The town is mostly known as a home for heavy industry, but it is also a center of recreational and tourist activities. It is near the southern limit of a web of cross-country ski trails which meander through the Laurentides. Heading north, it is possible to undertake several nature-filled days of skiing towards major resort centers such as Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.
During the summer, many of the ski trails are used as dedicated bicycle paths, making it possible to undertake day-long or week-long cycling excursions through unspoiled areas, from one resort area to another, without sharing the right of way with motorized vehicles.
The city was for several decades the home of Sicard industries, the biggest maker of snow blowers in the world. Until 2002, when General Motors shut its doors, it was also the home of the only Canadian automobile assembly plant outside of Ontario. Sainte-Thérèse formerly had a number of piano factories, including Pianos Lesage.
It is served by the Sainte-Thérèse intermodal station which is used by commuter trains of the Blainville-Saint-Jerome Line of the Agence métropolitaine de transport, or AMT (in English, the "Metropolitan transportation agency"), the umbrella organization that plans, integrates, and coordinates public transportation services in the Greater Montreal, Quebec, Canada area, as well as by buses.
According to the Canada 2001 Census: