Quebec Ink

There’s a phoenix in Quebec, and its name is Sherbrooke

MONTREAL—I was born a winter baby in Sherbrooke, Que., a long time ago. It was a sombre time for what was then a city of about 110,000. Bikers clogged the local courthouse, foreshadowing the area’s eventual reputation as home to one of the most notorious Hells Angels chapters in North America. La Tribune’s year-end tally of strikes and plant closures and resulting crime in Thetford Mines, the nearby asbestos-producing town, reads like an obituary for Quebec’s manufacturing sector. The sum of these malaises hit my birthplace hard. Between 1976 and 2001, Sherbrooke’s population decreased by more than 30 per cent.

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