Resources for Entrants

Base Drawings - City of Greater Sudbury Urban Core

These base drawings are being made available for the use of the entrants, at their discretion. It is not mandatory that they be used. The base drawings include a 3D model of the City of Greater Sudbury’s urban core and 2D drawings of a larger area around the urban core.

The original base drawing was produced by the City of Greater Sudbury and has been edited for ease of use in various architectural programs. Rhinoceros 6 was used to produce these files and therefore is the most compatible program with which to use these base drawings. However, there are various file types included to meet the needs of various users.

The files included here are:

  1. a.3dm (Rhino 5) file which includes a 2D base drawing, a Nurbs 3D model
    (from meshes), and a mesh 3D model. (intended for use in Rhino)
  2. a .dwg 3D model which includes a 2D base drawing and a mesh 3D model.
    (intended for import into Sketchup and 3D CAD)
  3. a .dwg 2D model which includes only a 2D base drawing. (intended for
    import into 2D CAD or Adobe Illustrator)
  4. a PDF of the 2D base drawing at 1:2500 scale.

Please note that these files were developed largely in Rhino and therefore might not be compatible with all programs and they will all need some degree of cleanup. The Sudbury 2050 Competition sponsor does not take any responsibility for inaccuracies in the model. Please use them at your own risk.

Northern Ontario

The Canadian Shield stretches from the Yukon, across Northern Ontario and Quebec, into Newfoundland, and even across to Greenland. It has made Northern Ontario into a renowned reservoir of minerals, forests and freshwater lakes. The Boreal forest is a valuable resource for the lumber industry and has more recently gained significant attention for its effect on reducing global warming. For more than a century, Northern Ontario companies have been world leaders and innovators in processing and exporting resources from the rich Canadian Shield.

Northern Ontario covers 800,000 and is comprised of vast natural resources, thousands of lakes, provincial parks, fisheries, and natural wilderness areas that are considered to be among the most beautiful in the world. Although it represents 90% of Ontario’s landmass, Northern Ontario contains only 6% of the Provincial population.

The majority of the Northern population is found in the urban centres – Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Timmins, North Bay, and Sudbury. Over 147,000 (29%) of the Province’s Francophone population resides in Northern Ontario, as well as 106 of the 134 provincial First Nations communities.

Major Projects proposed for the urban core

The City is working on many fronts to strengthen its position as the Northern Ontario centre for mining technology innovation, health research, governance, finance, retail and entertainment services and higher education.

The City is in an unprecedented position of having an impressive roster of new building projects being proposed for the urban core: a relocated main library, a relocated art gallery, a new convention/performance centre, associated hotel and parking structures, as well as major residential developments.

Each project prompts complex questions related to urban infrastructure, design and architecture.

This link provides information on other strategies such PowerNow Greater Sudbury (Community Energy and Emissions Plan), Transit Action Plan and Watershed Studies; the Large Projects (i.e. Place des Arts, Junction and Arena) and Downtown Master Plan Projects (e.g. Elgin Greenway, Brady Green Stairs, Tom Davies Square Courtyard).

Place des Arts (PdA)

A new Francophone Arts Centre, Place des Arts is currently under construction in the downtown core on the corner of Elgin and Larch streets. Place des Arts will be the first multidisciplinary arts centre in Northeastern Ontario. A focal point for Greater Sudbury, this multipurpose cultural centre is a contemporary arts and culture facility for Francophones and for the entire community.

The cultural complex will feature:

  • a 299 fixed-seating theatre,
  • a multifunctional studio,
  • a contemporary art gallery,
  • a youth zone,
  • an early childhood artistic centre,
  • a bistro
  • a boutique bookstore and
  • office spaces and meeting room.

Place des Arts will offer 850 cultural activities presented annually and is expected to attract 50,000 visitors to the urban core each year. Services will be provided in French and English.

The official opening is set for 2020.

The Junction

This project will accommodate a new main Library, a new Art Gallery and the potential for a Convention/Performance Centre.

The Library-Art Gallery will provide vital public space for people to gather and connect, to learn and share ideas, and to inspire creativity. The Working Groups for the Library / Art Gallery and the Convention/ Performance Centre have decided to create a unified identity for the site and they have chosen “The Junction” as its name for the following reasons:

  • Definition is “a point where two or more things converge”
  • It speaks to what the projects are striving for
  • It is broad enough to capture the activities of the site
  • Junction Creek runs just north of the site
  • The streets Elgin, Minto and Van Horne create an intersection or junction
  • The Sudbury Junction (1883) was the original name of the Canadian Pacific train station that is across the street from the selected site

This City owned and operated new downtown facility envisions a building that is 61,800 sq. ft. of which 43,800 sq. ft. would be dedicated to the public Library and 18,000 sq. ft is dedicated space for the Art Gallery of Sudbury. While the two institutions will be sharing space in one building they will continue to have two distinct identities with separate missions, governance, staffing structures and sources of operating revenues.

The City has issued a request for proposal for architectural services for Library/Art Gallery project. The selection of a consultant team is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2020. The initial programming and community consultation work of the successful consultant team will be occurring at the same time that the Sudbury 2050 Urban Design Ideas Competition is being completed. The results of this competition will be able to inform the ongoing work of the consultants for this project.

The tier three Convention / Performance Centre will be a unique multi-use convention centre and performance facility. This City owned facility envisions a 60,500 sq. ft. building that includes 19,500 sq. ft. of rental space, with a 13,000 sq. ft. main plenary/live performance hall featuring 950 theatre-style seats. At this size, the Greater Sudbury Convention and Performance Centre could effectively compete with other tier 3 convention centres and regional event venues for large convention and conference groups in excess of 300 people, with trade show capacity and banquets of up to 900 persons.

The estimated building costs for the Library/Art Gallery is $46.5 million and the Convention and Performance Centre building cost is estimated at $63 million.


The City’s Affordable Housing Strategy

The City of Greater Sudbury is committed to promoting an appropriate range of housing types, sizes and densities, including affordable housing, to maintain and enhance a healthy and complete community.

The City is working on an affordable housing strategy targeted towards seniors and those who have low incomes in order to address gaps and support population health through affordable housing options.

The affordable housing strategy will focus on:

  • innovative affordable housing options
  • removal of barriers to the housing development process
  • development incentives
  • using surplus municipal property to increase affordable housing options

The Brewer Lofts

A unique opportunity is being pursued with a historical brewery building located on Lorne Street, at the west edge of the downtown core. The goal for this project is to repurpose the historic building to provide a new standard for condominium living in Sudbury.

Sudbury Affordable Living Housing Project

This affordable housing project overlooks the downtown core. The project is structured as two multiple-dwelling buildings with a maximum of 826 units.

Reclaiming brownfield sites - the rail lands

For decades there have been campaigns to have the City of Greater Sudbury’s Canadian Pacific (CP) rail yard re-developed. The 21-hectare parcel of land (52 acres) could be re-developed into a combination of recreational, residential and commercial space. Various groups have proposed that one rail line remain in the downtown to allow for public rail transit at some point in the future.

People believe that removing the rail yard and relocating it to industrial land elsewhere in the community is key to the future of Sudbury’s urban core.

To learn more, please consult the documents below.

Arena/ Event Centre

The existing arena in Sudbury is located in the urban core. The building was opened in 1951 and studies have determined that it needs to be rejuvenated and enlarged. The proposed new Arena/Event Centre will have:

  • 5,800 seats as a sporting venue
  • capacity for 6,500 for concerts

The current Sudbury Community Arena has:

  • 4,610 seats and capacity for 5,100 during concerts

The cost of the project is presently estimated at $100 million.

There have been various studies, student projects, and community driven projects focused on the design and location for a new arena. The location ultimately selected by City Council is outside of the urban core, on the Kingsway, east of Sudbury. The project has been named the Kingsway Entertainment District (KED). 11 The proposed location for this project has been very controversial in the community and there are a number of legal appeals underway. Within the community, there remains significant interest in locating the project in the urban core (or repurposing the existing building).

In the context of this Urban Design Ideas Competition, entries should reflect the potential for a vibrant arena project to be revisited within the urban core.

Challenges and planning context

Regenerative design and the Living Community Challenge - creating a net zero energy urban core by 2050

As an extension of Jason McLennan’s Living Building Challenge (LBC), the Living Future Challenge should be referenced for the competition submissions.

How do we create communities that are good for everyone?

The Living Community Challenge is a framework for master planning, design, and construction. It is a tool to create a symbiotic relationship between people and all aspects of the built environment.

The program is a call to action to governments, campuses, planners, developers and neighborhood groups to create communities that are as connected and beautiful as a forest.

The Living Future Challenge compiles multiple criteria in different aspects of design such as net zero buildings, eliminating red list products in the built environment, and creating environmentally balanced communities.

Climate Change Adaptation - the City’s climate change Emergency

The City of Greater Sudbury Council has recently declared a climate emergency.

Greater Sudbury’s Community Energy and Emissions Plan (CEEP) follows from decades of energy and emissions reduction initiatives in the community and responds to City Council’s May 28, 2019 Climate Emergency declaration.

As a climate change mitigation plan, it parallels the City’s climate change adaptation planning efforts. The CEEP uses energy, emissions, land-use, and financial modelling to determine the community-wide efforts required to meet a 2050 net-zero emissions target. The Plan also describes the efforts required to meet an 80% of 2016 emissions levels reduction target by 2050 for comparison.

The next chapter in Sudbury’s internationally recognized regreening strategy

2018 marked the 40th anniversary of the City of Greater Sudbury’s Regreening Program which has focused on rehabilitating Sudbury’s landscape and watersheds. From 1978 to 2018, over 3,400 hectares of land were rejuvenated and over 9.7 million trees have been planted. The City of Greater Sudbury’s regreening efforts have received considerable recognition throughout the community, province, country as well as internationally.

The challenge for this competition is to create a vision for how the next stage of regreening should occur in the urban core.

The City’s Regreening Program:

The role of wood and Northern Ontario’s forestry

Can the Northern Ontario forestry industry contribute to the fight against climate change?

Wood is not something to use and throw away or burn. It is a flow of wealth produced by our forests and a legacy we leave our children. Wood is something we in the North contribute to the world, and there is a need to help the world learn to cherish it.

Attracting and Retaining Culture - a city of lakes, a winter city

The City of Greater Sudbury contains the two largest lakes in the world within a single city boundary – Lake Wanapitei and Ramsey Lake. The City also contains over 350 other lakes. This amount of water supports many natural habitats, ecosystems, and wildlife. It also provides a recreational and unique travel opportunity for residents of the city. The community takes pride in using its water all year round, through watercraft, ice hockey, skating, and fishing.

Snow in Sudbury usually starts at the end of October, and is usually still on the ground in early April. This long lasting winter is important to consider in any design, as it affects construction, building designs, transportation, and many other activities that warmer climates do not need to consider. The people of Sudbury utilize this long season to enjoy winter activities such as hiking, skiing, ice fishing, skating, ice hockey, sledding, and more. During the main winter months, the sun sets from 4:30-6:30 pm, creating a somber reality to people who work during the day. Winter doesn’t pause the city, it’s just a change that is managed by all who reside there.

With Laurentian University, Cambrian College, and College Boréal, Sudbury has a large student population. This population is made up of Sudbury residents, students from areas of Northern Ontario without post-secondary opportunities, students from Southern Ontario, and international students. As one of the global capitals of mining, Sudbury offers hands-on experience in that field for many educational programs.

Sudbury’s aging population is increasing quickly. In 2016, the median age of the population was 41 years old, which is slightly higher than the province’s median. With the aging population comes the need for retirement homes, hospital services, and accessible transportation. Winter becomes an interesting barrier for some of this population, as it can take away the enjoyment of the outdoors. Leisure is forced to take place indoors and can create solitary environments for members of this population.

The arts in Sudbury is thriving, especially in the urban core. The arts culture downtown has brought a yearly arts festival called UP HERE fest, inspiring and involving the population of Sudbury in a colourful way. Another movement made by the arts culture is covering downtown structures with murals. Building walls are transformed into new and creative viewpoints for the city. Just last year Sudbury became home to Canada’s biggest mural, created by RISK, on the facade of the former St. Joseph’s hospital.

Adaptive reuse of existing buildings

The development of the projects proposed for the core will potentially vacate buildings, such as the existing Main Public Library and the existing Community Arena.

The logic for keeping, maintaining and reusing existing buildings is significant. The benefits of reuse range from the intangible benefits of preserving heritage to maintaining cultural identity to providing measurable economic and environmental advantages. The potential and value of the existing building stock has to be recognized as part of sustainable development. Sustainable development concerns not only environmental targets but also economic, social and cultural ones. In recent years there has been a growing body of literature, studies and reports supporting the value of historic and existing buildings, in building sustainable communities.


There are many varying forms of transportation in Sudbury. Publicly the most used form of transportation is the GOVA bus system. The transit terminal is located downtown on Cedar Street. This is the main terminal and this location connects all the bus lines and allows passengers to transfer and catch busses in one spot. The bus routes connect the core of the City to the majority of the outlying communities. Students and the aging population are the largest percentage of users of this system, as well as those residents whose residence or workplace does not provide parking.

The City of Greater Sudbury (CGS) planning information

CGS Reports, Studies, Policies and Plans – Corporate Strategic Plan, Official
Plan, Economic Development Strategic Plan, Watershed Study and Master Plan,
Water/Wastewater Master Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Biodiversity Strategic Plan,
Cultural Plan, Downtown Master Plan and Population Health Call to Action:

Frequently Asked Questions

Get quick answers to frequently asked questions. We will be updating our Frequently Asked Questions section as questions arise.