About the Welcoming Francophone Communities (WFC) initiative

The WFC pilot project is an initiative spearheaded by the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), which is providing $1,800,000 in funding for projects and activities from 2020 to 2024.

The Réseau de soutien à l’immigration francophone de l’est de l’Ontario (RSIFEO) has been mandated to implement this pilot project in the town of Hawkesbury. The RSIFEO program stems from a Government of Canada strategic plan to boost immigration to Francophone minority communities. This program’s objective is to maintain the demographic weight of Francophone communities at a level of at least 4.4 percent.

Our mandate

Under this initiative, the Town of Hawkesbury will become an even more welcoming and inviting place for newcomers. Thanks to the WFC project, Hawkesbury will be better positioned to support immigrants and help them thrive.

Our team

The team behind the Hawkesbury WFC is made up of two individuals who are dedicated to promoting human rights and who firmly believe that our region is a great place for newcomers to settle, now and in the future.

Our partners

  • Association canadienne française de l’Ontario (ACFO) of Prescott and Russell
  • Centre moi j’apprends
  • Chabo Communication & Design
  • Équipe M.
  • Conseil des écoles publiques de l’est de l’Ontario (CEPEO)
  • Conseil scolaire du district catholique de l’Est ontarien (CSDCEO)
  • Corporation of the Town of Hawkesbury
  • Employment Services Centre of Prescott-Russell (CSEPR)
  • Le Chenail Cultural Centre
  • Nathalie Ladouceur, Hawkesbury resident
  • Sol-Air Consultants
  • United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR)

Our advisory committee members

  • Jacques Héroux – ACFO PR
  • Pierre-Etienne Daignault – ACFO PR
  • Lynda Clouette Mackay – Centre culturel Le Chenail
  • Louise Lalonde – Centre moi j’apprends
  • Sylvie Leclair – Centre moi j’apprends
  • Catherine Labreche – CEPEO
  • Véronique Joly – Chabo Communications & Design
  • Nathalie Ladouceur – Citoyenne
  • Félix St-Denis – CSDCEO
  • Josée Lortie – CSDCEO
  • Simon Vinet – CSDCEO
  • Caroline Arcand – CSEPR
  • Chantal Lessard – CSEPR
  • Farah Louis – CSEPR
  • Annie Grenier – CUPR
  • Liza Langevin – CUPR
  • Pascal Billard – Sol-Air Consultants
  • Paul Dumetz – Universyn
  • Marc Lecompte – Unventix
  • Jeanne Charlebois – Town of Hawkesbury
  • Samuel Cardareli – Town of Hawkesbury
  • Lucie L. Titley – Town of Hawkesbury
  • Karima Menouer – CEPEO

Why choose Hawkesbury?


Hawkesbury is a rural Ontario town with a large Francophone and bilingual population. As a result, every service offered in the city and region is available in both French and English.


Hawkesbury is ideally situated between the cities of Ottawa and Montréal. Our residents lead a more rural lifestyle while enjoying easy access to large urban centres. The area boasts an abundance of exciting tourist attractions and vast, breathtaking landscapes.


The city and region are constantly growing, offering a wealth of opportunities for job seekers and entrepreneurs. What’s more, we have a number of associations dedicated to helping the local community grow and thrive, by assisting residents in finding jobs, continuing education, housing, schools and more.

Accessible services

Hawkesbury is committed to meeting the needs of our families, children and seniors. We work hard to provide all the necessary resources for a healthy, safe, enjoyable and peaceful community. Not to mention the high quality of our health care services! You’ll find everything you need in Hawkesbury.

Hawkesbury in numbers




residents per square kilometre


of residents are bilingual
(French and English)


of the Hawkesbury population is fluent in French


is the average age


of dwellings are single-family homes


of residents are owners

~100 km

from Montréal/Ottawa


Although the town was officially founded in 1896, the area has a long history of consistent economic growth. The site has always been popular for its ideal location, with convenient access to the Ottawa River. In its early days, Hawkesbury was known for its wood, paper and agricultural industries. Today, the region is a thriving centre of manufacturing, agriculture, biodiversity and health care.

Explore our region

The Town of Hawkesbury is part of the United Counties of Prescott‑Russell, which is filled with exciting destinations and recreational activities. You never have to go far to find a restaurant, microbrewery, winery, sporting event or festival. Everything you need to entertain yourself lies within a radius of 100 kilometres or less! The Long‑Sault Bridge also provides access to many activities on the Québec side of the river.

Built in 1825, this historic structure is the oldest prison in Ontario. At the time of its closure, it was the only Francophone jail in the province. The site is now a unique tourist attraction and the upper floor is used by the nearby courthouse.

Calypso Waterpark is the perfect place to spend a summer day with family and friends. Built in 2010, it’s the biggest theme waterpark in Canada! It features more than 35 water slides, 100 water games, two theme rivers, recreation areas, a restaurant, several canteens, a candy store and ice cream shop, as well as the largest wave pool in Canada.

Whether you’re into skiing, snowboarding, hiking or mountain biking, Mont‑Tremblant offers the ultimate outdoor escape all year round. The village is overflowing with tourist attractions and excellent restaurants. Not to mention the beautiful scenery, which is worth the one-hour drive just by itself!

Discover the traditional Georgian architecture of Eastern Ontario with a visit to this house, built in 1817. The Ontario Heritage Foundation acquired the building in 1978 to prevent its demolition. Today, it serves as a historical, cultural and tourist centre for the region. Be sure to stop by!

Located in the historic village of Vankleek Hill, less than 15 kilometres from Hawkesbury, this local brewery is renowned throughout the province. Depending on the time of year, you can drop by, buy beer, grab a bite to eat or attend various events, including the popular Beau’s Oktoberfest. For more information, please visit the brewery’s website.

If you’re looking for an exciting outdoor adventure, this is the place! From April to October, Arbraska’s aerial courses are open to thrill seekers of all levels. Explore the treetops on nets, bridges, zip lines and more. There’s even a moonlit night trek! Arbraska also features a network of hiking trails.

The area boasts a number of parks managed by the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (Sépaq). Although regulated by the province, they are known as national parks within Québec. They’re accessible year round, with day, weekend or annual passes available for purchase. An agency of the Government of Québec, Sépaq protects the province’s parks and wildlife, provides tourist accommodation and oversees access to many of Québec’s beaches and lakes. To browse Sépaq’s destinations and attractions, please visit their website (French only).

This golf course is open to players of all ages and abilities. The 6,700-yard course features mature, tree-lined fairways and challenging greens.

Spend a day on the course or buy a membership to enjoy it all season long. You can play just for fun or take part in the club’s many tournaments.

  • Enrol your child in the junior program to receive professional training.
  • The club also houses a restaurant led by chef Stéphane Shanck.

This Francophone cultural centre is located on an island between Ontario and Québec. Run by a non-profit organization, its mandate is “to strengthen the sense of pride and belonging within the Francophone community by promoting our culture in all its forms through a variety of French-language cultural, social and artistic activities.”

Be sure to pay a visit to Larose Forest. Featuring over 200 kilometres of roads and trails, many of its outdoor activities can be enjoyed year-round. Hiking, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) riding, horseback riding, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are just a few of the options available.

These are just a few examples of the incredible attractions located within 100 kilometres of Hawkesbury!

To discover all the attractions of the region, we invite you to search on Tripadvisor.

© 2021 all rights reserved. The Welcoming Francophone Community of Hawkesbury.
Web design: Chabo Communications & Design