Magog | The Canadian Encyclopedia



In 1888 the village of Magog separated from the municipality of Magog Township (established 1855) and soon incorporated as a town.


 Magog, Qué, City, pop 23 880 (2006c), 22 535 (2001cA), inc 2002. Magog was first incorporated as a town in 1890, but was reincorporated in 2002 when it was amalgamated with the village of Omerville (pop 2361, 2001c) and Magog Township (pop 5891). Magog is situated on Rivière Magog at the outlet of Lac Memphrémagog (Abenaki, "expanse of water") in the EASTERN TOWNSHIPS. Economic links have been strong with both SHERBROOKE, 25 km to the east, and MONTRÉAL, 122 km to the northwest. The origin of the name is disputed but it most likely hearkens back to its early days as a native campsite; the Abenaki word namagok means "lake of salmon trout." Subsequently known as "The Outlet," its first settlers were LOYALISTS and other Americans. By the early 1860s, the French-speaking community was firmly entrenched and has long been Magog's predominant population.

In 1888 the village of Magog separated from the municipality of Magog Township (established 1855) and soon incorporated as a town. Omerville, a mainly residential suburb 3 km northeast of Magog, was named by one its first farmers, Omer Gaudreau, who subdivided part of his farm for the new village in 1945. The community separated from Magog Township and was incorporated in 1953. In 2002 the 3 were reluctantly rejoined as the city of Magog.

Magog grew slowly until Alvin H. Moore and William Hobbs built the Magog Cotton and Print Company (1884), the first calico-printing plant in Canada. Key to the expansion of the mill was Moore's Magog and Waterloo Railroad (built 1878), later sold to the Canadian Pacific Railway. The mill (amalgamated with Dominion Cotton Mills in 1899) made Canadian labour history in 1900 when more than 400 workers at the mill went on strike and the local militia was called in. The textile industry is still at the centre of Magog's economy, employing 25% of its work force. Other important industries include food processing, iron products, clothing, rubber and plastics, printing, automotive parts and metalworking.

Lac Memphrémagog and nearby PARC DU MONT-ORFORD have made Magog a popular resort area. In recent years development of lakefront condominiums has been completed despite challenges by the public's desire to protect the local environment. The city hosts a summer theatre and an international swimming marathon in Lac Memphrémagog.