Chambly is situated 25 kilometres (16 miles) southeast of Montreal, in the Monteregie Region. It has a population of about 23 thousand. The town sits on the Richelieu River in the La-Vallee-du-Richelieu County.
Chambly was a very important strategic settlement in New France. Indeed, Fort Chambly was erected there in 1665 by the Carrignan regiment. It was built as an outpost defending the colony against Iroquois.
Later, it served as a fort against American raid in 1775.
The town is named for Jacques de Chambly, a captain of Carrignan regiment who was granted the first seigneury on the site.
During the 19th century, the local economy was dominated by millet flour and textile mills.
In 1843 however, the Chambly Canal was open. Since that year, it was a key shipping link to the Champlain Lake region, in the US for long time. Today Chambly in an industrial center with strong manufacturing sector, thus shoe, clothing and food processing industries. Pharmaceutical and electronic industries are growing.
The Chambly Canal and restored Fort Chambly attract many tourists. Boating and shoreline recreational activities are very popular here. Chambly is also known for the Chambly Canal, a National Historic Site run by Parks Canada, was built in 1843 to bypass several kilometers of successive Richelieu River rapids between the towns of Chambly, QC, and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Part of a series of waterways connecting the St-Laurence River and New York City, it was built to facilitate commercial traffic between Canada and the United States.
Today the canal is enjoyed by tourists and more than 7,000 pleasure boats in the summer, and ice skaters in the winter. Chambly is mostly populated by French Canadians, but people speak English as well.