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Greater Sudbury

Large Projects

At the April 20, 2016 meeting of Council, Council endorsed in principle four Large Projects:

  • Place des arts
  • Synergy Conference Centre
  • Art Gallery of Sudbury/Library
  • Arena/Event Centre

Read the report on the arena/event centre, on the Council agenda for March 7, 2017.

Staff were directed to undertake next steps with regards to each of the four projects, and return to Council with regular updates. Since that time, work has been ongoing, primarily led through the Economic Development division with support from other departments., and each project is now in a different stage of exploration, analysis or development. In the fall of 2016, a Steering Committee of senior staff was established, with the objective of ensuring City Council has sufficient, appropriate information to make decisions about the corporation's involvement in these projects.

Each of the Large Projects aligns with Council’s Strategic Plan, Greater Together, by supporting all four of the pillars: Growth and Economic Development; Responsive, Fiscally Prudent, Open Governance; Quality of Life and Place; and Sustainable Infrastructure.

Find out more about the four Large Projects endorsed in principle by Council. 

About the Project: The existing Sudbury Community Arena – home to the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves and host to nearly 200,000 spectators every year – was originally built in 1951. Despite major renovations in the last 16 years, a 2015 report estimated the costs to bring the Arena up to the current standards of a sports and entertainment complex at approximately $50 million. In 2016, City Council endorsed a new multi-purpose sports and entertainment facility as one its four priority projects. 

Community Partners: The City is the lead organization on the new arena project, working in partnership with community stakeholders including the Sudbury Wolves. 

Budget and Breakdown of Contributions: No set costs have yet been determined. Budget and potential financing models will be developed based on specifications outlined as part of a market assessment, currently in progress. 

Anticipated Project Outcomes: A new sports and entertainment facility, at a site to be determined, capable of supporting large-scale sporting and entertainment events and groups. A new facility would include amenities such as accessibility considerations, retail and concession spaces, and expanded seating capacity. A determination of location will be made by Council at a later date.

Anticipated Community Benefits: A new facility will drive economic and social growth. An audience for sporting and entertainment events already exists, and a new complex will allow for expansion of the market and grow the City’s regional, national and international presence.

Current Status: Significant background information exists on the subject of a new arena; however, a clear set of specifications and criteria have not yet been developed to determine what the community needs in a multi-use sports and entertainment complex. The City has hired Price Waterhouse Coopers to complete a market assessment for such a complex, including identification of user needs, economic and social impacts of a new complex, partnership opportunities, possible financing models, and site location criteria.

Next Steps: Working with the consultant, City staff will report to Council on March 7, 2017. The report will include a market and future needs assessment, location criteria, facility concept and cost estimates, a capital budget and financing models, as well as an operational model. 



About the Project: Both the main branch of the Greater Sudbury Public Library and the Art Gallery of Sudbury are seeking new downtown locations and as a result of their preliminary research, identified a number of synergies. City Council subsequently provided direction to formally investigate the feasibility of a joint facility. The process to investigate the feasibility of a shared facility incorporating the main library branch and the art gallery is now underway. 

Community Partners: A working group of the Art Gallery of Sudbury and the Greater Sudbury Public Library main branch has been established to explore links between the projects. The boards of the two organizations are also integral to the discussions. 

Budget and Breakdown of Contributions: Concrete costs and budget breakdown will be determined when the feasibility assessment is completed. Based on comparable projects, the proposed facility could cost between $35 to $50 million. 

Anticipated Project Outcomes: A joint library and art gallery location in the downtown and a new public art education centre – the largest in Northern Ontario. 

Anticipated Community Benefits: The Art Gallery of Sudbury serves more than 30,000 people per year and 7,000 people participate in their art classes and workshops. In addition, close to 1 million items were borrowed from the Greater Sudbury Library in 2015 and library use has grown over the last several years. A new shared facility for the two organizations, with a shared vision but discrete mandates, is expected to create a cultural hub in the downtown core. Both the library and art gallery would have more space to collect, conserve and exhibit Sudbury's important collections, archival materials and collections of regional art, including works by First Nations artists, francophone and Anglophone artists. Investing in a purpose-built art gallery would also allow the Art Gallery to develop Sudbury’s connection to Franklin Carmichael, the youngest original member of the Group of Seven, and our dynamic contemporary regional artists. 

Current Status: A project manager has been hired from LORD Cultural Resources to help determine whether there is alignment of vision between the two capital projects and to advance the project as quickly as possible. Meetings have been held with key stakeholders to advance the project.

Next Steps: Staff, the project team, and the project manager will meet with key stakeholders, develop a feasibility and functional program report for the shared project, identify criteria for site selection, and complete a business and capital plan. A report will go to Council mid-2017. 


About the Project: The Place des arts is proposed to be a multipurpose Francophone arts facility located in downtown Sudbury. The centre is designed to be a gathering place for the community, including artists’ studios, performance venues, and a café. Public spaces and services will be provided in both languages.

Community Partners: The Place des arts project is led by the Regroupement des organismes culturels de Sudbury (ROCS), a group made up of seven local Francophone arts organizations. These are: Carrefour francophone de Sudbury, Centre franco-ontarien de folklore, Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario, Concerts La Nuits sur l’étang, Éditions Prise de parole, Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario, and Salon du livre du Grand Sudbury.

Budget and Breakdown of Contributions: The total budget is approximately $30 million. As part of the 2017 municipal budget, City Council conditionally approved a $5 million contribution to the Place des arts, with a $2 million contribution in 2017 contingent on the project receiving funding from senior levels of government.

As part of its feasibility study, Place des arts has selected as its preferred site a municipally owned parking lot at the corner of Elgin and Larch, estimated to be worth $600,000.

The Place des arts capital budget also reflects the following anticipated contributions:

·  $12.5 million (42%) from the federal government
·  $8.75 million (29%) from the provincial government
·  A remaining $3.25 million would be raised by Place des arts.

Place des arts has requested an annual municipal contribution towards the Centre’s operations, beginning in 2021.  This will be reviewed by the Council of the day as part of the development of the 2021 Budget.

Anticipated Project Outcomes: A multipurpose cultural centre, owned and operated by an independent non-profit corporation with municipal representation.  The building will contain community rental opportunities and increased artistic and cultural programming, as well as bilingual public spaces and services. Revenue opportunities for the building are also anticipated as part of the outcomes of this project.

Anticipated Community Benefits: When completed, the Place des arts will be the first multidisciplinary professional arts centre in the city, with the potential to position Greater Sudbury on the regional, provincial and national map. The downtown location of the facility is expected to attract visitors and consumers to the downtown, diversify the local economy, and foster economic activity in the local arts sector.

Current Status: Council has committed $5 million towards the construction costs, contingent on the project receiving funding from senior levels of government and other partners.

Next Steps: As directed by Council, staff will work with the project proponents to develop a written agreement outlining the reporting and financial obligations that must be met prior to funding being provided.


About the Project: The Synergy Conference Centre is proposed to be a multi-use conference and performing arts complex located in downtown Sudbury.  

Community Partners: The project is supported by a number of community partners led by the Synergy Project Group.  

Budget and Breakdown of Contributions: As presented to Council in November 2015, the Synergy Centre is estimated to cost $65 million. Work is underway to review and update these estimates and determine an approach to funding which will include a municipal contribution as well as a combination of public and private investment.

Anticipated Project Outcomes: A multi-use centre including a trade show/conference hall, a performing arts hall, and flexible spaces for large and small functions alike. 
Anticipated Community Benefits: A preliminary feasibility study projects that the Synergy Centre could attract up to 329 events and 179,000 attendees per year, including conferences, concerts, family shows, sporting events, seminars, lectures and classes. This would increase the City’s share of the arts, culture and convention market  and yield a significant economic benefit, as well as contribute to the revitalization of the downtown. 

Current Status: The Synergy Project Group has done work to determine feasibility, market needs and operational requirements for the project. City staff, along with the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation Board, are working with the group to consolidate existing information.  A consultant has been secured to assist with this effort and staff will present an update to Council in 2017. 

Next Steps: As indicated, City staff  are working with internal and external experts to assess what information might still be required to bring the project to a decision point and to determine how best to get that information. A report will be presented to Council in 2017.