The Quebec Pain Registry (QPR) is a large research database of patients suffering from various chronic pain (CP) syndromes who were referred to one of five tertiary care centres in the province of Quebec (Canada). Patients were monitored using common demographics, identical clinical descriptors, and uniform validated outcomes. This paper describes the development, implementation, and research potential of the QPR. Between 2008 and 2013, 6902 patients were enrolled in the QPR, and data were collected prior to their first visit at the pain clinic and six months later. More than 90% of them (mean age ± SD: 52.76 ± 4.60, females: 59.1%) consented that their QPR data be used for research purposes. The results suggest that, compared to patients with serious chronic medical disorders, CP patients referred to tertiary care clinics are more severely impaired in multiple domains including emotional and physical functioning. The QPR is also a powerful and comprehensive tool for conducting research in a "real-world" context with 27 observational studies and satellite research projects which have been completed or are underway. It contains data on the clinical evolution of thousands of patients and provides the opportunity of answering important research questions on various aspects of CP (or specific pain syndromes) and its management.