In a recent State of the City address, Greater Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk described her community, “Sudbury is an island of prosperity in a world of economic uncertainty.”
A resource-rich community and a haven for the great outdoors, lakefront properties, integrated tourism hotspots, and a growing 160,000 population, Greater Sudbury is a northern community on the rise.
History in Mining
In 1972, the Sudbury Superstack was constructed in order to disperse smelting sulphur gases away from the city. Standing 1,250 feet, the Superstack is the world’s second tallest freestanding chimney, sitting atop the world’s largest smelting operation in Copper Cliff, the heart of the Greater Sudbury nickel mining industry.
Recently, nickel producer Vale Limited approved a $2 billion investment known as the Clear AER (atmospheric emissions reduction) Project, one of the largest environmental investments in Ontario history, in an effort to reduce smelter sulphur dioxide emissions by 70 per cent at its Sudbury operation.
Reborn as a lush, green city, Greater Sudbury has committed to greening its landscape through modern mining initiatives.
“If you talk to people south of Barrie, they’ll say, ‘Sudbury, there are no trees up there.’ It’s unfortunate that our reputation in the 1970s still sits with us today, and that’s one of the things we’re trying to change,” Matichuk told The Canadian Business Journal. “We’d like anyone to come up and see because they won’t believe it.”
A deep history in the nickel industry, Greater Sudbury continues to build on its mining roots. The local mining sector remains the strength and economic backbone of Greater Sudbury. Mining investment within Greater Sudbury exceeds $6.3 billion, putting the city on the map for its next mining boom.
Over the years, Greater Sudbury has continued its success in mining, its geological significance such that many deposits have yet to be uncovered. Earlier this year, Sudbury hosted MassMin, a mass mining international conference and exhibition that attracted more than 900 delegates. Greater Sudbury is internationally recognized for its mining expertise and the local mining industry has emerged as a major player in international mining with nations such as Brazil, China, and Australia.
Yet this hasn’t limited the city from developing initiatives to diversify the local economy, investigating and pursuing new economic engines for the community.
Health Sciences North, Laurentian University, Cambrian College, and Collège Boréal diversify the local economic base, and stabilize investment within Greater Sudbury.
One example of new industry in Sudbury is a repurposed arena-turned-movie studio. An interim facility until a new location is constructed, it puts a movie studio in the north and its economic spinoffs are already being realized. Using high-end technology, the studio represents a new segment of job creation within Greater Sudbury.
Another example is Greater Sudbury’s investment in research. Greater Sudbury is home to a few research facilities, including the SNOLAB, the world’s deepest underground laboratory. World renowned, the SNOLAB conducts laboratory research related to MRI and GPS technologies.
Unlike many other former mining towns, Greater Sudbury’s diversity has allowed for continued economic prosperity within the community.
Lifestyle in Sudbury
A safe, family-oriented community, Greater Sudbury offers plenty of recreational amenities and educational and work opportunities. Sudbury’s enjoyable lifestyle is also highlighted by its affordable housing market. Without the hustle and bustle of larger municipalities, Sudbury is a great place to live, work, and play.
Tourists visiting Sudbury enjoy its surrounding northern community. Ontario Tourism and Greater Sudbury have partnered to expose the northern experience.
“Sudbury is all about changing people’s perceptions,” Matichuk summarized. “The challenge that we have over the next couple of years is with skilled trades and a need for workers. We’re working with several community stakeholders to come up with some solutions to this challenge.
“We’re trying to create jobs, and we’re also very lucky because we have companies bringing in workers and we’re hoping that we can get them to stay. We’ve grown our population, but I’d like to see more growth, more industries and jobs in our city, and a place where people want to come, live, work, and play. The nature of mining is very transient, but once people come here, they want to stay, they want to live and work here, because the Sudbury lifestyle is phenomenal.”