Sudbury is part of our World-Schooling?
Sudbury is the biggest city in Northern Ontario, by population which stands at over 160,000, according to Wikipedia. My biggest problem with this, is that it's not even close to Northern Ontario... It's quite central if you look at a map, but I digress!
Nickel mining (Vale and Glencore Xstrata) and forestry being the pillars and foundation of this city, it's easy to see how some people would call it, the Hamilton of the North (or was that just me today?). A very industrialized city with a high demand for nickel made the Great Depression much more bearable, to the point where demand for housing was greater than the supply, meaning my miners had to live in make shift homes (shanty towns), just to be able to go to work.
Diversification is quite strong as there was a strong Algonquin Group presence before the French Jesuits came in with their religion, Maple Syrup and the mission of Sainte-Anne-des-Pins (if these words seem a little weird, it's because they're French), which developed the Franco-Ontarian culture, I bet they even invented the poutine back in the day...
Geography & Climate
The geography and climate are very simple, bring a canoe and a North Face parka or stay home...
As for sports, it's either hockey or curling, you pick! The Sudbury Wolves has seen their share of NHL players over the years (Mike, Nick and Marcus Foligno, Pat Verbeek, Dale Hunter (le p'tit Jesus de plâtre) and the flowing locks of the handsome and speedy Ron DuGuay, just to name a few) and the curling community was served well with the Brier and the Scott Tournament of Hearts. Trust me, curling is kind of a big deal here (HAAAAAARD)!
Before leaving Sudbury, it'd be rude to not stop at the Big Nickel and take a few photos and learn about the mining industry... Or so we thought. When arriving at Dynamic Earth Museum (owned by Science North/Science Education Centre), parking is $6 (not bad...), you take your customary angled picture where it looks like you're holding the Big Nickel (the Canadian version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa). Once you enter the museum, is where things got a little more interesting. First, it's $22/adult and $18/child over the age of 3 ($18 for every child over 3 years of age, just thought it needed to be repeated since when I was first told, I thought the young lady at the cash was kidding). Apparently, the underground guided tour is pretty epic so I asked if a 3 and 5 year old would appreciate it and she did say, that kids under 4 years old, probably wouldn't understand (but yet, they charge for 3 years old and up... how do I explained the confused face a gave her?). Needless to say, with my kids acting out that morning and refusing to listen to anything but the sound of their screams, we did not pay $80 to walk through the history of the mining industry with two children that wouldn't have appreciated anything. Obviously, I stayed very polite with the young lady since she doesn't make the prices. I respectfully declined and thank her for her time and honesty.
Luckily, the young man (the Ed Sheehan look-a-like) at the parking gate said that if we returned within 45 minutes, he'd reimburse our $6 parking, which he did! Thanks Ed. In recap, we didn't pay a dime and got some nice pictures of the Big Nickel. We lied to our kids about finding another park to play since the playground outside the Science North Centre was closing for repairs and we hit the road back home.
I do believe that we can now all agree, the most impressive contribution that Sudbury has brought to all of our lives is... Alex Trebek!
On a side note, we spent the night at the Lexington Hotel on Brady St (Go Blue!) and had the pleasure of waking up to a yummy breakfast (which was included in our stay) and our truck being broken into. Let's not be alarmed, I'm using the term "broken into" very loosely. My lovely, amazing wife went back into the truck, the night before to get our diffuser (essential oils always help us sleep) and forgot to lock the truck. After searching to see what was missing, we realized that it wasn't that bad, a car charger, a few coins and our gum (our gum? Really?). They even left my boy's Birth Certificate and Passport, they didn't see the future winning lottery tickets on the driver's side, thank God. As we were about to leave, is when I realized that they stole our 12-pack of LandShark beer.... THAT DOES IT! NOW I'M MAD! You can steal my charger, gum (whatever Linus!) and all the cash you find but stealing my beer is VERY un-Canadian. Bad robbers, bad!
Conclusion, don't act like an amateur tourist, lock your doors at all times!