Born to a large family of prosperous farmers and small shopkeepers in the small town of Valcourt, not too far from Sherbrooke, southeast of Montreal in the province of Quebec. Bombardier's brothers were later to help him out in several aspects of running what would eventually become a large mechanical engineering concern, leaving him free to concentrate on mechanical innovations and high-level corporate orientations. Later still his own sons and daughters were to be instrumental in making his company grow to international proportions.
Bombardier was largely self-taught, picking up mechanical engineering by fixing things, reading, and taking notes. He had a mechanical genius and a driving ambition to make the winter months as easy to navigate as the other ones. The first snowmobile of his teenage years was a small surface-skimming contraption with a propeller.