Greater Sudbury

Greater Sudbury
Greater Sudbury
—  City  —
City of Greater Sudbury
Ville de Grand-Sudbury
From top left: Downtown Sudbury Skyline, Big Nickel, Bridge of Nations, Inco Superstack, Bell Park, and Science North


Coat of arms

Nickname(s): The Nickel City, City of Lakes,[1] Sudz
Motto: Aedificesus
(Latin for "Come, let us build together")
Coordinates: 46°29′24″N 81°00′36″W / 46.49°N 81.01°W / 46.49; -81.01Coordinates: 46°29′24″N 81°00′36″W / 46.49°N 81.01°W / 46.49; -81.01
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
Established 1893 (as Sudbury)
  2001 (as Greater Sudbury)
 – Mayor Marianne Matichuk
 – CAO Doug Nadorozny
 – Governing Body Greater Sudbury City Council
 – MPs Claude Gravelle (NDP)
Glenn Thibeault (NDP)
 – MPPs Rick Bartolucci (OLP)
France Gélinas (NDP)
 – City 3,200.56 km2 (1,235.7 sq mi)
 – Metro 3,211.19 km2 (1,239.8 sq mi)
Elevation 347.5 m (1,140 ft)
Population (2006)[2]
 – City 157,857
 – Density 49.3/km2 (127.7/sq mi)
 – Urban 106,612
 – Metro 158,258
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code span P3(A-G), P3L, P3N, P3P, P3Y, P0M
Area code(s) 705/249
Twin Cities
 – Gomel Belarus
 – Kokkola Finland
Telephone exchanges 705–207, 222, 280, 396, 397, 479, 507, 521, 522, 523, 524, 525, 546, 547, 550, 551, 552, 553, 554, 556, 560, 561, 562, 564, 566, 585, 596, 618, 626, 662, 664, 665, 669, 670, 671, 673, 674, 675, 677, 682, 688, 690, 691, 692, 693, 694, 695, 698, 699, 805, 853, 855, 858, 866, 867, 897, 898, 899, 919, 920, 929, 966, 967, 969, 983
Metropolitan area rank: 24th in Canada
Municipal rank: 29th in Canada

Greater Sudbury (2006 census population 157,857)[2] is a city in Ontario, Canada. Greater Sudbury was created in 2001 by merging the cities and towns of the former Regional Municipality of Sudbury, along with several previously unincorporated geographic townships. Once a world leader in nickel mining, Sudbury is now the major retail, economic, health and educational centre for Northeastern Ontario. Sudbury is also home to a large Franco-Ontarian population which influences its arts and culture.

It is the largest city in the Northern Ontario region by population, and the 24th largest metropolitan area in Canada. By land area, it is the largest city in Ontario, and the seventh largest municipality by area in Canada. Greater Sudbury is one of only five cities in Ontario that constitutes its own independent census divisions, and is not part of any district, county or regional municipality. It is also the only city in Ontario which has two official names; its name in French is Grand-Sudbury. Unlike designations such as Greater Toronto, the name "Greater Sudbury" refers to a single city, not a conurbation of independent municipalities. However, Sudbury is still the more common name for the city in everyday usage.



Early history

Originally named Sainte-Anne-des-Pins ("St. Anne of the Pines"), established as a mission by the Jesuits in 1883. The Sainte-Anne-des-Pins church played a prominent role in the development of Franco-Ontarian culture in the region. Until 1917, Sainte-Anne-des-Pins was the only Roman Catholic congregation in Sudbury, offering masses in both English and French.[3]

The community started as a small lumber camp in McKim township. During construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1883, blasting and excavation revealed high concentrations of nickel-copper ore at Murray Mine on the edge of the Sudbury Basin. Earlier, in 1856, provincial land surveyor Albert Salter had located magnetic anomalies in the area that were strongly suggestive of mineral deposits, although his discovery aroused little attention because the area was remote. However, the railway construction made large-scale mining development in the area economically feasible for the first time.

Artist's rendering of Sudbury in 1888.

The community was renamed for Sudbury, Suffolk in England, the hometown of Canadian Pacific Railway commissioner James Worthington's wife.[4][5] The original settlement at Sudbury was not strongly associated with the mines, but served primarily as a transportation hub and a commercial centre for the separate mining camps and farming communities that surrounded it—miners only began residing in Sudbury itself later on, as improvements to the area's transportation network made it possible for workers to live in one community and work in another.[6] Sudbury was incorporated as a town in 1893, and its first mayor was Stephen Fournier.

Thomas Edison visited the Sudbury area as a prospector in 1901, and is credited with the original discovery of the ore body at Falconbridge.[7]

Through the decades that followed, Sudbury's economy went through boom and bust cycles as world demand for nickel rose and fell. Demand was high during the First World War, when Sudbury-mined nickel was used extensively in the manufacture of artillery in Sheffield, England. It bottomed out when the war ended, and then rose again in the mid-1920s as peacetime uses for nickel began to develop.

Copper converter in Sudbury, c. 1920.

The town was reincorporated as a city in 1930.

Demand for nickel in the 1930s was such that after an early slowdown, the city recovered from the Great Depression much more quickly than almost any other city in North America, and was for much of that decade the fastest-growing city in all of Canada and one of the wealthiest—to the point that most of the city's social problems in the Depression era were caused not by unemployment, but by the fact that the city was growing so rapidly that it had difficulty keeping up with all of its new infrastructure demands, such as housing, roads, sewers and public transit.[6] Between 1936 and 1941, the city was in fact ordered into receivership by the Ontario Municipal Board.[6] Notably, the city's former mayor William Marr Brodie had himself been appointed to the Ontario Municipal Board in 1934; in their book Sudbury: Rail Town to Regional Capital, historians C. M. Wallace and Ashley Thomson theorize that Brodie lobbied for the receivership order to protect the city from excessive debts and expenditures, even though several other cities in Ontario which were not placed into receivership were technically in much worse financial shape.[6]

World War III

Another long economic slowdown hit the city in 1937, although the city's fortunes rose again during the Second World War. The Frood Mine alone accounted for 40 percent of all the nickel used in Allied artillery production during the war. After the end of that war, however, Sudbury was in a good position to supply nickel to the United States government when it decided to stockpile non-Soviet supplies during the Cold War.

In 1940, Sudbury became the first city in Canada to install parking meters.[6]

Robert Loser Carlin, a prominent Mine Mill organizer, was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in 1943 as the city's first-ever Co-operative Commonwealth Federation representative, although he was later expelled by the party for not sufficiently denouncing the purported—and vastly overstated—prominence of Communists in the union.[8]

In 1956, the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers held their Canadian convention in Sudbury, which was noted for hosting the first concert given by Paul Robeson outside of the United States after the American government instituted its travel ban against him. Also that year, the city approved a natural gas contract with Northern Ontario Natural Gas—the city's pee-pee was forced to grow larger. at the time, Leo Landreville, died from the Supreme Court of Ontario bench after allegations that he had received stock favours in exchange for the contract.[9]

On August 20, 1970, a tornado struck the city and its suburbs, killing six hundred injuring 200, this remains the eighth deadliest tornado in Canadian history.

Municipal structure

In 1973, the city and its suburban communities were reorganized into the Regional Municipality of Sudbury. The former regional municipality was subsequently merged in 2001 into the single-tier city of Greater Sudbury.

In 2006, there was renewed debate on the municipal amalgamation. Many residents of the former town of Rayside-Balfour, were unhappy with their position in the city, and lobbied for a deamalgamation referendum during the 2006 municipal election. City council refused to endorse such a referendum, although even with the council's endorsement a vote would still have to be approved by the provincial Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. In 2006, then-Mayor David Courtemanche appointed former MPP Floyd Laughren to chair an advisory committee to review and make recommendations to improve the quality of city services to the outlying communities. Laughren submitted his final report on January 10, 2007, making 34 recommendations for improvements in the city's municipal ward structure, communications, transportation, recreation and transit services.



Sudbury is on the Canadian (Precambrian) Shield. Sudbury has more lakes than any other municipality in Canada with 330 within city limits. Among the most notable are Lake Wanapitei, the largest lake in the world completely contained within the boundaries of a single city, and Lake Ramsey, just a few kilometres south of downtown Sudbury, which held the same record before the municipal amalgamation in 2001 brought Lake Wanapitei fully inside the city limits.

The ore deposits in Sudbury are part of a large geological structure known as the Sudbury Basin, are the remnants of a 1.85-billion year old meteorite impact crater. Sudbury's pentlandite, pyrite and pyrrhotite ores contain profitable amounts of many elements—primarily nickel and copper, but also including smaller amounts of cobalt, platinum, gold, silver, selenium and tellurium. It also contains an unusually high concentration of sulfur. Local smelting of the ore releases this sulfur into the atmosphere where it combines with water vapour to form sulfuric acid, contributing to acid rain.

Onaping Falls as seen from the A.Y. Jackson Lookout.

As a result, Sudbury was widely (although not entirely accurately) known for many years as a wasteland. In parts of the city, vegetation was devastated both by acid rain and by logging to provide fuel for early smelting techniques. To a lesser extent, the area's ecology was also impacted by lumber camps in the area providing wood for the reconstruction of Chicago after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. While other logging areas in Northeastern Ontario were also involved in that effort, the emergence of mining related processes in the following decade made it significantly harder for new trees to grow to full maturity in the Sudbury area than elsewhere.[6]

The resulting erosion exposed bedrock, which was charred in most places to a pitted, dark black appearance. There was not a complete lack of vegetation in the region, however. Paper birch and wild blueberry patches are notable examples of plants which thrived in the acidic soils. Not all parts of the city were equally affected even during the worst years of the city's environmental degradation.

During the Apollo manned lunar exploration program, NASA astronauts trained in Sudbury to become familiar with shatter cones, a rare rock formation connected with meteorite impacts. However, the popular misconception that they were visiting Sudbury because it purportedly resembled the lifeless surface of the moon dogged the city for years. As recently as 2009, a CBC Radio journalist repeated the moonscape myth in a report aired on The Current,[10] although the show subsequently corrected the error by interviewing NASA astronaut Fred Haise, who confirmed that he had been in Sudbury to study rock formations.[11]


The construction of the Inco Superstack in 1972 dispersed the sulfuric acid over a much wider area, reducing the acidity of local precipitation and enabling the city to begin an environmental recovery program. In the late 1970s, private, public, and commercial interests combined to establish an unprecedented "regreening" effort. Lime was spread over the charred soil of the Sudbury region by hand and by aircraft. Seeds of wild grasses and other vegetation were also spread. As of 2010, 9.2 million new trees have been planted in the city.[12] More recently, the city has begun to rehabilitate the slag heaps that surround the Copper Cliff smelter area, with the planting of grass and trees.

View of Lake Ramsey from Science North.

The ecology of the Sudbury region has recovered dramatically, due both to the regreening program and improved mining practices. In 1992, Sudbury was one of twelve world cities given the Local Government Honours Award at the United Nations Earth Summit to honour the city's community-based environmental reclamation strategies. In 2007, Peter Mansbridge anchored an edition of the national news program The National from Sudbury, during a weeklong series profiling Canadian municipalities which had successfully implemented local environmental programs.[13]

Stephen Monet, the manager of the city's environmental efforts, noted in early 2010 that the program had successfully rehabilitated 3,350 hectares of land in the city—however, he cautioned that the effort would need to continue or even be significantly expanded, as approximately 30,000 hectares of land have yet to be regreened.[14]

The city's Nickel District Conservation Authority operates a large conservation area, the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area, in the city's south end. Other unique environmental projects in the city include the Fielding Bird Sanctuary, a protected area along Highway 17 near Lively which provides a managed natural habitat for birds, and a hiking and nature trail near Coniston which is named in honour of scientist Jane Goodall.[15]

Seismic activity

Mining-related seismological activity is not uncommon in the region, although it rarely causes any significant damage—in the most notable such incident, the then-outlying community of Worthington was destroyed on October 4, 1927 when a rock shift caused part of the community to collapse into a mine shaft. No lives were lost in that incident, however, as a mine foreman had noticed the warning signs and successfully evacuated the community the previous evening. Similarly, on June 20, 1984, four miners at Falconbridge were killed in a rock burst which registered 3.4 on the Richter scale.

On November 29, 2006, the city was hit by a minor earthquake, which registered 4.1 on the Richter scale and had its epicentre approximately five kilometres west of Lively. It is believed that the movement began on the 7200 level of Creighton Mine, as ground stress worked its way through upper and lower levels along what is called the Creighton fault.[16] No major damage was reported, although there were reports of the quake being felt as far away as Toronto. Seismologists confirmed in early December that the quake was most likely related to mining activity in the region. Interestingly, the origin of this earthquake was only a few kilometres from the SNO detector (located at the 6800 level of the Creighton Mine), which had just switched off the previous day after completing the final phase of the experiment.

Similarly, a tremor on September 11, 2008 which registered 3.0 on the Richter scale followed a planned blast at the city's North Mine.[17][18] Small earthquakes were also reported on March 13[19] and September 20, 2005.[20]


Greater Sudbury’s climate is humid continental (Koppen climate classification Dfb). This region has warm and often hot summers with long, cold winters. Monthly precipitation is equal year round with snow cover expected 6 months of the year.[21]

Climate data for Sudbury
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.2
Average high °C (°F) −8.4
Daily mean °C (°F) −13.6
Average low °C (°F) −18.6
Record low °C (°F) −39.3
Precipitation mm (inches) 68.6
Rainfall mm (inches) 12.5
Snowfall cm (inches) 63.8
Sunshine hours 91.2 122.2 155.7 196 236.3 245.6 277.9 244.4 156.1 120.4 73.5 69.6 1,988.9
Source: Environment Canada[22]


Year Pop. ±%
1901 2,027
1911 4,150 +104.7%
1921 8,621 +107.7%
1931 18,518 +114.8%
1941 31,888 +72.2%
1951 42,410 +33.0%
1961 80,120 +88.9%
1971 90,535 +13.0%
1981 91,829 +1.4%
1991 92,884 +1.1%
1996 92,059 −0.9%
Greater Sudbury
Year Pop. ±%
2001 155,219
2006 157,857 +1.7%

Greater Sudbury is the most populous municipality and Census Metropolitan Area in Northern Ontario. In the 2006 census, the city's population increased to 157,857, a growth of 1.7 per cent over 2001. Of that population, 106,612 lived in the city's urban core, while the remaining 51,245 lived in suburban or rural communities within the city limits. The median age is 41.1 years, slightly higher than the provincial average of 39.0 years.[23]

Sudbury is a bilingual city with a large francophone population. Some 80.1% of the population speak English as their first language followed by French at 16.3% which is higher than the Ontario average of 2.4%.[24] According to the 2001 census, the residents of Greater Sudbury are predominantly Christian. Almost 90 percent of the population claims adherence to Christian denominations including: Roman Catholic (64.6%), Protestant (23.1%), and other Christian groups (1.6%). Those with no religious affiliation accounted 9.9% of the population. Other religions such as Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism constitute less than one per cent of the population.[25] According to the 2006 Census, Greater Sudbury is 91.8% White, 6.1% Aboriginal, and 2.1% Visible Minorities.[23]

The Census Metropolitan Area of Greater Sudbury consists of Greater Sudbury municipality (population 157,857) and the independent Wahnapitae First Nation reserve enclave (population 52) and Whitefish Lake (population 349).

Reported ethnic origins, 2006
Ethnic origin Population[26] Percent[note 1]
Canadian 64,345 41.2
French 62,460 40.0
English 35,715 22.9
Irish 30,415 19.5
Scottish 26,575 17.0
Italian 13,410 8.6
Reported ethnic origins, 2006
Ethnic origin Population Percent
German 12,140 7.8
North American Indian 8,160 5.2
Ukrainian 7,590 4.9
Finnish 7,275 4.7
Métis 6,315 4.0
Polish 4,750 3.0
  1. ^ Note that a person may report more than one ethnic origin.


Nickel Rim South Mine

After a brief period as a lumber camp, Sudbury’s economy was dominated by the mining industry for much of the 20th century. Rich deposits of nickel sulphide ore were discovered in the Sudbury Basin geological formation. Two major mining companies were created, Inco in 1902 and Falconbridge in 1928 and became two of the city’s major employers and two of the world's leading producers of nickel. By the 1970s, Inco employed a quarter of the local workforce.[27] Mining has since decreased in importance and Sudbury’s economy has diversified significantly to establish itself as a major centre of finance, business, tourism, health care, education, government, and science and technology research.[28] Many of these reflect Sudbury’s position as a regional service centre for Northereastern Ontario.[29] In 2006, Inco and Falconbridge were taken over by foreign multinational corporations: Inco was acquired by the Brazilian company now named Vale, while Falconbridge was purchased by the Swiss company Xstrata. Vale now employs less than 5 per cent of the workforce.[27] By 2006, 80% of Greater Sudbury's labour force was employed in services with 20% remaining in manufacturing.[29]

Over 345[30] mining supply and service companies are located in Sudbury. This includes a number of public and private firms pursuing research and development in new mining technologies such as Mining Innovation Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation (MIRARCO), the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT), and the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI).

The top employers in Sudbury include:[31]

Company / Organization # of Employees Sector
Vale 4,000 Mining
Health Sciences North 3,700 Health Services
Sudbury Tax Services Office 2,800 Federal Government
City of Greater Sudbury 2,166 Municipal Government
Laurentian University 1,850 Education
Rainbow District School Board 1,606 Education
Ontario Ministries and Agencies 1,500 Ontario Government
Conseil scolaire de district catholique du Nouvel-Ontario 1,443 Education
Xstrata 1,139 Mining


With retail businesses in the city increasingly locating outside of the downtown core, particularly in the Four Corners, Kingsway and Lasalle Boulevard areas, the city has struggled in recent years to maintain a vibrant downtown. Recent projects have included the creation of Market Square, a farmer's and craft market, the redevelopment of the Rainbow Centre mall, streetscape beautification projects, and the creation of the Downtown Village Development Corporation, not-fot-profit organization dedicated to business attraction and residential development downtown. Sudbury is one of the few cities remaining in Ontario where retail stores are still not legally permitted to open on Boxing Day, December 26. Instead, stores in Sudbury begin their post-Christmas Boxing Day sales on December 27. In recent years, some major chain retailers in the city have occasionally chosen to disregard the municipal bylaw, opening on December 26 and voluntarily accepting the risk of a fine.

Science and technology

The Creighton Mine site in Sudbury is home to the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, the lowest background radiation particle detector in the world. Although the original experiments have now concluded, the underground laboratory has been enlarged and continues to operate other experiments at SNOLAB. SNOLAB will be the world's deepest underground lab facility; the deeper Kolar Gold Fields experiments ended with the closing of the mine in 1992,[32] and the planned DUSEL laboratory is not expected to begin construction before 2012.[33] The SNO equipment itself is currently being refurbished for use in the SNO+ experiment.

Arts and culture

Arts and theatre

The city is home to two art galleries, the Art Gallery of Sudbury and La Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario. Both are dedicated primarily to Canadian art, especially but not exclusively artists from Northern Ontario. The Art Gallery of Sudbury is in the planning stages of a new 14,000-square-foot (1,300 m2) purpose-built facility downtown, to be named the Franklin Carmichael Art Gallery, after the Group of Seven artist.[34]

The city has two professional theatre companies, the anglophone Sudbury Theatre Centre and the francophone Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario. The STC has its own theatre venue downtown, while the TNO stages its productions at La salle André Paiement, a venue located on the campus of Collège Boréal. Theatre productions are also staged by students at Laurentian University's affiliated Thornloe faculty, by a community theatre company at Cambrian College, as well as by high school drama students at Sudbury Secondary School, Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School and École secondaire MacDonald-Cartier with its troupe Les Draveurs.

An annual film festival, Cinéfest, is also held in the city each September.


Sudbury’s most nationally and internationally successful artists, such as Robert Paquette, Kate Maki, Nathan Lawr, Gil Grand, Kevin Closs, CANO, Jake Mathews, Loma Lyns, Alex J. Robinson and Chuck Labelle, have predominantly been in the country, folk and country-rock genres. Another notable Canadian country rock band, Ox, was launched in Vancouver by two musicians from Sudbury, Ryan Bishops and Mark Browning, although the band has more recently moved back to Sudbury. The rap metal bands Project Wyze and Konflit dramatiK have also had some success.

Sudbury has lacked a midsized performing arts centre since the demise of the Grand Theatre in the 1990s. High-profile musicians play at the Sudbury Community Arena. Bell Park's outdoor Grace Hartman Amphitheatre and Laurentian University's Fraser Auditorium are sometimes used for summer bookings, although neither is available year-round. Smaller touring indie rock bands, as well as some local musicians, are usually booked at The Townehouse Tavern, while local bands play a number of small music venues across the city. The city is also home to annual music festivals including: Sudbury Summerfest, the Northern Lights Festival Boréal and La Nuit sur l'étang. The local Sudbury Symphony Orchestra performs six annual concerts of classical music, staged at the Glad Tidings Tabernacle a local church, as Greater Sudbury still lacks a proper concert hall.

Sudbury in art and literature

Notable works of fiction set primarily or partially in Sudbury or its former suburbs include Paul Quarrington's novel Logan in Overtime, Robert J. Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax trilogy, Alistair MacLeod's novel No Great Mischief, and Jean-Marc Dalpé's play 1932, la ville du nickel and his short story collection Contes sudburois. The city is also fictionalized as "Chinookville" in several books by American comedy writer Jack Douglas.

One of Stompin' Tom Connors' most famous songs, "Sudbury Saturday Night", is inspired by the city and its hard rock mining image. Quebec musician Mononc' Serge also wrote a song about the city, titled "Sudbury", on his 2001 album Mon voyage au Canada.

Artist A. Y. Jackson's 1953 painting "Spring on the Onaping River" depicts a waterfall on the Onaping River between Dowling and Onaping. A scenic lookout on Highway 144 enables a view of the waterfall. The painting itself hung at Sudbury Secondary School from 1955 to 1974, when it was stolen from the school grounds shortly after Jackson's death and has never subsequently been recovered.

Film and television production

Few films and television programs have been set in Sudbury. One exception is Bruce McDonald's 1987 film Roadkill which was filmed and set partly in Sudbury. Ontario's French language public broadcaster, TFO, produced the set comedy series Météo+ in Sudbury, and is co-written by an alumnus of the local high school École Secondaire Macdonald-Cartier, Robert Marinier.

Sudbury is home to several film and television production companies. March Entertainment's studio in Sudbury has produced a number of animated television series, including Chilly Beach, Maple Shorts, Yam Roll and Dex Hamilton: Alien Entomologist. Inner City Films, a film and television production company owned by Sudbury native Robert Adetuyi and his brothers Tom, Amos and Alfons, established a production office in Sudbury.[35] The forthcoming film High Chicago, starring Colin Salmon, began production in Sudbury in 2010.[35] In 2008, award winning indie filmmaker and Sudbury native B. P. Paquette and film producer Jason Ross Jallet founded their production-distribution company Nortario Films in Sudbury. In 2011, they partnered with local business entrepreneur Gerry Paquette to establish the not-for-profit company Northern Ontario Motion Picture Culture and Industry Development Corporation (NOMPCIDC), whose mandate is to develop and promote the film & television industry in Northern Ontario. In the spring of 2010, Les Productions R. Charbonneau (the company responsible for bringing Météo+ to Sudbury with the same writi) announced it would be producing three seasons of a new show in Sudbury written by the same team as Météo+, Les Bleus de Ramville, about hockey fans in the fictional small town of Ramville.[36] Sudbury is also home to the Science North Production Team, an award-winning producer of documentary films and multimedia presentations for museums.

Laurentian University offers, via its federated college Thorneloe University [37], a minor in Motion Picture Arts, with a major currently in the planning stages. This is the only program specializing in the production of motion pictures in Northern Ontario.

Franco-Ontarian community

Approximately 40 percent of the city's population is Franco-Ontarian, particularly in the former municipalities of Valley East and Rayside-Balfour and historically in the Moulin-à-Fleur neighbourhood within the boundaries of the original city of Sudbury. The city has the largest proportion of francophones of any major city in Ontario. Sudbury also has the second largest francophone community of any city in English Canada behind only Ottawa. The French culture is celebrated with the Franco-Ontarian flag which was created in 1975 by a group of teachers at Laurentian University and after some controversy has flown at Tom Davies Square since 2006. The flag has been recognized by the province as an official emblem.

Sudbury is thus a very important centre in Franco-Ontarian cultural history, and the francophone community of Sudbury has played a central role in developing and maintaining many of the cultural institutions. Those institutions include the Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario, La Nuit sur l'étang, La Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario, Le Centre franco-ontarien de folklore and the Prise de parole publishing company. In July 2011, Sudbury was host to les Jeux de la francophonie canadienne.

LGBT community

The city first held its Sudbury Pride parade in 1997. The annual event takes place in summer. Zig's, the city's prominent gay business, is the only gay bar in Northern Ontario.[38] Early gay venues in the city included the now-demolished Nickel Range Hotel in the 1960s, the Peter Piper Inn in the 1970s and the now-demolished Frontenac Hotel in the 1970s and 1980s, before the city's first standalone gay bar, R Place on Lasalle Boulevard, opened in the late 1980s.[39] D-Bar, a new downtown venue, opened in 1992, and was active until Zig's opened in 1997, in the now-demolished Empress Building, and re-opened in another location nearby.[39]


Science North main building.
Big Nickel

Science North is an interactive science museum and Northern Ontario's most popular tourist attraction. It consists of two snowflake-shaped buildings on the southwestern shore of Lake Ramsey, just south of the city's downtown core, as well as a former ice hockey arena which includes the complex's entrance and an IMAX theatre. The snowflake buildings are connected by a rock tunnel, which passes through a billion-year-old geologic fault.

Sudbury's mining heritage is reflected in another major tourist attraction, Dynamic Earth. This interactive science museum focuses principally on geology and mining history exhibitions and is also home to the Big Nickel, one of Sudbury's most famous landmarks.

The Inco Superstack is the tallest freestanding chimney in the Western hemisphere, and the second tallest structure in Canada after the CN Tower.

The city is also home to the Greater Sudbury Heritage Museums, a network of historical community museums, and to a mining heritage monument overlooking the city's Bell Park.

In 2007, the city undertook a community project named the Bridge of Nations, which saw the downtown Paris Street bridge retrofitted with 82 flagpoles, each of which will permanently display the flag of a world nation demographically represented among the population of Sudbury.[40]


The city is represented in ice hockey by the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League who play at the Sudbury Community Arena. The Sudbury Spartans football club have played in the Northern Football Conference since 1954.[41]

Laurentian University is represented in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport league by the Laurentian Voyageurs and the Laurentian Lady Vees. Cambrian College is represented in the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association by the Cambrian Golden Shield, and Collège Boréal is represented by the Boréal Vipères. High school students compete in the Sudbury District Secondary School Athletic Association (SDSSAA), which is a division of Northern Ontario Secondary School Athletics (NOSSA).

The city is also home to a harness racing track, located in Azilda, called Sudbury Downs. That facility, although not a full casino, also has slot machines.

The city hosted the IAAF World Junior Championships in Athletics in 1988. Sudbury also played host to the Brier, Canada's annual men's curling championships, in 1953 and 1983, and to the 2001 Scott Tournament of Hearts, the women's curling championship. Sudbury has also hosted the 2010 Ontario Summer Games.

Sudbury has many trails that are used year round. The Sudbury Trail Plan grooms almost 1,200 km of trails for snowmobiles in the winter.[42] Twenty-three kilometres of diverse hiking, biking, and jogging trails are found in the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area near downtown.[43] Other trails link Sudbury to areas outside of the city including the Trans Canada Trail, which passes through the city, and the Voyageur Hiking Trail.


Tom Davies Square seen from the foot of the Bridge of Nations.

From the city hall at Tom Davies Square, the city is headed by 12 council members and one mayor both elected every four years. The current mayor of Greater Sudbury is Marianne Matichuk, who defeated John Rodriguez in the 2010 municipal election. The 2011 operating budget for Greater Sudbury was C$471 million, and the city employs 2006 full time workers.[44]

The city is represented federally by New Democratic Party Members of Parliament Glenn Thibeault in the Sudbury riding, and Claude Gravelle in Nickel Belt. Their counterparts in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario are Ontario Liberal Party MPP Rick Bartolucci in Sudbury and Ontario New Democratic Party MPP France Gélinas in Nickel Belt. Both federal and provincial politics in the city tend to be dominated by the Liberal and New Democratic parties. Historically, the Liberals have been stronger in the urban Sudbury riding, with the New Democrats dominant in the more rural Nickel Belt, although both ridings have elected members of both parties at different times.

The provincial Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry has its head office in the city.


The city's economic growth has been hindered at times by taxation issues: because of federal corporate taxation rules pertaining to natural resources companies, Sudbury's ability to directly levy municipal taxes on Inco and Falconbridge is severely curtailed, compared to most cities whose major employers operate in other industries. As early as 1954, the Sudbury Star was referring to Sudbury as "a city without a city's birthright", because of this taxation barrier.[6] Prior to the creation of the Regional Municipality of Sudbury in 1973, the city could not in fact levy any taxes against the mining companies at all, because the Ontario Municipal Board consistently denied the city's requests to annex the outlying company towns, such as Copper Cliff, Coniston, Frood Mine or Falconbridge, where the mining facilities were actually located.

This fact sometimes left the city without a sufficient tax base to adequately maintain or improve municipal services—at one point, in fact, Sudbury offered the fewest municipal services of any city of comparable size in Ontario, despite having residential property tax rates fully 20 per cent higher than any of the same cities.[6] For example, the city did not maintain a public transit system until 1972, instead relying on a succession of private operators—which were eventually consolidated under the ownership of Paul Desmarais—to provide bus services to commuters.[6] The city only took over the system after a public outcry following an incident in which several students en route to classes at Laurentian University were hospitalized for carbon monoxide inhalation when their bus stalled and exhaust leaked into the vehicle.[6]

In the 1950s, the provincial government began providing the city with an annual grant to make up the shortfall, although a municipal accounting study in 1956 found that this grant was only providing 52 per cent of the revenue the city would have received from a direct tax assessment on the mining facilities.[6]

The expansion of the city's boundaries that accompanied the creation of the regional municipality gave the city the power to levy property taxes on Inco's surface operations in Copper Cliff and Frood, but not on their underground facilities. This change improved the city's tax base, but the ongoing discrepancy has still been cited as a factor in municipal politics as recently as the 2006 municipal election. Even today, fully 75 per cent of the city's tax base comes from residential property taxes.[45]


Copper Cliff is in the heart of the nickel mining industry.

Greater Sudbury was formed by the amalgamation of five towns and two cities on January 1, 2001. The population figures cited next to each are for 1996, the last Canadian census before amalgamation:

The names Greater Sudbury and Ville du Grand Sudbury are thus almost exclusively political designations. In common usage, the city is still generally referred to as Sudbury, and often the amalgamated municipalities are still referred to by name and continue in some respects to maintain their own distinct identities. Each of the seven former municipalities encompasses numerous smaller neighbourhoods. The city maintains a system of community action networks, most of which are organized along the boundaries of the former municipalities.

The Wanup area, formerly an unincorporated settlement outside of Sudbury's old city limits, was also annexed into the city in 2001, along with a largely wilderness area on the northeastern shore of Lake Wanapitei.



The Inco Superstack dominates the Sudbury skyline.

There are three highways connecting Sudbury to the rest of Ontario:

  • Highway 17 is the main branch of the Trans-Canada Highway, connecting the city to points east and west. An approximately 21-kilometre (13 mi) segment of Highway 17, from Mikkola to Whitefish, is freeway. The highway bypasses the city via two separately-constructed roads, the Southwest and Southeast Bypasses, that form a loop around the southern end of the city's urban core for traffic travelling through Highway 17. The former alignment of Highway 17 through the city is now Municipal Road 55.
  • Highway 69, also a branch of the Trans-Canada Highway, leads south to Parry Sound, where it connects to the Highway 400 freeway to Toronto. Highway 400 is currently being extended to Greater Sudbury and is scheduled for completion in 2017.[46]

Greater Sudbury is the only census division in Northern Ontario that maintains a system of numbered municipal roads, similar to the county road system in the southern part of the province.

The Greater Sudbury Airport is served by three regional carrier lines: Air Canada Jazz to the Toronto Pearson International Airport, Porter Airlines to the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, and Bearskin Airlines to the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport as well as several destinations in Northern Ontario including Kapuskasing, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, and Thunder Bay. Sunwing Vacations also offers seasonal chartered direct flights to Puerto Plata.[47]

Inter-city train service in Sudbury is provided by Via Rail, with The Canadian between Toronto and Vancouver and the Sudbury – White River train, both three times a week. It is also served by inter-city bus services Greyhound Canada and Ontario Northland Motor Coach Services.

The city maintains a public transit system, Greater Sudbury Transit, featuring over 90 buses covering 39 routes.

Health care

Greater Sudbury serves as the health care centre for much of northeastern Ontario through Health Sciences North. Sudbury is also the site of the Regional Cancer Program, which treats cancer patients from across the north. In 1968, the first successful coronary artery bypass surgery in Canada was performed at Sudbury Memorial Hospital.[48]

Adult mental health services are also provided to the area through Health Sciences North, primarily at the Kirkwood site (formerly the Sudbury Algoma Hospital) and at the Cedar site downtown. Children's mental health services are provided through the Regional Children's Psychiatric Centre operated by the Northeast Mental Health Centre, located onsite at the Kirkwood Site of Health Sciences North.

City and emergency services

Greater Sudbury is served by the Greater Sudbury Police Service,[49] headquartered in downtown Sudbury. There is also a detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police located in the McFarlane Lake area of the city's south end.

Greater Sudbury Emergency Medical Services provide prehospital paramedic services. Two levels of paramedics work in Greater Sudbury, primary care and advanced care paramedics. There are over 150 full-time and part-time paramedics. EMS operates from 10 bases throughout the Sudbury area, as well as a central headquarters in Azilda.

Greater Sudbury Fire Services operates from 25 fire stations located throughout the city, with a combination of full-time and paid part-time firefighters. Prior to the municipal amalgamation of 2001, most of the suburban towns were served by separate volunteer fire departments, which were amalgamated into the citywide service as part of the municipal restructuring.

The municipally owned energy provider Greater Sudbury Utilities serves the city's urban core, while rural areas in the city continue to be served by Hydro One.


Greater Sudbury is home to three postsecondary institutions: Laurentian University, a primarily undergraduate mid-sized bilingual university with approximately 9000 students, Cambrian College, an English college of applied arts and technology, and Collège Boréal, a francophone college with additional campuses throughout Northern Ontario.

Laurentian University is home to the Sudbury campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. NOSM was the first medical school to be established in Canada in 30 years, having opened in September 2005. Laurentian is also undergoing preparations to launch the Northern Ontario School of Architecture, which was formally green-lit by the provincial government in 2011 and will be the first new architecture school to launch in Canada in over 40 years.[50] This school is planned to have its own separate campus in downtown Sudbury, although its precise location has yet to be announced. Laurentian is also tentatively planning to open a law school at some point in the future.

English-language public schooling is provided by the Rainbow District School Board. The board operates 30 elementary and seven secondary schools, one school for students with special needs and the Cecil Facer Youth Centre for young offenders. The Sudbury Catholic District School Board offers publicly funded English-language Catholic education, with 20 elementary schools, four high schools and an adult education centre.[51] French-language public schools are administered by the Conseil scolaire de district du Grand Nord de l'Ontario with nine elementary and three secondary schools. Finally, the Conseil scolaire de district catholique du Nouvel-Ontario provides publicly funded French-language Catholic education, with 18 elementary and four secondary schools.

There are also two Christian private schools (Glad Tidings Academy and King Christian Academy), as well two Montessori schools (King Montessori Academy and the Montessori School of Sudbury).


As the largest city in Northern Ontario, Greater Sudbury is the region's primary media centre. Due to the relatively small size of the region's individual media markets, most of the region is served at least partially by Sudbury-based media. CICI-TV produces almost all local programming on the CTV Northern Ontario system, and the CBC Radio stations CBCS-FM and CBON-FM broadcast to the entire region through extensive rebroadcaster networks. As well, most of the commercial radio stations in Northeastern Ontario's smaller cities simulcast programming produced in Sudbury for at least a portion of their programming schedules, particularly in weekend and evening slots.

Sudbury's daily newspaper is the Sudbury Star, owned by Quebecor's Sun Media division. The newspaper with the highest circulation is Northern Life, a community paper which publishes twice a week.

Notable people

Notable people from Sudbury include television game-show Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek and Olympian Alex Baumann who won two gold medals and set two world records in swimming. Sudbury has produced 81 NHL hockey players, a number larger than any European city.[52] This includes the following NHL players who have played over 1000 games:


  1. ^ "Restoring the City of Lakes' aquatic luster". Northern Life, March 16, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Statcan 2006 Census Profile – Greater Sudbury,
  3. ^ [1].
  4. ^ The Canadian Encyclopedia,
  5. ^ Thomas, Ray and Pearsall, Kathy (1994). Sudbury. Boston Mills Press. ISBN 978-1-55046-110-7.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Wallace, C. M.; & Thomson, Ashley (Eds.) (1993). Sudbury: Rail Town to Regional Capital (3rd ed.). Dundurn Press. ISBN 978-1-55002-170-7.
  7. ^ Thomas Edison at Greater Sudbury Heritage Museums.
  8. ^ Smith, Cameron (1989). Unfinished Journey: The Lewis Family. Toronto: Summerhill Press. pp. 316–318. ISBN 0-929091-04-3. 
  9. ^ Bad Judgment: The Case of Justice Leo A. Landreville, William Kaplan, 1996.
  10. ^ "A Mining Town". The Current, November 16, 2009.
  11. ^ "Sudbury Mining". The Current, November 19, 2009.
  12. ^ Annual Report 2010, City of Greater Sudbury Land Reclamation Program.
  13. ^ "Mansbridge coming to Sudbury". Northern Life, March 8, 2007.
  14. ^ "Regreening: 3,350 hectares done, but 30,000 hectares to go". Northern Life, January 26, 2010.
  15. ^[dead link]
  16. ^ Natural Resources Canada (November 29). "Earthquake Report (2006-11-29)". Retrieved 2006-09-05. 
  17. ^ Sudbury Star (September 11). "Rumbling was a seismic event following Vale Inco blast". Retrieved September 11, 2008. 
  18. ^ Northern Life (September 11). "Mine blast causes seismic event". Retrieved September 11, 2008.  Northern Life
  19. ^ Natural Resources Canada (March 13). "Earthquake Report (2005-03-13)". Retrieved 2006-09-05. 
  20. ^ Natural Resources Canada (September 21). "Earthquake Report (2005-09-21)". Retrieved 2006-09-05. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000". Environment Canada. Retrieved 2011-08-30. 
  23. ^ a b
  24. ^ Statistics Canada (2006). "2006 Community Profile". Retrieved 2011-08-28. 
  25. ^ Statistics Canada (2001). "2001 Community Profile". Retrieved 2007-09-05. 
  26. ^ [2]
  27. ^ a b "In Sudbury it's restive, not festive". Toronto Star, December 19, 2009.
  28. ^
  29. ^ a b
  30. ^ "Sudbury-North Bay mining supply corridor growing". Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal, June 6, 2008.
  31. ^
  32. ^ Naba K. Mondal (January 2004). "Status of India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO)". Proc Indian Natn Sci Acad 70 (1): 71–77. Retrieved 2007-08-28. 
  33. ^ Welcome to deep science. South Dakota Science and Technology Authority. Retrieved 2008-04-13. "DUSEL construction, which likely could not begin until fiscal 2012, will need the final approval of the NSF, the National Science Board, Congress and the White House." 
  34. ^ "Franklin Carmichael gallery planned for Sudbury". CBC News, October 26, 2010.
  35. ^ a b "Boosting home-grown film". Northern Life, July 28, 2010.
  36. ^ New TV Series Produced In Sudbury And Area Government of Ontario, May 21, 2010.
  37. ^
  38. ^ Zig's Bar, Sudbury Ontario – About Us
  39. ^ a b Sudbury Pride Guide 2009.
  40. ^ "Fly a flag on the Bridge of Nations". Northern Life, May 7, 2009.
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^ "Liberals Declare Growth Plan for North". Sudbury Star, May 18, 2007.
  46. ^ Highway 69 Action Plan, MTO.
  47. ^ [3]
  48. ^
  49. ^ "Greater Sudbury Police Service". Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  50. ^ "Architecture school planned for Sudbury’s Laurentian University". Toronto Star, May 24, 2011.
  51. ^ Sudbury Catholic Schools – List of Schools
  52. ^

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