The City of Greater Sudbury was formed on January 1, 2001, as recommended by the Report to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing on Local Government Reform for Sudbury (November 1999). The new City represents the amalgamation of the towns and cities which comprised the former Regional Municipality of Sudbury (Sudbury, Capreol, Nickel Centre, Onaping Falls, Rayside-Balfour, Valley East and Walden), as well as several unincorporated townships (Fraleck, Parkin, Aylmer, Mackelcan, Rathbun, Scadding, Dryden, Cleland and Dill). Municipal amalgamation is another transformation through which the City has evolved. It is a history which began as a small railroad outpost in the late nineteenth-century and continued through several decades of rapid growth made possible by the region's vast mineral resources. The City of Greater Sudbury has matured into a diversified regional urban centre which has become the focus of technology, education, government and health services.
Sudbury's origins can be traced back to 1883 and the development of the transnational railway. Part of the westward expansion of the Canadian Pacific rail line, the area was intended only to serve as a temporary work camp for transient railway workers. The junction was named Sudbury by James Worthington, CPR superintendent of construction, after his wife's birthplace in England. The harsh conditions and inhospitable environment seemed hardly destined to evolve as a vibrant urban centre in a matter of decades. Yet soon after the railway section was completed in November 1884, the discovery of rich minerals embedded in the geological formation known as the Sudbury Basin would serve as the impetus for a sustained period of unparalleled growth.
From Mining Town to Regional Capital
Since those early pioneer days, Sudbury has evolved into a dynamic and diverse regional capital that functions as the service hub for all of northeastern Ontario - a market estimated at 550,000 people. While mining remains a major influence on the local economy, the City has diversified significantly in recent years to establish itself as a major centre of financial and business services, tourism, health care and research, education and government. The City boasts three post-secondary institutions - Laurentian University, Cambrian College, and Collège Boréal. Hôpital régional de Sudbury Regional Hospital is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar expansion. Combined with the Northeastern Ontario Regional Cancer Centre, both institutions support Sudbury's role as the main provider of health services in northeastern Ontario. Science North, our popular interactive science centre and IMAX theatre, successfully anchors a vibrant tourism trade that continues to expand. Dynamic Earth, a new attraction focussed on earth sciences, officially opened in April 2003.
Perhaps the most emblematic of Sudbury's various transformations is the concentrated effort at land reclamation that has been ongoing since the late seventies. The region's success in regreening surrounding lands and rehabilitating local lakes has earned Sudbury worldwide recognition for its environmental efforts.
Planning for the Future
Efforts to further diversify the local economy have sparked some exciting initiatives in recent years, as Greater Sudbury looks to the future and the potential for further transformation. Besides the development of a mining technologies sector and the research and knowledge linked to the City's land reclamation projects and the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, many other innovative partnerships have been instituted through cooperation between the public, private and education sectors. With vision and foresight, the City of Greater Sudbury was one of the first municipalities to establish an advanced telecommunications infrastructure based on a high speed fibre optic network, a competitive advantage over many other Ontario cities. Harnessing the power of local institutions, businesses, community groups and citizens has become the next phase of transformation for the City of Greater Sudbury.