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Settling in Canada City of Sherbrooke PROFILE

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Surrounded by lakes and mountains, Sherbrooke can be compared to an oasis in the heart of the Eastern Townships. The city benefits from the best advantages of both city and country living!

Surrounded by lakes and mountains, Sherbrooke can be compared to an oasis in the heart of the Eastern Townships. The city benefits from the best advantages of both city and country living!

It is the ideal setting to practise outdoor activities, and its vibrant cultural life compares very favourably with that of larger centres. Entrepreneurs will find a host of business opportunities in Sherbrooke.

As well, Sherbrooke is the city with the third highest number of immigrants in the province of Quebec.

Settling in Sherbrooke is not only a good business choice but also a good lifestyle choice!

Sherbrooke features

  • Some fifty specialized research centres.
  • Solid expertise in precision tooling, biomedical and environmental technology, as well as microelectronics.
  • Excellent health system.
  • Renowned universities: Université de Sherbrooke (French) and Bishop’s University (English).
  • Full range of government services.

Sherbrooke Facts

Population: 201,890 (2011)

Location – Eastern Townships of Quebec
Near Montréal and Québec City, the United States (Portland and Boston) as well as the major highways.

Continental climate; temperatures similar to those in Montréal, but with less humidity; mild winters, longer and hotter summers.


In 2011, the city of Sherbrooke population was 201,890 (2011 Census). In all, there were 12,115 immigrants living there, or 6.0 per cent of the population (2011 National Household Survey) and, between 2006 and 2011, 4,045 immigrants arrived in the city of Sherbrooke, or 2.0 per cent of the immigrant population at that time.

Countries of origin
The following are the top 10 places of origin of the immigrant population: France, Other places of birth in Africa, Colombia, United States, Other places of birth in Americas, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Other places of birth in Europe, Other places of birth in Asia, Morocco, Algeria.

First languages spoken
French, English, Spanish, Arabic, Persian (Farsi).

Catholic, No religious affiliation, Other Christian, Muslim, Anglican, United Church.

Countries of origin

These are the most common birthplaces of immigrants to Sherbrooke.            

Country of Origin Total Immigrant Population (2011) Immigrants Arriving 2006 – 2011
France 1,540 365
Other places of birth in Africa 1,410
Colombia 1,170 745
United States 995 70
Other places of birth in Americas 820
Bosnia-Herzegovina 725
Other places of birth in Europe 590
Other places of birth in Asia 530
Morocco 505 175
Algeria 475 215
Afghanistan 340 250
Mexico 280 85
China 280 45
Haiti 270 70
Vietnam 160 0
El Salvador 155
Romania 155 40
Iraq 150 130
United Kingdom 145 25
Iran 140 20
Peru 120 65
Germany 100 0
Serbia 95
Chile 90
Croatia 90
Poland 75 0
Egypt 75 0
Italy 70
Lebanon 65 55
Russian Federation 55 35

‡ Statistics Canada did not publish data for some countries of origin for recent immigrants.
Source: Statistics Canada (2011 National Household Survey)

First languages

These are the top 10 first languages (mother tongues) spoken by people who live in Sherbrooke.

Mother Tongue Number (2011) % of Population (2011)
French 180,250 90.5%
English 11,475 5.8%
Spanish 2,980 1.5%
Arabic 1,350 0.7%
Persian (Farsi) 755 0.4%
Serbian 445 0.2%
Serbo-Croatian 415 0.2%
Nepali 230 0.1%
Italian 220 0.1%
German 205 0.1%

*  Not otherwise specified.
Source: Statistics Canada (2011 Census of Canada)


These are the religions that are present in Sherbrooke.

Religion # of Adherents (2011)
Catholic 156,080
No religious affiliation 25,605
Other Christian 5,940
Muslim 2,610
Anglican 1,590
United Church 1,125
Baptist 1,030
Christian Orthodox 985
Pentecostal 355
Buddhist 315
Hindu 300
Other religions 290

Source: Statistics Canada (2011 National Household Survey)

Housing Information


Compared to Montréal, the rent for a five-bedroom apartment in Sherbrooke is 20 per cent lower, and the price of a single-family house is 40 per cent less. There’s a good reason to opt for Sherbrooke!

Average rents
In Sherbrooke, the average monthly rents in April 2013 were $472 for one-bedroom apartments, $586 for two-bedroom apartments and $713 for three-bedroom apartments.

Vacancy rate and availability
The vacancy rates in April 2013 were 3.6 per cent for one-bedroom rental apartments, 5.0 per cent for two-bedroom apartments and 4.1 per cent for three-bedroom apartments. These were the proportions of rental apartments that were vacant and ready for move-in.

The proportions of apartments that were vacant or for which the present occupant had given notice to move out were 6.2 per cent for one-bedroom apartments, 7.2 per cent for two-bedroom apartments and 6.5 per cent for three-bedroom apartments.

Home purchase prices
In Sherbrooke, the average house price, in 2012, was $218,296.

For more up-to-date information, see CMHC's Housing Market Information website, and the Canadian Housing Observer.

Housing help

Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation – Housing information for Newcomers

This agency can help you find housing:

Service d’aide aux Néo-Canadiens (SANC)

The “Logement” section provides a variety of housing information.



In Sherbrooke, the service sector provides the most jobs, followed by the secondary sector; the primary sector accounts for very few jobs. Health, education and other public services are the sectors that offer the most employment opportunities, followed by manufacturing and construction.
Sherbrooke is known for its manufacturing sector but also has skills in five separate business sectors:

  • Life sciences: 28 companies, 854 jobs
  • Clean technologies: 59 companies, 1,554 jobs
  • Micro-nanotechnologies: 3 companies, 207 jobs
  • Information technologies: 55 companies, 1,004 jobs
  • Advanced manufacturing: 344 companies, 8,217 jobs

Source: Sherbrooke Innopole

Job search help

These agencies help immigrants with socio-professional integration:

Service d’aide aux Néo-Canadiens (SANC)

Pro-Gestion Estrie (PGE)

Private employment services may also be available.

This website could also be helpful:


Business start-ups

Each regional county municipality has a local development centre providing business, entrepreneurship and business start-up services.

Sherbrooke Innopole is an economic development organization with the mission of ensuring innovative, harmonious and dynamic economic development.

Pro-Gestion Estrie (PGE)
Pro-Gestion Estrie is a non-profit corporation with the mission of promoting and developing entrepreneurship, supporting the start-up and development of businesses and developing skills in administration, management and information technologies.

Entering the workforce

This organization helps immigrants evaluate foreign credentials

World Education Services Canada

This agency can help with your integration:

Service d’aide aux Néo-Canadiens (SANC)

The SANC provides a whole range of services, including, including employability assistance. One of this organization’s goals is to help you look for a job and familiarize yourself with the requirements of the Quebec labour market, particularly with regard to the exercise of your profession.




University studies

The Université de Sherbrooke has approximately 35,000 foreign students from 60 countries. Thanks to its close ties with industry, it offers co-operative education programs. The Université de Sherbrooke ranks first among Canadian universities in terms of royalties from patented innovations, with fields of knowledge ranging from health and the environment to microelectronics, optics, information and communication technologies and micro-nanotechnologies.

As well, Bishop’s University in Lennoxville is only a few minutes from Sherbrooke. Founded in 1843, this English university has 2,100 students from 35 countries and offers programs in the arts, administration, communications, computer science and literature.

This website provides information on the Sherbrooke University Pole: pole.usherbrooke.ca/en/

College, pre-university and technical studies

The Cégep de Sherbrooke is a college that provides general training and has a complementary course bank.

Champlain Regional College in Lennoxville is located on the campus of Bishop’s University. The courses are offered in English, and there are student residences.

Elementary and secondary schools

A list of the elementary and secondary schools (for children and youth) is available on the website of the Commission scolaire de la Région-de-Sherbrooke.

Adult education and vocational training

Information is available on the website of the Commission scolaire de la Région-de-Sherbrooke.

Private schools may also be available.

Community Services


With a view to attracting newcomers, the City of Sherbrooke has introduced various initiatives, including:

  • developing a microsite for new Sherbrooke residents: www.jesuissherbrookois.ca;
  • putting in place an affirmative action program, in collaboration with the City’s Human Resources Department; and
  • joining the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.

There are several ethnocultural organizations to welcome you; the following are a few websites:

Language training

Whether you want to perfect your French or learn English or another language, you can get information from the following organizations:

Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles (MICC)

Commission scolaire de la Région-de-Sherbrooke

Community and settlement services

These organizations provide all kinds of advice and support to immigrants:

The City has an efficient public transit system, and free bus passes for the first month for newcomers from outside Canada are available thanks to the Société de transport de Sherbrooke (STS).

Service d’aide aux Néo-Canadiens (SANC)
This service, which has existed since 1954, aims to help immigrants fully integrate into the social, economic and cultural life of the region, in collaboration with the resources available in the community. The website includes an “Accueil, établissement et intégration” section, which provides more information on accommodation, settlement and integration.

Réseau AIDE-PAC Sherbrooke

Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles (MICC)

Citizenship and Immigration Canada
This site provides information on coming to Canada to immigrate, study, work and live and contains forms, policies and regulations, research, publications, services and information on visa offices.

Photos courtesy of Entrepreneurship immigrant Estrie, September 5, 2006

One immigrant’s story

The son of a Colombian father and a Peruvian mother, Alain was born in France, where he spent his childhood before going to live in Colombia. Once an adult, Alain decided to continue his adventure. This time, he was accompanied by his spouse, Anabel, who was pregnant at the time of the big departure. It really wouldn’t be easy for her to give birth to her first child in a new country where people speak a different language—and without any family or network. “I found her very brave,” he says, “just like everyone who makes the decision to immigrate!”

Anabel and Alain arrived in Sherbrooke in the fall of 2004 and are now well-established Canadian citizens. In fact, they have three children and are happy to be homeowners.

“Sherbrooke is the ideal city for families,” says Alain. “People are open and friendly. It’s an urban living environment right in the heart of nature. It provides an exceptional quality of life. We find everything we want here, without the inconveniences of living in a big city. And, the dream of owning a home can become a reality, as the housing market in Sherbrooke is more affordable.”

Today, Alain has a master’s degree in administration from the Université de Sherbrooke and works in the municipal sector. His spouse also went back to school, in addition to her role as mother. She pursued studies in early childhood education and will soon be completing a master’s degree in intercultural mediation. She would like to put in place intercultural bridging strategies in a daycare centre. “For her, it’s a way to help integrate children from immigrant families,” adds Alain.

“We are happy to be living in Sherbrooke; it’s out adopted city,” concludes this new Sherbrooke resident.




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