At the turn of the 20th century, Sherbrooke was already a prosperous industrial city. Following the arrival in 1852 of the railway, industries proliferated and attracted workers. From roughly 3,000 inhabitants in 1851, the population rose to 7,446 in 1881 and reached 23,522 in 1921. The streetcar went into service in 1897 to make travel easier for the growing population.
At the same time, businesses abandoned rue Commerciale, now called rue Dufferin, in favour of rue Wellington. Small businesses, banks and chain stores made the intersection of rue Wellington and rue King the commercial core of the city in the first half of the 20th century.
In the early 1960s, widespread use of the automobile and the development of the suburbs fostered the appearance of shopping centres, which were located away from the city centre and had big, free parking lots. The shopping centres sought to attract the population of the new residential districts.
Centre commercial Sherbrooke on rue King Ouest, Sherbrooke Vers 1970
BAnQ, Centre d'archives de l'Estrie
Fonds Jacques Darche