Photo: Bryan Dearsley / LuxuryOntario
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The largest city in Northern Ontario both in terms of population and area, Greater Sudbury has successfully reinvented itself as one of the best places to visit in the province. While once known for its infamous black rock, the exposed Canadian Shield was scarred and scoured by decades of pollution from its mining and smelter operations. Largely devoid of trees and vegetation, it was, many said at the time, more like a moonscape than an Ontario landscape.
Fast forward to today and not only has that infamous black rock all but disappeared under a lush canopy of trees and other vegetation, but the city’s inspiring clean-up and rejuvenation has led to unprecedented interest among tourists interested in experiencing this remarkable transformation for themselves.
Topping most visitor’s lists of fun stuff to do in Sudbury is the chance to enjoy the many outdoor activities it has to offer. Enjoy watersports? With over 300 lakes on its doorsteps, some of them ranking as the largest bodies of water within city limits in Canada, Greater Sudbury is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts, boaters, kayakers, and canoeists. Bikers and hikers are also catered to here with endless miles of trails to explore.
Sudbury has also done a first-rate job of encouraging visitors to explore its geological landmarks, too, with Science North doing a stellar job of explaining it while Dynamic North deals with how it has been put to use.
Find out more about these and other top Sudbury attractions with our list of the endless fun stuff to do in Sudbury.
Ideas and Inspiration: Fun Stuff To Do In Sudbury
Get Smart at a Sudbury Museum
Sudbury is home to not just one, but two amazing world-class museums: Science North and Dynamic Earth. One of the top attractions in Ontario, Science North’s unique snowflake-shaped building houses a vast collection of interactive, hands-on exhibits suitable for young and old to explore, detailing topics as diverse as the human body to the mysteries of the universe, and pretty much everything in between.
Make sure you also visit the on-site IMAX theatre and digital planetarium, both of which offer thrilling visuals to further expand your understanding of the world (and the planets) around you.
You can’t miss Dynamic Earth thanks to its being home to Sudbury’s famous Nig Nickel. The city’s top selfie spot, this giant five-cent piece was built in 1964 as an exact replica of a nickel coin from 1951 and celebrates the city’s status as home to one of the world’s largest nickel mines. The science center came much later and does an excellent job of explaining how mining and minerals work.
Hands-on exhibits and interactive displays unveil the processes of ore extraction, mineral exploration, and the technological advancements that revolutionized the mining industry. In Sudbury and across the globe. A fun mine tour reveals the conditions miners faced down the centuries right up to the present day.
Savour Sudbury’s Delicious Food Experiences
Laughing Buddha has been serving tasty fresh grub in Sudbury for over 13 years (Photo: Bryan Dearsley / LuxuryOntario)
Foodie fans are definitely in for a treat when they visit Sudbury. Topping most lists of the best restaurants in Sudbury are a few that I was lucky enough to sample firsthand, including:
- Verdicchio Ristorante – Priding itself on its tasty “progressive” Italian cuisine, Verdicchio’s offerings are certainly a match to anything you’d get in places like Toronto… or heck, even Italy for that matter; a mushroom fan, I chose the Insalata di funghi for a starter, followed by grigliata di Vitello, a mouth-wateringly good veal chop; visit https://verdicchio.ca to learn more
- Di Gusto Wood Fired Pizza, Fresh Pasta & Wine Bar – While famous for its wood-fired pizzas and fresh pasta, I went for the braised short rib which came with a delicious mushroom red pepper demi-glace risotto that was big enough to share; visit https://digusto.ca for details.
- Bella Vita Cucina – Continuing the trend for Italian food, this family-run eatery has been around since 2008 and prides itself on the authenticity of its always fresh, always home-made dishes; favourites include its delicious veal scaloppini and chicken Valdosta, along with its steaks and chops; visit their website at bellavitacucina.ca.
- Laughing Buddha – More than 13 years since it opened this quality eatery serves stone-baked pizzas with tasty, healthy toppings, along with hummus, soups, salads, and sandwiches, all made with fresh ingredients and prepared daily; a range of vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan dishes are always available. If it’s warm enough enjoy your meal on their large back patio. Visit www.thelaughingbuddhasudbury.com.
Prefer something fast and altogether more casual? Ask any Subdbarian and they’ll insist you try their famous “one arch” burger joint, Deluxe Hamburgers (which, ironically, is located directly across the street from McDonald’s). Be sure to try their fries and gravy, and they do a decent (and fast) breakfast, too.
Healthier take-out fair that’s perfect for a picnic can be picked up at Regency Bakery & Deli or Golden Grain Bakery.
Sample the Sudbury Beer and Spirits Scene
Sudbury’s brewery industry, while small, is certainly good. Topping my (albeit short) list, 46 North Brewing Corp, was founded in 2019 and in that time has tried its hand at brewing over 200 different beers with something new always on the go. Founded by Graham Orser and his wife Holli Bernier, it was Graham whom I met and enjoyed a tour with the summer evening I visited. And he’s a busy guy, filling the roles of brewmaster, canning, sales, delivery, and, of course, tour guide.
With beers as quirky as their names (and the fellow that makes them), it was summer, so I settled on sampling Orser’s Italian Pilsner. Made specifically for the above-mentioned Di Guzzo pizza parlour, it was crisp, light, extremely refreshing, and made with local spring water. In need of a snack to go with that awesome beer? 46 North’s go-to treat is the famous Nathan’s Famous premium hot dogs, shipped in specially from California and, according to Orser, the “best hot dog on the planet.”
My only regret? Well, the simple fact that 46 North Brewing’s beers aren’t as yet available from my local LCBO. That said, they are however available online from their website, https://46north.ca.
Sudbury’s other brewery, Stack Brewing, has been around since 2013 and produces a range of beers available from their premises, their website, and select LCBOs.
Fans of stronger spirits will want to pop a few doors down from 46 North to Crosscut Distillery. Opened in 2018 and the passion project of owner Shane Prodan, Crosscut has made a name for its superb gins and vodkas, often aged in oak barrels sourced from Kentucky.
Given added flavour from locally sourced, (sometimes foraged) ingredients, Prodan’s team also uses their own products in their on-site cocktail bar, a fun place to hang out with its comfortable sofas.