The Townships in Five Senses - Denys Leclaire

Author and physiotherapist, Denys Leclaire is an experienced cyclist who has cycled his way across Canada. Now he’s pedaling his way through the Eastern Townships, where he’s lived since the late ’80s, to have us discover his favourite haunts.

By Julie Roy


Hearing. In Saint-Venant-de-Paquette, there’s a church museum which has kept its olden day polish, but now welcomes exhibits and concerts. Every year, there’s a benefit concert organized for the Amis du patrimoine de Saint-Venant-de-Paquette. “In 2020, Paul Piché will be performing. However, Richard Séguin lives nearby, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he made an appearance as well!” exclaims the author, laughing.


Sight. Denys Leclaire’s family owns a small cottage in Eastman, a place where he loves to spend his time cycling, walking … or boating. “I love jogging around the Lac d’Argent, on the cycling and walking path and the literary circuit. Some mornings in August, my favourite moments are spent on my skiff, rowing on the calm water of the lake with my head in the mist, between the rocky hillsides and cliffs of the Orford Massif,” he explains.


©Jessica Huet

Smell. To write, or simply to savour a delicious cup of coffee, the author loves to sit down at a table at Bistro Kaapeh on Frontenac Street, in downtown Sherbrooke. “The coffee aromas are delightful!” He also appreciates the work exhibited here by local artists and, during the summer months, their terrace. Managed by a very friendly couple, it’s the ideal place to relax awhile, according to him.


Touch. “To feel the road under your bike in early spring is truly a special moment,” explains Denys Leclaire. After a long hiatus during the winter, he often starts out his cycling season by heading out on the hilly Compton roads. “To feel the crisp spring air on my face is quite a unique sensation for me.” Halfway between Coaticook and Lennoxville, he likes to stop at the cheese factory La Station and buy some cheese for his meal when he returns from his ride!


© Au Vent du Nord

Taste. Curious by nature, Denys Leclaire loves discovering new products. Sometimes it’s through his son, who has recently established Dégustation Vent du Nord, a small Sherbrooke business created by two passionate beer and terroir lovers, Nicolas Ratthé and Jonathan Rondeau Leclaire. They offer beer and food tasting activities for private groups and businesses. “I appreciate that they work hard to showcase local Township products as they demonstrate their sharp expertise with an original and entertaining approach, and their storytelling skills.” Says the author, proud of their successful endeavour.

Denys Leclaire has published his youth novel Pédaler en chien published by Éditions Chauve-Souris. By writing this book, he hopes to transmit his passions to his readers, notably his love for cycling. We wish him many happy trails!

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