Welcome to Waterloo (Québec). Whether on foot or by bike, you’ll be charmed by our magnificent heritage route that includes some forty historic homes, churches and cemeteries of various denominations, not to mention the beautiful scenery right in the heart of the town. Take some time to experience 150 years of Waterloo history along this tour!
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From 1860 to 1890, Waterloo enjoyed a golden age with a rich and varied heritage that echoes to this day. This golden age coincided with the arrival of the Stanstead, Shefford & Chambly Railroad in 1861 and the industrial, commercial and residential boom that followed this revolution in transportation. As a result of this accelerated development, the population of the village grew from 400 to 2,500 from the railroad’s arrival to 1875.
According to the Waterloo Advertiser, in some years as many as forty buildings were built in Waterloo. By the late 1870s, there were several churches of various denominations, a court, a public market, a branch of the Eastern Townships Bank, the offices of the British American Land Company – a large land-owning company – and an important Masonic lodge. In addition, there were numerous shops, major hotels and, above all, the industries that propelled this enormous growth. As the principal economic center and capital of Shefford county, Waterloo saw the ascendance of a middle class, mainly of Anglo-British origin, comprising industrialists, traders, lawyers and doctors who were eager to build homes that reflected their social standing.
If the major hotels and industries of the golden age of Waterloo have disappeared over the years, the city has retained many of the opulent residences and institutions that only yesterday reflected its glory. In 1877, the columnist Cyrus Thomas wrote, "The foreign visitor to Waterloo is struck by the appearance and urban elegance of its homes, whether residential or public." Among the most beautiful residences on his list – W.G. Parmelee, Dr. Jameson, J.F. Leonard, J.P. Noyes, G.G. Eldridge, A.B. Parmelee, A.B. Foster – most still exist today. This is a legacy of which Waterloo is proud.
Enjoy your visit!
Guide du patrimoine bâti de la MRC de La Haute-Yamaska, Mario Gendron, Chantal Lefebvre, Johanne Rochon, Cecilia Capocchi, Granby, Société d’histoire de la Haute-Yamaska, 2015, 151 p.
Presented by Ville de Waterloo, votre partenaire de vie!
Special thanks to Tourisme Waterloo, Journal Panorama, Marguerite Campbell, Société d'histoire de la Haute-Yamaska (for the historical documentation) and Stéphanie Morin, producer.