Asbestos, Quebec

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Location within Les Sources RCM.
Location within Les Sources RCM.
Asbestos is located in Southern Quebec
Location in southern Quebec.
Coordinates: 45°46′N 71°56′W / 45.767°N 71.933°W / 45.767; -71.933Coordinates: 45°46′N 71°56′W / 45.767°N 71.933°W / 45.767; -71.933[1]
Country Canada
Province Quebec
Region Estrie
RCM Les Sources
Constituted December 8, 1999
 • Mayor Hugues Grimard
 • Federal riding Richmond—Arthabaska
 • Prov. riding Richmond
 • Town 31.70 km2 (12.24 sq mi)
 • Land 29.67 km2 (11.46 sq mi)
Population (2011)[3]
 • Town 7,096
 • Density 239.1/km2 (619/sq mi)
 • Urban 7,017
 • Pop 2006-2011 Increase 4.1%
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal code(s) J1T
Area code(s) 819
Highways Route 249
Route 255

Asbestos is a Canadian town in the Estrie region of southeastern Quebec on the Nicolet River.[4] Asbestos is the seat of Les Sources Regional County Municipality, formerly known as the Asbestos Regional County Municipality. The town covers an area of 29.67 square kilometres (11.46 sq mi), including land acquired due to the merger of the City of Asbestos with the Municipality of Trois-Lacs on Dec 8, 1999.

At the 2011 census, 7,096 people resided in Asbestos. It is situated in the centre of a square formed by the cities of Drummondville, Sherbrooke and Victoriaville, and the Nicolet River to the north. It is the site of the Jeffrey mine, until recently the world's largest asbestos mine,[5] which has long been the town's largest employer, and of the now-closed Magnola magnesium refinery. It was the site of the famous 1949 Asbestos Strike.

History of Asbestos, Quebec[edit]

During the 1960s, as the town was thriving, it could afford to expand and invest in its infrastructure and artistic patrimony. As such, it provided itself with a new modern town-hall, adorned with a grand mural in the main hallway by the artist Denis Juneau, as well as some ceramic pieces in the church by the famed ceramist Claude Vermette.

In late 2011, Canada's remaining two asbestos mines (both in the Province of Quebec), including the Jeffrey mine, halted operations.[6] In June 2012, a $58 million loan was promised by the Quebec government to restart and operate the Jeffrey mine for the next 20 years.[7] In September 2012, before the loan funds were delivered, the Parti Québécois defeated the Quebec Liberal Party in the Quebec provincial election. The Parti Québécois followed through with an election promise to halt asbestos mining and to cancel the $58 million loan, and put funding toward economic diversification in the area.[8][9]




Canada Census Mother Tongue - Asbestos, Quebec[14]
Census Total
French & English
Year Responses Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop %
6,775 Increase 4.9% 97.41% 115 Increase 43.8% 1.65% 40 Increase 60.0% 0.58% 25 Decrease 73.7% 0.36%
6,460 Increase 2.1% 97.00% 80 Decrease 11.1% 1.20% 25 Increase 150.0% 0.38% 95 Increase 850.0% 1.43%
6,325 Increase 5.8% 98.29% 90 Increase 5.9% 1.40% 10 Increase n/a% 0.16% 10 Decrease 66.7% 0.16%
5,980 n/a 98.11% 85 n/a 1.39% 0 n/a 0.00% 30 n/a 0.49%

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