A city of some 163,000 people, Sherbrooke offers the amenities of a much bigger urban centre, but nature is never far away – even right downtown. Outdoor attractions include a bike path and a boating lake, ringed by a recreational trail.
The “capital” of the Eastern Townships and home to two universities (one French, one English), as well as several art galleries, theatres and museums, Sherbrooke developed around the confluence of two waterways – the Magog River and the Saint François River – the “highway” to the outside world, before the advent of roads and railways.
Those railways remain and a former station has been turned into a farmers’ market where you can shop for regional produce – something that is also a feature of the menu offerings in Sherbrooke’s restaurants, which range from cozy, family-run eateries to sophisticated dining rooms where leading chefs serve gourmet fare.
The regional terroir is a source of pride in the Eastern Townships and the city boasts no fewer than six establishments bearing the Chefs créateurs (Creative chefs) banner, as well as two Cafés de village (neighborhood cafes). There is a winery and four microbreweries too and during the summer, Sherbrooke hosts a number of festivals and events themed around wine and food.