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City of Greater Sudbury Retail Sector

A Retail Renaissance

“An unprecedented growth in the retail sector continues. Development of the retail mix has distinguished this city of about 158,000 as the premier shopping destination for Northern Ontario”

Sudbury’s new economic powerhouse.

Greater Sudbury’s healthy retail sector has grown substantially over the past decade. As the largest city in Northern Ontario, Sudbury is the regional hub for retail. According to the Canadian Business Journal, Greater Sudbury boasts the highest retail sales per capita of metropolitan areas in Ontario.

Sudbury’s retail sector is a regional shopping destination servicing an area that extends across the northeast. It is strengthened by the continuing growth and diversification of the Downtown core, the expansion of the New Sudbury shopping district, and the South End with its addition of a Smart Centre, which includes a Walmart Super Store. Surrounding shopping districts continue to thrive with a unique and diverse small business culture, serving the outlying communities of Greater Sudbury. These include the former municipalities of Rayside Balfour, Onaping Falls, Walden, Valley East, Capreol, and Nickel Centre.

All this growth contributes to a stronger local economy. Total retail sales of more than $2,440.7 million in 2011 establishe Sudbury as the premier retail centre of Northeasern Ontario. Based on retail sales per capita, Greater Sudbury is ranked 15th of 39 Canadian urban markets with a population of 100,000 or more. When income per capita is compared across cities, the local market is ranked 20th of 33 census metropolitan areas.
Source: FP Markets CanadianDemographics 2011.

New Sudbury leads the way.

The success of the retail sector is a reflection of Greater Sudbury’s historic position as a trading and service hub. At the core of this retail hub is the city’s retail nerve centre, the New Sudbury shopping district, which encompasses the traditional New Sudbury Shopping Centre and surrounding stores as well as the recently developed Millennium Centre and Marcus Drive.

In total, this district encompasses close to 200 retail operations. Complementing the hundreds of millions of dollars invested in Greater Sudbury since the 1990s, the retail sector has continued to expand in New Sudbury with the location of stores such as Lowe’s, Best Buy and Toys R Us. This level of confidence in our retail sector solidifies Sudbury’s position as the retail capital of the north.

Downtown’s renewal.

The downtown area of the city has seen remarkable development recently. For decades, the downtown has lagged behind the suburban shopping districts in terms of retail activity however it has seen a dramatic and welcome revival. With arts and entertainment related businesses springing up, and a surge in retail investment throughout the downtown, the area has begun its rebirth as an important arts, culture and entertainment district.

Recent collaborative efforts led by the City of Greater Sudbury with Downtown Sudbury (Business Improvement Area) and the Downtown Village Development Corporation, have resulted in an exciting new master plan for the downtown. With the addition of the Laurentian University School of Architecture as a permanent anchor, the downtown will continue its transformation into a central place where people come to live, work, learn and of course, shop.

Looking forward.

If retail growth is based on the strength of the local economy, then Greater Sudbury’s retail sector has a bright future. Continued growth in strong mining and mining supply and services sectors leads the way. Maintaining a strong pace are the area’s education and health services sectors. Retail spending is also being generated through the tourism industry.

In 2009, the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture reported over 970,000 people visited Greater Sudbury and spent approximately $175 million, which in the context of total retail spending accounts for over seven percent. Visitors are coming from all over Canada, the USA and overseas to explore the vast natural resources, world renowned attractions and growing arts and culture community.

Just as the diversity of our City will continue to strengthen Greater Sudbury’s position as one of the best places to visit in Ontario, our retail sector will also continue to be an important part of the vision and growth of the community.