Greater Sudbury facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
From top left: Downtown Sudbury Skyline, Big Nickel, Bridge of Nations, Inco Superstack, Bell Park, and Science North
"Nickel Capital", "Nickel City", "City of Lakes"
(Latin for "Come, let us build together")
|Established||1893 (as Sudbury)|
|2001 (as Greater Sudbury)|
|• City (single-tier)||3,228.35 km2 (1,246.47 sq mi)|
|• Metro||3,924.48 km2 (1,515.25 sq mi)|
|Elevation||347.5 m (1,140.1 ft)|
|• City (single-tier)||161,531 (29th)|
|• Density||49.7/km2 (129/sq mi)|
|• Metro||164,689 (24th)|
|• Metro density||49.5/km2 (128/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Postal code span||
P3(A-G), P3L, P3N, P3P, P3Y, P0M
|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, 983 249-810, 878|
|Highways|| Highway 17 / TCH
Highway 69 / TCH
Greater Sudbury, commonly referred to as Sudbury, is a city in Ontario, Canada. It is the largest city in Northern Ontario by population, with a population of 161,531 in the Canada 2016 Census, and is 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. It is administratively a single-tier municipality, and thus not part of any district, county, or regional municipality.
Sudbury was founded following the discovery of nickel ore by Tom Flanagan, a Canadian Pacific Railway blacksmith in 1883, when the transcontinental railway was near completion. Greater Sudbury was formed in 2001 by merging the cities and towns of the former Regional Municipality of Sudbury with several previously unincorporated geographic townships.
The population resides in an urban core and many smaller communities scattered around 300 lakes and among hills of rock blackened by historical smelting activity. Sudbury was once a major lumber centre and a world leader in nickel mining. Mining and related industries dominated the economy for much of the 20th century. The two major mining companies which shaped the history of Sudbury were Inco, now Vale Limited, which employed more than 25% of the population by the 1970s, and Falconbridge, now Glencore. Sudbury has since expanded from its resource-based economy to emerge as the major retail, economic, health and educational centre for Northeastern Ontario. Sudbury is also home to a large Franco-Ontarian population that influences its arts and culture.
Sudbury has a humid continental climate with warm and often hot summers and long, cold, snowy winters.
The Sudbury region was sparsely inhabited by the Ojibwe people of the Algonquin group as early as 9,000 years ago following the retreat of the last continental ice sheet. The land was first occupied by Europeans when the Jesuits established a mission called Sainte-Anne-des-Pins just before the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1883. The Sainte-Anne-des-Pins church played a prominent role in the development of Franco-Ontarian culture in the region.
During construction of the railway in 1883, blasting and excavation revealed high concentrations of nickel-copper ore at Murray Mine on the edge of the Sudbury Basin. This discovery brought the first waves of European settlers, who arrived not only to reap the benefits of the mines, but also to build a service station for railway workers.
The community was named for Sudbury, Suffolk, in England, which was the hometown of Canadian Pacific Railway commissioner James Worthington's wife. 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 and rich deposits of nickel sulphide ore were discovered in the Sudbury Basin geological formation. The construction of the railway allowed exploitation of these mineral resources as well as large-scale lumber extraction.
Mining began to replace lumber as the primary industry as improvements to the area's transportation network, including trams, made it possible for workers to live in one community and work in another. Sudbury’s economy was dominated by the mining industry for much of the 20th century. Two major mining companies were created: Inco in 1902 and Falconbridge in 1928. They became two of the city’s major employers and two of the world's leading producers of nickel.
Through the decades that followed, Sudbury's economy went through boom and bust cycles as world demand for nickel fluctuated. Demand was high during the First World War when Sudbury-mined nickel was used extensively in the manufacturing 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. The town was reincorporated as a city in 1930. The city recovered from the Great Depression much more quickly than almost any other city in North America due to increased demand for nickel in the 1930s. Sudbury was the fastest-growing city and one of the wealthiest cities in Canada for most of the decade. Many of the city's social problems in the Great Depression era were not caused by unemployment or poverty, but due to the difficulty in keeping up with all of the new infrastructure demands created by rapid growth — for example, even employed mineworkers sometimes ended up living in boarding houses or makeshift shanty towns, because demand for new housing was rising faster than supply. Between 1936 and 1941, the city was ordered into receivership by the Ontario Municipal Board. Another economic slowdown affected the city in 1937, but 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 the war, 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.
Compounded by open coke beds in the early to mid 20th century and logging for fuel, the area suffered a near-total loss of native vegetation. Consequently, the region became blanketed with exposed rocky outcrops permanently stained charcoal black, first by the air pollution from the roasting yards then by the acid rain in a layer which penetrates up to three inches into the once pink-grey granite. The construction of the Inco Superstack in 1972 dispersed sulphuric 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 and public interests combined to establish a "regreening" effort. Lime was spread over the charred soil 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. Vale has begun to rehabilitate the slag heaps that surrounding their smelter in the Copper Cliff area with the planting of grass and trees.
In 1978, the workers of Sudbury's largest mining corporation, Inco (now Vale), embarked on a strike over production and employment cutbacks. The strike, which lasted for nine months, badly damaged Sudbury's economy and spurred the city government to launch a project to diversify the city's economy. Through an aggressive strategy, the city tried to attract new employers and industries through the 1980s and 1990s.
The city of Sudbury and its suburban communities, which were reorganized into the Regional Municipality of Sudbury in 1973, was subsequently merged in 2001 into the single-tier city of Greater Sudbury. In 2006, both of the city's major mining companies, Canadian-based Inco and Falconbridge, were taken over by new owners: Inco was acquired by the Brazilian company CVRD (now renamed Vale), while Falconbridge was purchased by the Swiss company Xstrata which itself was purchased by Anglo–Swiss Glencore forming Glencore Xstrata. Xstrata donated the historic Edison Building, the onetime head office of Falconbridge, to the city in 2007 to serve as the new home of the municipal archives. On September 19, 2008, a fire destroyed the historic Sudbury Steelworkers Hall on Frood Road. A strike at Vale's operations, which began on July 13, 2009, and saw a tentative resolution announced on July 5, 2010, lasted longer than the devastating 1978 strike, but had a much more modest effect on the city's economy than the earlier action—the local rate of unemployment declined slightly during the strike.
The ecology of the Sudbury region has recovered dramatically, helped by regreening programs and improved mining practices. The United Nations honoured twelve cities in the world, including Sudbury, with the Local Government Honours Award at the 1992 Earth Summit honouring the city's community-based environmental reclamation strategies. By 2010, the regreening programs had successfully rehabilitated 3,350 hectares of land in the city; however, approximately 30,000 hectares of land have yet to be rehabilitated.
- See also: List of lakes in Greater Sudbury
Sudbury has 330 lakes over 10 hectares (25 acres) within the city limits. The most prominent is Lake Wanapitei, the largest lake in the world completely contained within the boundaries of a single city. Lake Ramsey, a few kilometres south of downtown Sudbury, held the same record before the municipal amalgamation in 2001 brought Lake Wanapitei fully inside the city limits. Sudbury is divided into two main watersheds: to the east is the French River Watershed which flows into Georgian Bay and to the west is the Spanish River Watershed which flows into Lake Huron.
Sudbury is built around many small, rocky mountains with exposed igneous rock of the Canadian (Precambrian) Shield. The ore deposits in Sudbury are part of a large geological structure known as the Sudbury Basin, which are the remnants of a nearly two billion-year-old impact crater; long thought to be the result of a meteorite collision, more recent analysis has suggested that the crater may in fact have been created by a comet.
Sudbury's pentlandite, pyrite and pyrrhotite ores contain profitable amounts of many elements—primarily nickel and copper, but also platinum, palladium and other valuable metals.
Local smelting of the ore releases this sulphur into the atmosphere where it combines with water vapour to form sulphuric acid, contributing to acid rain. As a result, Sudbury has had a widespread reputation as a wasteland. In parts of the city, vegetation was devastated by acid rain and 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.
The resulting erosion exposed bedrock in many parts of the city, which was charred in most places to a pitted, dark black appearance. There was not a complete lack of vegetation in the region as Paper birch and wild blueberry patches thrived in the acidic soils. During the Apollo manned lunar exploration program, NASA astronauts trained in Sudbury to become familiar with impact breccia and shatter cones, rare rock formations produced by large meteorite impacts. However, the popular misconception that they were visiting Sudbury because it purportedly resembled the lifeless surface of the moon persists.
The city's Nickel District Conservation Authority operates a 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 that provides a managed natural habitat for birds, and a hiking and nature trail near Coniston, which is named in honour of scientist Jane Goodall.
Six provincial parks (Chiniguchi River, Daisy Lake Uplands, Fairbank, Killarney Lakelands and Headwaters, Wanapitei and Windy Lake) and two provincial conservation reserves (MacLennan Esker Forest and Tilton Forest) are also located partially or entirely within the city boundaries.
Greater Sudbury has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification: Dfb). This region has warm and often hot summers with long, cold and snowy winters. It is situated north of the Great Lakes, making it prone to arctic air masses. Monthly precipitation is equal year round with snow cover expected six months of the year. Although extreme weather events are rare, one of the worst tornadoes in Canadian history struck the city and its suburbs on August 20, 1970, killing six people, injuring 200, and causing over C$17 million in damages.
The highest temperature ever recorded in Greater Sudbury was 41.1 °C (106 °F) on 13 July 1936. The lowest temperature ever recorded was −48.3 °C (−55 °F) on 29 December 1933.
|Climate data for Sudbury Airport, 1981−2010 normals, extremes 1887−present|
|Record high °C (°F)||10.0
|Average high °C (°F)||-8.0
|Daily mean °C (°F)||-13.0
|Average low °C (°F)||-17.9
|Record low °C (°F)||-42.8
|Precipitation mm (inches)||62.2
|Rainfall mm (inches)||11.9
|Snowfall cm (inches)||59.5
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||17.7||13.8||11.8||11.2||12.7||12.7||12.2||12.1||13.1||15.2||16.0||18.2||166.9|
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||2.8||2.1||4.5||8.4||12.3||12.7||12.2||12.1||13.1||14.0||9.0||4.3||107.6|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||17.2||13.4||9.6||4.9||0.87||0.03||0.0||0.0||0.10||2.9||9.7||16.3||74.9|
|Source: Environment Canada|
Greater Sudbury is the most populous municipality and census metropolitan area in Northern Ontario. In the 2016 census, the city's population increased to 161,531, a growth of 0.8 per cent over the 2011 population of 160,274. The median age is 41.1 years, slightly higher than the provincial average of 39.0 years. The census metropolitan area of Greater Sudbury (population 164,770) consists of the city, the town of Markstay-Warren and the adjacent First Nations reserves of Wahnapitei (population 116) and Whitefish Lake (population 386). As the Wahnapitei First Nation is an enclave within the city boundaries, it is also counted as part of Greater Sudbury's census division population of 161,647; this figure excludes Whitefish Lake, which is part of the separate Sudbury District.
In the 2016 census, eight distinct "population centres", or urban areas, were listed within the city: Sudbury (population 88,054), comprising the main populated core of the old city of Sudbury and the neighbourhood of Garson in the former town of Nickel Centre; Azilda (population 4,663); Capreol (population 2,815); Chelmsford (population 6,215); Coniston (population 1,814); Dowling (population 1,466); Lively (population 5,608); and Valley East (population 17,451). In total, these population centres have 128,086 residents, or 79 per cent of the city's total population. The remaining 21 per cent of the city's population live in more rural areas within the city limits for which distinct population statistics were not published separately from those for the city as a whole.
Sudbury is a bilingual city with a large francophone population. Some 80.1% of the population speak mostly English at home, followed by French at 16.3%, which is higher than the Ontario average of 2.4%. According to the 2011 National Household Survey, the residents of Greater Sudbury are predominantly Christian. Around 81% (down from 90% in 2001) of the population claims adherence to Christian denominations with a Roman Catholic majority (59%, down from 65% in 2001). Those with no religious affiliation accounted for 18% (up from 9.9% in 2001) of the population. Other religions such as Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism constitute around one per cent of the population. There are also few visible minorities in Sudbury (2.7%) when compared to the Canadian average of 19.1%.
As of 2011, the population of Sudbury is less educated than the Canadian average, with 17.2% of the population holding a university degree (compared to 23.3% nationally) and 18.1% with no certificate, diploma or degree (compared to 17.3% nationally).
|Religions in Sudbury|
|Distribution of religions (2011 NHS)|
Arts and culture
The Sudbury Arts Council was established in 1974. Its mandate is to connect, communicate and celebrate the arts. It has an important role to provide a calendar of events and news about arts and culture activities.
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 artists from Northern Ontario. The city's two professional theatre companies are the anglophone Sudbury Theatre Centre (STC) and the francophone Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario (TNO). 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, St. Charles College and École secondaire Macdonald-Cartier with its troupe Les Draveurs. An annual film festival, Cinéfest, is also held in the city each September. Sudbury also has numerous community theatre companies throughout the city, including its first and only for-charity theatre company, UP Theatre.
Sudbury's culture is influenced by the large Franco-Ontarian community consisting of approximately 40 percent of the city's population, particularly in the amalgamated municipalities of Valley East and Rayside-Balfour and historically in the Moulin-à-Fleur neighbourhood. The French culture is celebrated with the Franco-Ontarian flag, recognized by the province as an official emblem, 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 large francophone community plays a central role in developing and maintaining many of the cultural institutions of Sudbury including 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. The city hosted Les Jeux de la francophonie canadienne in 2011.
Zig's, the city's prominent gay business, is the only gay bar in all of Northern Ontario. The city's LGBT community has also staged an annual Sudbury Pride festival since 1997, and the Queer North Film Festival was launched in 2016.
Notable works of literature themed or set primarily or partially in Sudbury or its former suburbs include Robert J. Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax trilogy, Alistair MacLeod's novel No Great Mischief, Paul Quarrington's Logan in Overtime 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, and as "Complexity" in Tomson Highway's musical play The (Post) Mistress.
Noted writers who have lived in Sudbury include playwrights Jean-Marc Dalpé, Sandra Shamas and Brigitte Haentjens, poets Robert Dickson, Roger Nash and Margaret Christakos, fiction writers Kelley Armstrong, Sean Costello, Sarah Selecky, Matthew Heiti and Jeffrey Round, journalist Mick Lowe and academics Richard E. Bennett, Michel Bock, Rand Dyck, Graeme S. Mount and Gary Kinsman.
Sudbury’s most successful artists have predominantly been in the country, folk and country-rock genres. These include Robert Paquette, Kate Maki, Nathan Lawr, Gil Grand, Kevin Closs, CANO, Jake Mathews, Loma Lyns, Alex J. Robinson, Chuck Labelle, and Ox. The rap metal band Project Wyze is also based in Sudbury. 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. 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.
One of Stompin' Tom Connors' most famous songs, "Sudbury Saturday Night", depicts the hard-drinking, hard-partying social life of hard rock miners of Sudbury.
Miriam Linna, who drummed in the Cramps, Nervus Rex and the A-Bones, was also born in Sudbury.
Film and television
Sudbury has an emerging film and television industry, with a number of projects filming in the city in the 2000s. Development of an active film and television production industry in Northern Ontario was initially undertaken by Cinéfest, the city's annual film festival, in the early 1990s, and is currently overseen by Music and Film in Motion, a non-profit organization based in Sudbury.
Films shot in the city have included the films Roadkill, Shania: A Life in Eight Albums, The Truth, The Lesser Blessed, High Chicago, Perspective, The Captive, Ice Soldiers, Born to Be Blue, Your Name Here and Men with Brooms.
Television series filmed in the city include: Météo+, Les Bleus de Ramville, Hard Rock Medical, Dark Rising: Warrior of Worlds, Letterkenny, St. Nickel, Cardinal and What Would Sal Do?.
Sudbury is also home to the Science North Production Team, an award-winning producer of documentary films and multimedia presentations for museums. Independent filmmaker B. P. Paquette and producer Jason Ross Jallet are based in Sudbury. Inner City Films, a production company owned by Sudbury native Robert Adetuyi, also has a production office in the city, as does Carte Blanche Films, the producer of Météo+, Les Blues de Ramville and Hard Rock Medical.
Science North is an interactive science museum and Northern Ontario's most popular tourist attraction with around 287,000 visitors per year (as of 2011). It consists of two snowflake-shaped buildings on the southwestern shore of Lake Ramsey and just south of the city's downtown core. There is also a former ice hockey arena on–site, 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 city is also home to the Greater Sudbury Heritage Museums, a group of historical community museums, and a mining heritage monument overlooking the city's Bell Park.
- See also: Urban neighbourhoods of Sudbury
The city of Sudbury and its suburban communities were reorganized into the Regional Municipality of Sudbury in 1973, which was subsequently merged in 2001 into the single-tier city of Greater Sudbury. 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. Amalgamated cities (2001 Canadian census population) include: Sudbury (85,354) and Valley East (22,374). Towns (2001 Canadian census population) include: Rayside-Balfour (15,046), Nickel Centre (12,672), Walden (10,101), Onaping Falls (4,887), and Capreol (3,486). 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.
- See also: List of numbered roads in Greater Sudbury
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. 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 partial ring road 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 being extended to Greater Sudbury and is scheduled for completion in 2021. Highway 144 leads north to Highway 101 in Timmins.
The Greater Sudbury Airport maintains two paved runways 2012m and 1524m in length and serves 179,380 passengers per year (2009). The airport is served by three regional carrier lines: Air Canada Jazz to Toronto's Pearson airport, Porter Airlines to Toronto's Bishop island airport and Bearskin Airlines to Ottawa's Macdonald-Cartier airport as well as several destinations in Northern Ontario including Kapuskasing, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, and Thunder Bay. 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 bus based public transit system, Greater Sudbury Transit, transporting 4.4 million passengers in 2012.
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