Trilliums in Northern Ontario
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Lynne Reynolds is Councillor for Ward 6 in Sudbury Ontario



Politics in Northern Ontario

Sudbury: One Councillor's Vision
By Lynne Reynolds

How do you design the city you want? By imagining it first. Not by comparing it as “no better or no worse” than other cities, which sets standards of mediocrity, but by setting your own set of benchmarks to the Ideal City and by allocating your resources and manpower to accomplish the ideal results.

In my first hundred days as an elected councillor for this city, I have seen the challenges, but I have also glimpsed the tremendous potential for the future of our city. We have every single factor already in place to be one of the most successful cities in Canada: a major industry, plenty of secondary industry, health, education, retail, a well-located downtown area, plenty of natural and human riches. I have allowed myself to dream and have been surprised to realize that everything we want is all very much achievable and realistic. I have listened to thousands of citizens and with their input, I have created my own Ideal City, my own ideal Sudbury.

My Ideal City has roads as flat as the top of my desk. The roadways are trimmed of weeds and the streets are spotless. Every piece of infrastructure from bridges to buildings shows pride of ownership. There are signs at every entrance of our city welcoming visitors and letting them know that they are about to enter the Sudbury Basin, one of the world’s greatest geological wonders.

Citizens enjoy state-of-the-art modern recreational facilities, not outdated 50-year old facilities that are energy guzzlers and are expensive to maintain and repair. The city is anchored by three incredible, modern multi-plex recreational facilities, with several ice pads each, swimming pools, soccer and ball fields, walking paths, coffee shops, library and community centres. Easy to build and to staff. The multi-plex centres are destinations for the whole family, from tots to seniors. They are also fabulous economic engines that attract sports tournaments from around the country. In fact, we are the Hockey and Soccer Tournament Capital of Canada attracting tens of thousands of participants who generate millions of visitor dollars to our community. Hosting sports event has become one of our major industries. We know our sports and we are the country’s most gracious hosts. Our new bio-gas facility supplies these facilities with free energy.

Remember when we used to brag about being the Nickel Capital of the World? And then for years, we had nothing to brag about? Now we brag about being the Mining Capital of North America. From all over the world, we have attracted double the amount of mining supply and service companies to our area, creating hundreds of high-paying jobs. They want to be here because we are the very best in the world at what we do…deep mining. Our University has developed the world’s most elite engineering program for mining and geology. Several new metallurgical laboratories are now located on the Laurentian Campus and the Nickel Mining Institute of Canada is now added to our downtown skyline. We are the world’s leader in developing robotic equipment for mining… on earth and in the universe. Due to increased nickel production and mining activity, our mining companies have built their own roads to transport their materials across our city.

All our post-secondary students travel freely on our Transit system, get more connected to the community and decide to stay.

The downtown is now teeming with people. Several luxurious condo developments and student housing projects have been erected and the population of the downtown has tripled with young seniors and professionals moving into the downtown area. Of course, due to this, the retail, restaurant and entertainment sector has grown exponentially and business owners are now re-investing in the appearance of their stores. Students now have plenty of part-time jobs.

The downtown reflects our history and heritage and, in the “theatre district” is a new world-class performing arts centre/art gallery. Our arts, music and culture scene reflects our great northern city with a perfect blend of multi-cultural talent. The new art gallery is modern and a wonderful community space. The Bell Mansion has become our Heritage House and is connected to Bell Park for easy accessibility by tourists and residents alike. The boardwalk on Lake Ramsey has been gently commercialized to allow small, seasonal kiosks that sell souvenirs, ice cream, and local arts and crafts, as well as rent watercraft, an enhancement for both residents and Science North tourists.

The Flour Mill area has transformed itself into one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the city, situated as it is between the downtown and our smaller “power centre” on Notre Dame with a high traffic count. It has enjoyed “une renaissance” and attracts many francophone business owners, boutiques, “terrasses” and francophone musicians and artists. Other neighbourhoods like Gatchell and the Donovan that enjoy a high ethnic population are following suit and becoming tourist attractions in themselves, with wonderful restaurants, festivals, delis and boutiques gathered in one colourful area.

The Adanac ski area is now the jewel of our city, with year round activities, everything from water slides in the summer to snow-tubing in the winter. Not only does it provide enjoyment for residents, but it’s also a profitable tourist park. The new chalet/lodge is a profitable venture, used for everything from business meetings to private parties. The Rotary Park trail is completed and many residents from New Sudbury now bicycle to work in the downtown. The trails are filled with families out for a safe bicycling experience. More and more people are getting out to enjoy sports year-round.

With plenty of access to recreational, medical, cultural and shopping facilities, Sudbury is attracting seniors from all across the North who want to enjoy an urban lifestyle. Our Handi-Transit system is the best in Canada and our city is supremely senior-friendly.

The new medical school and hospital are attracting medical professionals from around the world and every single resident enjoys the services of a family doctor. More and more specialists are locating here, too, due to the excellent work of our recruitment program, as well as our research facilities.

Transition hasn’t always been smooth, but each “former town” is now fully harmonized into our greater city and has built on its own strengths to attract visitors and to create wonderful residential communities. There is a lot of pride and it shows everywhere. More than ever, these areas are developing their own vibrant community action networks, neighbours are helping neighbours and participating in beautification and recreational projects in their own backyards.

The young, who have often left to be educated, are now coming back, bringing their expertise with them and realizing that Sudbury is one of the most temperate, safe and friendly cities in Canada- a great place to raise a family. It is a “healthy community” that cares for each and every one of its citizens and provides an environment that gives everyone an opportunity to enjoy an excellent quality of life.

So, do we care what others say about us? No. We are the sons and daughters of miners and pioneers and we are proud of it. We love our rocks and trees and wouldn’t think of leaving this unique lifestyle for the problems of overpopulation, traffic and crime.

We have simply made the decision to build the city we want. It’s not hard. It only takes the will of the people, some organization around a purpose and a common goal. I, for one, am looking forward to my next 996 days.


Lynne Reynolds is a City Councillor in Ward 6.
If you are interested in participating in building your community, you can call your councillor to volunteer. In Ward 6, Lynne’s number is 524-0070.

 

    

 

 

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