Greater Sudbury (2011 census population 160,274) is a city in Ontario, Canada, which was founded following the discovery of nickel ore by Tom Flanagan, a Canadian Pacific Railway blacksmith in 1883, when the transcontinental railway was near completion. Greater Sudbury was formed in 2001 by merging the cities and towns of the former Regional Municipality of Sudbury with several previously unincorporated geographic townships. It is the largest city in Northern Ontario by population and the 24th largest metropolitan area in Canada. By land area, it is the largest city in Ontario and the seventh largest municipality by area in Canada. Sudbury, as it is commonly known, is administratively separate and thus not part of any district, county, or regional municipality.
Sudbury has a humid continental climate with warm and often hot summers and long, cold, snowy winters. The population resides in an urban core and many smaller communities scattered around 300 lakes and among hills of rock blackened by historical smelting activity. Sudbury was once a major lumber centre and a world leader in nickel mining. Mining and related industries dominated the economy for much of the 20th century. The two major mining companies which shaped the history of Sudbury were Inco, now Vale, which employed more than 25% of the population by the 1970s, and Falconbridge, now Glencore. Sudbury has since expanded from its resource-based economy to emerge as the major retail, economic, health and educational centre for Northeastern Ontario. Sudbury is also home to a large Franco-Ontarian population that influences its arts and culture.
The Sudbury region was sparsely inhabited by the Ojibwe people of the Algonquin group as early as 9000 years ago following the retreat of the last continental ice sheet.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Sudbury, Greater )〕 The land was first occupied by Europeans when the Jesuits established a mission called Sainte-Anne-des-Pins just before the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1883. The Sainte-Anne-des-Pins church played a prominent role in the development of Franco-Ontarian culture in the region.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Sainte-Anne des Pines )〕
During construction of the railway in 1883, blasting and excavation revealed high concentrations of nickel-copper ore at Murray Mine on the edge of the Sudbury Basin. This discovery brought the first waves of European settlers, who arrived not only to reap the benefits of the mines, but also to build a service station for railway workers.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Greater Sudbury History )〕
The community was named for Sudbury, Suffolk, in England, which was the hometown of Canadian Pacific Railway commissioner James Worthington's wife.〔Thomas, Ray and Pearsall, Kathy (1994). ''Sudbury''. Boston Mills Press. ISBN 978-1-55046-110-7.〕 Sudbury was incorporated as a town in 1893, and its first mayor was Stephen Fournier.〔Wallace, C. M.; & Thomson, Ashley (Eds.) (1993). ''Sudbury: Rail Town to Regional Capital'' (3rd ed.). Dundurn Press. ISBN 978-1-55002-170-7.〕
Thomas Edison visited the Sudbury area as a prospector in 1901, and is credited with the original discovery of the ore body at Falconbridge〔(Thomas Edison ) at Greater Sudbury Heritage Museums. sudburymuseums.ca〕 and rich deposits of nickel sulphide ore were discovered in the Sudbury Basin geological formation. The construction of the railway allowed exploitation of these mineral resources as well as large-scale lumber extraction.〔
Mining began to replace lumber as the primary industry as improvements to the area's transportation network, including trams, made it possible for workers to live in one community and work in another.〔 Sudbury’s economy was dominated by the mining industry for much of the 20th century. Two major mining companies were created: Inco in 1902 and Falconbridge in 1928. They became two of the city’s major employers and two of the world's leading producers of nickel.
Through the decades that followed, Sudbury's economy went through boom and bust cycles as world demand for nickel fluctuated. Demand was high during the First World War when Sudbury-mined nickel was used extensively in the manufacturing of artillery in Sheffield, England. It bottomed out when the war ended and then rose again in the mid-1920s as peacetime uses for nickel began to develop. The town was reincorporated as a city in 1930. The city recovered from the Great Depression much more quickly than almost any other city in North America due to increased demand for nickel in the 1930s. Sudbury was the fastest-growing city and one of the wealthiest cities in Canada for most of the decade. Many of the city's social problems in the Great Depression era were not caused by unemployment or poverty, but due to the difficulty in keeping up with all of the new infrastructure demands created by rapid growth — for example, even employed mineworkers sometimes ended up living in boarding houses or makeshift shanty towns, because demand for new housing was rising faster than supply.〔 Between 1936 and 1941, the city was ordered into receivership by the Ontario Municipal Board.〔 Another economic slowdown affected the city in 1937, but the city's fortunes rose again during the Second World War. The Frood Mine alone accounted for 40 percent of all the nickel used in Allied artillery production during the war. After the end of the war, Sudbury was in a good position to supply nickel to the United States government when it decided to stockpile non-Soviet supplies during the Cold War.〔
Compounded by open coke beds in the early to mid 20th century and logging for fuel, the area suffered a near-total loss of native vegetation. Consequently, the region became blanketed with exposed rocky outcrops permanently stained charcoal black, first by the air pollution from the roasting yards then by the acid rain in a layer which penetrates up to three inches into the once pink-gray granite. The construction of the Inco Superstack in 1972 dispersed sulphuric acid over a much wider area, reducing the acidity of local precipitation and enabling the city to begin an environmental recovery program. In the late 1970s, private and public interests combined to establish a "regreening" effort. Lime was spread over the charred soil by hand and by aircraft. Seeds of wild grasses and other vegetation were also spread. As of 2010, 9.2 million new trees have been planted in the city.〔(Annual Report 2010 ), City of Greater Sudbury Land Reclamation Program.〕 Vale has begun to rehabilitate the slag heaps that surrounding their smelter in the Copper Cliff area with the planting of grass and trees.〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Vale Community-based Initiatives )〕
In 1978, the workers of Sudbury's largest mining corporation, Inco (now Vale), embarked on a strike over production and employment cutbacks. The strike, which lasted for nine months, badly damaged Sudbury's economy and spurred the city government to launch a project to diversify the city's economy. Through an aggressive strategy, the city tried to attract new employers and industries through the 1980s and 1990s.〔
The city of Sudbury and its suburban communities, which were reorganized into the Regional Municipality of Sudbury in 1973, was subsequently merged in 2001 into the single-tier city of Greater Sudbury. In 2006, both of the city's major mining companies, Canadian-based Inco and Falconbridge, were taken over by new owners: Inco was acquired by the Brazilian company CVRD (now renamed Vale), while Falconbridge was purchased by the Swiss company Xstrata which itself was purchased by Anglo–Swiss Glencore forming Glencore Xstrata. Xstrata donated the historic Edison Building, the onetime head office of Falconbridge, to the city in 2007 to serve as the new home of the municipal archives.〔("Xstrata Nickel donates building to City of Greater Sudbury for community archives" )〕 On September 19, 2008, a fire destroyed the historic Sudbury Steelworkers Hall on Frood Road. A strike at Vale's operations, which began on July 13, 2009, and saw a tentative resolution announced on July 5, 2010,〔("Vale reaches deal with workers at Sudbury nickel mine" ). ''The Gazette'', July 5, 2010.〕 lasted longer than the devastating 1978 strike, but had a much more modest effect on the city's economy than the earlier action—the local rate of unemployment ''declined'' slightly during the strike.〔Adam Radwanski, ("Why Sudbury is an unlikely magnet for global education" ). ''The Globe and Mail'', August 20, 2010.〕
The ecology of the Sudbury region has recovered dramatically, helped by regreening programs and improved mining practices. The United Nations honoured twelve cities in the world, including Sudbury, with the Local Government Honours Award at the 1992 Earth Summit honouring the city's community-based environmental reclamation strategies. By 2010, the regreening programs had successfully rehabilitated 3,350 hectares of land in the city; however, approximately 30,000 hectares of land have yet to be rehabilitated.
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