It all started in 1748 when King Louis XV from France granted François-Pierre de Rigaud de Vaudreuil lands located along the banks of the rivière Yamaska, the “Seigneurie de Maska”. These lands were later purchased by Jacques-Hyacinthe-Simon Delorme in 1753, who eventually renamed them after his patron saint, Saint-Hyacinthe. Delorme did not occupy the land until 1757. He first resided in Rapide-Plat, then moved upstream a few years later to the Cascade. There, he built a large residence (on the actual site of the parc Casimir-Dessaulles) that became the centre of the community life, at the very heart of Saint-Hyacinthe’s actual site.
In 1849, Saint-Hyacinthe became a village, then a town in 1850, then finally a city in 1857. In 1976, through the merging with three neighbouring municipalities (La Providence, Saint-Joseph and Douville), Saint-Hyacinthe became one of the most important cities in Québec. The actual Ville de Saint-Hyacinthe was created on January 1st, 2002, through the merging with five other municipalities from its close suburbs (Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin, Sainte-Rosalie (town and parish), Saint-Hyacinthe-le-Confesseur and Notre-Dame-de-Saint-Hyacinthe), which brought its population to over 53,347 inhabitants and gave it jurisdiction over urban and rural lands.
Nestled in the heart of the Montérégie region and close to Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe is the central city of a vast agricultural area. Renowned as the Agri-food Capital of Québec, Saint-Hyacinthe is home to an exceptional number of educational institutions, research centres and industries specialized in the agri-food sector. In 1993, it became the first Canadian city to join the prestigious Technopole agroalimentaire as an Association internationale des parcs scientifiques. The implementation of a Carrefour de la Nouvelle Économie is now in its third phase. In 2002, the provincial government confirmed Saint-Hyacinthe’s status as a “Cité de la biotechnologie agroalimentaire, vétérinaire et agroenvironnementale”, thus creating new development opportunities for the future.