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BRENDA O’FARRELL
The 1019 Report

Local Journalism Initiative

For years, the town of St. Zotique, it could be argued, flew under the radar. Known mostly as a little town with a nice beach, the municipality along the shores of the widened section of the St. Lawrence River known as Lac St. François near the Ontario border attracted little attention.

But this little hamlet has grown. Quietly and consistently, the population has crept upward. But in the last five years its growth has accelerated. And last week it was ranked among the top five fastest growing municipalities in Quebec, according to the latest figures released by Statistics Canada – the first glimpse of information from the 2021 Census.

St. Zotique’s population increased by 21.2 per cent in the last five years, adding 1,684 residents since the last national census was completed in 2016. This jump in population has earned it the title of the fourth fastest growing municipality in the province – just behind St. Apollinaire west of Quebec City, which saw a 30.4-per-cent jump in population; Bromont in the Eastern Townships, which saw 25.6-per-cent growth; and Carignan on Montreal’s South Shore, which saw the number of its residents increase by 24.1 per cent.

19th fastest growing in Canada

The town was also pegged as the 19th fastest growing town in Canada – just behind Squamish, B.C., which saw a 22.2-per-cent jump in population since 2016; and Bradford West Gwillimbury in the Greater Toronto Area, which witnessed its population expand by 21.4 per cent.

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