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
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outdated 50-year old facilities that are energy guzzlers and are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
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
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
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