In 1849 Saint-Hyacinthe was created a village; at the time it had a population of 10,200. A year later it was made a town, and in 1857 it was made a city.
The private St-Hyacinthe Airport is three miles to the west of the city.
From 1989 to 1996 the city had a team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League known as the Saint-Hyacinthe Laser. Currently the city is represented in the Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey by the Saint-Hyacinthe Top Design.