Moving to Sudbury: Some Comments About Our New City
Over the past 27 years my wife and I spent a great
deal of holiday time in Northern Ontario pursuing our
outdoor activities. We decided to investigate the
pros and cons of moving North in order to be closer to
our outdoor interests. We were also becoming
increasingly disenchanted with the declining quality
of life in Southern Ontario. We moved to Sudbury
June 24 2004 from Burlington Ontario.
Both of us had retired just over a year previous to
moving here. We are young seniors. We spent 3 years
seriously researching our move. After investigating
other cities and towns we chose Sudbury. There was no
Based on our research and visits to the city we
decided that we would move to Sudbury and live here
for two years. At the end of this time we would
reevaluate the decision.
What follows is our reaction to this city after three
weeks and an update after 9 months of our move.
Concerns After Three Weeks
- Traffic crossing signals do not give older people
enough time to cross major streets. An example is
Paris near the hospital and Bell Park.
- The city is becoming too car oriented. Mall parking
lots are scary places to be. Need to promote the use
- Bike riding (popular among younger seniors) is
difficult in Sudbury. The city should look at
creating a bikeway system in the city. This is
becoming common in Southern Ontario and seniors moving
up here would expect a comparable system in this city.
Water quality is a concern. Ramsey Lake serves as
the reservoir for 40% of the people of the Sudbury.
The amount of development and planned development
around the lake will negatively effect water quality.
Increased use of motorized water craft will add
petrochemicals to the water. Not only will drinking
water quality suffer but the visual quality of the
water could suffer as well. People from the south
hope they would be moving away from problems like
this. Ramsey Lake is too important an asset to allow
more development along its shoreline. The number of
power boats must also be controlled. I’ve read that a
student attending Laurentian University is studying
Ramsey Lake for the first time! I hope that council
gets a look at her findings when they are published.
Other lakes in the area should have impact studies
done so development does not exceed the carrying
capacity of the lakes.
The life and vitality is being sucked out of the
downtown. There is too much large scale mall
development on the periphery of the city. The
downtown is headed in the direction of Hamilton’s
downtown. Downtown revitalization must be a priority.
Downtowns go a long way to define a city.
Malls and Walmarts do not.
Is Sudbury considering a ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides?
Not being able to get a family doctor for three
years is a personal concern of mine.
Is the Better Business Bureau (Chamber of Commerce)in Sudbury an
effective protector of consumer interests?
Will basic services and infrastructure serve me as
well as I was served in Burlington?
I am struck by the reaction of Sudburians when they
find out that a person from the south would choose to
live in their city. They cannot believe that I chose
to move here. It seems to me that Sudbury has to be
rebranded in the minds of its citizens. This has to
happen as the most effective sales job of this city
will ultimately be done by its citizens. A citizenry
that is openly proud of their city will do more than
any marketing campaign to make others want to live
On the Positive Side After Three Weeks
In my mind the positives outweigh the negatives.
I have enjoyed the following aspects of Sudbury:
The multiethnic flavour of the city.
The festivals: Northern Lights, Italian Days, Dragon
Bell Park is as fine a city park as I have seen
The variety of restaurants and cafes within the
The unpretentious, openly friendly people.
The slightly slower pace of life where even on the
job people feel they have time to talk to you.
The absence of severe traffic jams.
The rugged beauty of the city with its green mantle
of planted trees.
The many venues for outdoor activity right within
the city limits.
The more than adequate retail shopping
Ramsey Lake. I have walked by it, relaxed by it and
paddled on it. I love it.
Science North - absolutely stunning architecture.
Sudbury’s location central and close to so many
Provincial Parks and Crown Land.
The city is geographically interesting with its
rapid changes in elevation, its natural areas, its
trees and of course its rock. All this makes for an
interesting street pattern, a variety of unique neighbourhoods
and a unique feel to the city that I have never experienced in
Southern Ontario with the exception of the city of Hamilton
- another underrated city in terms of rugged beauty.
After 9 months of living here
Concerns - Remain as above with some additional ones
INCO’s continued reduction of its workforce and its
reduced contributions to the tax base. Sudbury must
diversify to provide long term well paying jobs.
signs that the council has set too many priorities
and is not focused
signs that a development bias may stand in the way
of sound planning for the long term. The controversy
regarding Dalron’s development near Ramsey L is a good
continued development on the periphery. There
should be more residential high density development
close to and within the downtown. Why create more
roads, sewer line etc. that cost up front and involve
the quality and variety of cultural opportunities in
this city. The arts are alive and well here
the Film Festival was outstanding
we have found that our dream of living an active
outdoor lifestyle in this city has become real. The
reality is actually better than the dream
in general both my wife and I are very happy that we
have moved to Sudbury. We feel very comfortable here
this city already is a great place for people, who
can get a good job or are collecting an adequate
pension, to live an active outdoor oriented lifestyle
I like Sudbury’s chances of meeting the challenges
that lie ahead. If all the citizens pull together we
can create a city where many people would gladly move
to. It is really in our hands. When I drove North on
Regent Street I happened to look both to the left and
then to the right down Lilly Creek Valley. I saw the
Big Stack and the slag heap and then looking right I
saw Science North. In a visual way it sums up
Sudbury’s present and suggests its future. As mining
ultimately declines perhaps the talents and intelligence
of its people characterized by Science North will allow
solutions to emerge that will create a future brighter
than any of us can imagine at the moment.
We cannot imagine moving back to Southern Ontario.