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City of Greater Sudbury Tourism

A Destination City

“Our kids loved Dynamic Earth and Science North, and we loved the price! There are not many places a family of four can vacation without saving for months or years but this one was very affordable. It was a great trip and I have already suggested it to friends!”

Greater Sudbury evolves as a ‘must visit’ city.

Since the opening of Science North in 1984 and the addition of Dynamic Earth in 2003, Sudbury Tourism has become a serious player in the north’s tourism industry and a significant contributor to the local economy. The city has gone from being a one-day stopover for visitors traveling through the north to one whose attractions encouraged overnight stays.

By 2008, over 62% of the 852,000 total visits were overnight stays. The number of major hotel properties increased substantially and occupancy rates reflected the city’s growth as a tourist destination– 66% in 2010 compared with 59% in 2009. This outperformed both provincial and national hotel occupancy rates of 58.8% and 59.2% respectively.

Total visitor spending in 2009 for Greater Sudbury was $174,823,000. This represents 579,000 overnight visits and 393,000 same day visits during the same period. (Source: Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture 2009 Travel Survey).

Today, Greater Sudbury delivers a bilingual tourism product that includes world-class attractions, high calibre accommodations and unique events and activities for all types of travelers. Coupled with the area’s all-season, outdoor playground, it’s little wonder Greater Sudbury is so widely recognized as the leading stay-over destination for Northern Ontario’s tourism sector.

The science of tourism.

While Greater Sudbury may be known more for the Big Nickel, there is no doubt Science North, the popular science centre, and its sister attraction, Dynamic Earth, have put the city on the tourism map. Science North’s unique key offerings include hands-on science fun, 3D IMAX theatres and its new state-of-the-art Digital Planetarium. Dynamic Earth is an innovative mining and geology centre that invites visitors to explore the planet beneath the surface. It features an underground tour, a mining command centre, the Xstrata Nickel Gallery and a miniature multi-level mine for kids.

The impact of these two world-class attractions on Sudbury’s tourism sector continues to grow. Following the renovation of the third floor Northern Ecosystems exhibit at Science North in Spring 2011 – the largest renovation in the history of the science centre – admission numbers for both Science North and Dynamic Earth topped 165,333 in the same year.

In addition to Science North, two other core attractions are enticing visitors to Sudbury. Sudbury Downs OLG Slots gaming facility is the only racetrack slots facility north of Barrie. The New Sudbury shopping district features the New Sudbury Centre, with its 110 stores and services, and The Millennium Centre, which features many of Canada’s favourite big brand stores and services such as Costco, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Golf Town, Toys R Us and Silver City Multiplex Cinemas.

Places to go. Things to do.

When visitors are looking beyond the core attractions, Sudbury’s list of artistic and cultural events and activities seems never-ending. Visit to start planning your trip.

Here’s just a sample of what visitors can enjoy:


  • Northern Lights Festival Boréal is one of Canada’s longest-running music and performing arts festivals and attracts thousands to the shores of Lake Ramsey every July.


  • Sudbury Theatre Centre is professional theatre in a modern, 287-seat facility where patrons enjoy the best in live drama, comedy and musical stage productions.


  • La Nuit sur l’Étang usually runs in March as Ontario’s best francophone musical artists take to the stage annually for an evening of music.


  • Art Gallery of Sudbury is located in Sudbury’s historic Bell Mansion and hosts both local and travelling art exhibitions that challenge and enlighten visitors.


  • Le Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario is an award winning professional theatre company that has dedicated itself to the creation of new Franco-Ontarian stage works for the benefit of its community.


  • Sudbury Symphony Orchestra is a regional sensation. The toughest part about attending its performances is scoring tickets. Thankfully, that is much easier since they moved into a larger, modern auditorium, doubling audience capacity.


  • Science North IMAX Festival is a popular winter event that attracts both residents and visitors to a week of larger-than-life, giant film screenings

A natural attraction.

Surrounded by pristine northern boreal forest and an abundance of lake and rivers, Greater Sudbury’s natural assets contribute to its success as a preferred Ontario destination. There are over 300 lakes within the city limits and campers can choose from nine full service Provincial Parks that are just a short drive away. More than 200 kilometres of hiking trails and 1,300 kilometres of snowmobile trails offer year-round opportunities for enjoying the city’s natural amenities.

Getting here is easy. Staying is easier.

Situated on the Trans Canada Highway junction that connects all directions, Greater Sudbury’s central location ensures easy access by land and air. It is 480 kilometres west of Ottawa and 390 kilometres north of Toronto. With the ongoing four-laning of highway 69 (400), access to Sudbury from tourism markets in the south is being dramatically improved. Air Canada, Bearskin Airlines and Porter Air provide multiple departures each day to Toronto, Ottawa and locations across the north. Greater Sudbury is also served by two VIA Rail services – The Canadian (transcontinental) and The Lake Superior (local).

From international, full-service hotel chains with over 100 employees to family run Bed & Breakfast enterprises, Greater Sudbury has close to 90 accommodation establishments. Four recent additions include hotels by Hilton and Marriott.

The future of Sudbury tourism.

The City of Greater Sudbury and its tourism partners spend approximately $450,000 a year on marketing. Beginning in 2011, that budget is being augmented by a three-year, $950,000 Regional Tourism Organization (RTO) 13A campaign directed at key target markets. RTO 13A includes much of Northeastern Ontario including Sudbury.

Sudbury Tourism says the campaign will draw more attention to the Sudbury experience. “The goal of the campaign is to help attract more visitors, generate more economic activity, and create more jobs in the region including Greater Sudbury’s tourism sector.”