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Sudbury – A Guide for Newcomers to Canada

Sudbury – A Guide for Newcomers to Canada

As the largest urban area in northeastern Ontario, Sudbury is a thriving and prosperous city.

Officially, Sudbury is known as Greater Sudbury. It was incorporated as a city in 2001, combining the Regional Municipality of Sudbury and the City of Sudbury.

Eager to be known for more than just nickel mining, the city has been engaged in a “regreening” project since the 1970s.  It now boasts a high quality of life and is a great place to live. Welcome to Sudbury!

A brief history of Sudbury

Sudbury is well-known for nickel mining. It should come as no surprise that Sudbury’s history of Sudbury is intertwined with the history of mining.

Like most of Canada, Sudbury has a long history of human habitation going back 9,000 years. When European settlers arrived in the 17th and 18th centuries, the Algonquian-speaking Ojibwa people had been living in Lake Huron and Lake Superior areas for centuries.

The Ojibwa initially tolerated the English and had friendly relations with the fur-trading French. However, the Ojibwa felt they were being taken advantage of as more European settlers arrived in the 19th century. As a result, the Ojibwa lodged formal complaints (which were ignored) to the British colonial government. 

Sudbury was officially established in the 1880s when the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) arrived. In 1883, 3,350 workers arrived in Sudbury to build a CPR depot. This was meant to be temporary, but Sudbury grew as it became a “company town.”

Initially, Sudbury’s main trade was timber. But in 1885 massive deposits of copper, nickel and other metals were discovered. The Sudbury Basin is one of the most unusual geological formations in Canada, containing much copper, nickel and platinum.

At this time, French-Canadian nationalists worked hard to attract French-Canadians back from New England factories to the mining jobs in Sudbury. To this day, Sudbury has a rich French-Canadian history.

Who lives in Sudbury? Social demographics

Greater Sudbury is the most populous municipality in Northern Ontario. According to the 2016 National Census, Sudbury’s population is 161,531 (which marked a growth of nearly 1% since the 2011 census).  The census area of Greater Sudbury includes the city, Markstay-Warren and the nearby First Nations reserves of Wahnapitei (population 116) and Atikameksheng Anishnawbek (population 386).

Sudbury has a large Francophone population and 40% of the population can speak French; 16.3% of residents speak French at home, which is much higher than the provincial rate of 2.4%. Approximately 80% of residents speak English (or mostly English) at home.

Reported Ethnic Origins in Sudbury (2016 Census)

Ethnic Origin

Population

Percentage

Canadian

72,315

45.6

French

59,885

37.7

English

31,790

20

Irish

30,345

19.1

Scottish

24,990

15.8

Italian

13,420

8.5

German

12,905

8.1

First Nations

10,985

6.9

Métis

8,995

5.7

Ukrainian

7,390

4.7

Finnish

7,365

4.6

Polish

4,815

3


In the Canadian census, people can report up to 4 ethnic origins

Sudbury Climate and Weather

Greater Sudbury is known for its warm (and even hot), humid summer weather, and its cold and snowy winters. As it is located north of the Great Lakes region it tends to experience arctic air fronts. If you move to Sudbury, be prepared for up to six months of snow cover per year! 

Average monthly temperatures

High °F

Low °F

 

High °C

Low °C

18

0

January

-8

-18

22

3

February

-6

-16

33

14

March

0

-10

49

29

April

9

-2

63

41

May

17

5

72

51

June

22

11

77

56

July

25

13

74

54

August

23

12

64

46

September

18

8

51

35

October

10

2

37

24

November

3

-5

24

9

December

-4

-13

Source: Current Results Weather and Science Facts 

Sudbury Public Transit

As a newcomer to Canada, you might need to rely on public transit. Thankfully, Greater Sudbury has an extensive network of buses that cover the entire metro area. The local public transit system is called Gova (combining the words ‘Go’ in English and ‘Va’ in French).

If you live in a less populated area, you can use the Gova Zone system to take cabs running at set times to connect you to the nearest bus stop.

Fares are as follows:

Age

One Ride Cash Fare

6 Ride Card

31 Day Pass

Day Pass

Children 4 and under

Free

Free

Free

Free

Children 5 to 12

$3.50

$15

$56

$10

Student (with transit photo ID)

$3.50

$15

$75

$10

Adult

$3.50

$17.50

$88

$10

Senior 65 and up (with transit photo ID)

$3.50

$15

$56

$10

Disability Pensioner (with transit photo ID)

$3.50

$15

$56

$10

















Source: Greater Sudbury Gova fares

The Top 5 Things to do in Sudbury

There are plenty of fun things to see and do in Sudbury.

Marvel at the Big Nickel – No visit to Sudbury is complete without a visit to the nine-metre high Big Nickel. This massive 1952 Canadian nickel replica attracts visitors from around the country.

…and follow it up with a visit to Dynamic Earth – The Dynamic Earth science centre is located beside the Big Nickel and describes the science behind the metal, mining and so much more.

Spend the day at Bell Park – Bell Park is a lovely urban park with a playground, an amphitheatre and a sandy beach – perfect for swimming in the summer.

Check out the local museums – Sudbury is home to four heritage museums that can help you to learn all about your new home. The Anderson Farm Museum, the Copper Cliff Museum, the Flour Mill Museum and the Rayside-Balfour Museum are all dedicated to the farming history of the region.

Get out into nature at the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area – If you want to really get out into nature, head to the 970-hectare Lake Laurentian Conservation Area. This stunning nature reserve is home to lakes, wildlife, and hiking trails.

Immigrant Services in Sudbury
As a newcomer to Sudbury, these services can help you access resources and get settled.

YMCA of Northeastern Ontario Immigrant Services

The YMCA of Northeastern Ontario’s Immigrant Services is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services – Citizenship and Immigration Division. They can help you with language assessment and classes, citizen testing, community services and more.
Address: Immigrant Services, 10 Elm St. Suite 133, Rainbow Mall Sudbury, ON P3C 5N3

Northern Ontario Francophone Immigration Support Network

The NOFISN helps French-speaking immigrants in Northern Ontario, providing links between services and organizations and welcoming newcomers from around the globe.
Address: 14 Beech St., Sudbury, ON, P3C 1Z2

Sudbury Multicultural and Folk Arts Association

The SMFAA offers immigrant and newcomer settlement services, including volunteer opportunities, cultural exchange and community integration.
Address: 196 Van Horne St., Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 1E5

The Sudbury Public Library 
The Sudbury Public Library has 13 branches in Sudbury and is open and free to all residents. Local libraries will lend you books, CDs, DVDs and magazines, as well as helping you to use the computers and internet. The SPL also hosts kids’ activities, clubs and community events, which are all free.
Main branch: 74 Mackenzie Street, Sudbury, ON P3C 4X8

Getting to and from Sudbury
Sudbury has its own domestic airport, Greater Sudbury Airport (YSB), with regular flights to Toronto, North Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Timmins and Toronto City. It is a 4-hour drive from Toronto, and a 5-hour drive from Buffalo, New York.

Sudbury and the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is a new community-driven program in several Canadian towns, including Sudbury. If you are a skilled foreign worker, you may be eligible for a pathway to Canadian permanent residence.

In order to assess your eligibility for the RNIP program, first check the IRCC eligibility requirements and the community-specific requirements. Next, you will need to find an eligible job in Sudbury (or another participating community) and submit your application for recommendation. If you receive the community recommendation, you can then apply for permanent residence. 

This program is not for everyone, but if you fulfil the requirements, this could be your pathway to becoming a Canadian, living and working in Sudbury.

Reference list:

Current Results Science and Weather Facts (n.d.). Sudbury ON Average Temperatures by Month - Current Results. [online] www.currentresults.com. Available at: https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Canada/Ontario/Places/sudbury-temperatures-by-month-average.php [Accessed 20 Feb. 2020].

Government of Canada, S.C. (2017). Census Profile, 2016 Census - Sudbury [Population centre], Ontario and Ontario [Province]. [online] www12.statcan.gc.ca. Available at: https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2016/dp-pd/prof/details/page.cfm?Lang=E&Geo1=POPC&Code1=0904&Geo2=PR&Code2=35&SearchText=Sudbury&SearchType=Begins&SearchPR=01&B1=All&GeoLevel=PR&GeoCode=0904&TABID=1&type=0 [Accessed 20 Feb. 2020].

Greater Sudbury (n.d.). GOVA Transit. [online] www.greatersudbury.ca. Available at: https://www.greatersudbury.ca/gova/ [Accessed 20 Feb. 2020].

Pelmorex Weather Network Inc. (n.d.). Greater Sudbury, Ontario - Monthly Calendar. [online] The Weather Network. Available at: https://www.theweathernetwork.com/ca/monthly/ontario/greater-sudbury [Accessed 20 Feb. 2020].

Saarinen, O. (2012). Sudbury | The Canadian Encyclopedia. [online] thecanadianencyclopedia.ca. Available at: https://thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/sudbury-greater [Accessed 20 Feb. 2020].

Wikipedia Contributors (2020). Greater Sudbury. [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_Sudbury

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