trade, particularly with the states of Vermont and New York bordering the territory to the south. The region also saw the birth of Canada’s first railway between La Prairie and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and the first international railway between Longueuil and Portland.
Enjoy a leisurely drive near the US border to discover the oldest covered bridge in Canada, Powerscourt, built in 1861. It is also in this sector of the Montérégie, in the Suroît area where the first canal in North America was excavated in Coteau-du-Lac.
Montérégie is proud to have in its territory two World Biosphere Reserves: World Biosphere Reserve of Lac-Saint-Pierre in Sorel sector and the Biosphere Reserve of Mont Saint-Hilaire. Recognized by UNESCO, they are ecologically vital as they work to promote sustainable development and biodiversity conservation.
The Cider Route
Montérégie invites you to indulge in tasty discoveries! The producers of the Montérégie, passionate and proud about their skills, open their doors to all. The Montérégie is the best region in Québec for the production of cider and apples, offering the outstanding Cider Route, a trail to discover the many cider mills in the region. The Montérégie is also at the forefront of ice cider production.
Wine lovers, the region’s many vineyards await you with open arms and invite you to sip and taste their amazing Quebec-made wines. The Montérégie Wine Route offers a delicious adventure where red, white, rosé, sparkling, ice wines, and fortified wines are featured.
The area also holds the title of "gourmet destination par excellence", especially in the spring and syrup season. Montérégie is also the region where we find the greatest number of maple products for tourism.
In the spring and fall, several Montérégie chefs craft gourmet menus that showcase maple and apple products, thereby demonstrating the full extent of their talent and creativity.