VictoriavilleVictoriaville, Qué, City, pop 40 486 (2006c), 38 841 (2001c), inc 1993. Victoriaville is the amalgamation of the city of Victoriaville (inc 1890) and the town of Arthabaska (inc 1903) as well as the parish of Ste-Victoire-d'Arthabaska (1860). For a short time after amalgamation, it was known as Victoriaville-Arthabaska. The name of the new city raised some controversy and was decided by referendum. Located on the Rivière Nicolet in the Appalachian region, it is 117 km southwest of QUÉBEC CITY.
Originally called Demersville for a local businessman, its name was changed in 1861 to honour Queen VICTORIA. In the early days the town was only a small train station on the GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY line between Québec City and Richmond, Qué. Today it is renowned for its furniture, clothing, coffin and boat industries and is also a major agricultural centre for marketing local produce, including maple products. The administrative centre of the regional county municipality of Arthabaska and the heart of the Bois-Francs region, its growth and dynamism have earned it the moniker "Reine des Bois-Francs."
Musée Laurier is the Victorian (1876) former summer home of Sir Wilfrid LAURIER. Maison Suzor-Coté (1859) is the birthplace of the painter Marc-Aurèle de Foy SUZOR-CÔTÉ. The unique École québécoise du meuble et du bois ouvré (wood furniture design) is also located in the city. Each year Victoriaville hosts the Festival international de musique actuelle.