The former mining town of Sudbury is the largest city and unofficial capital of northern Ontario. Accordingly, it has been home to some of the region’s most famous residents, including Jeopardy host Alex Trebek. Visit Sudbury to admire its natural beauty, explore its famous museums and discover its interesting demographics; it features one of Canada’s largest French-speaking populations outside of Quebec.
Sudbury is spread out around a group of lakes; the largest is Lake Wanapitei. Closest to downtown Sudbury is Lake Ramsey. Enjoy its waterfront at Bell Park on the western shore. Take the walkway along the water or bike the lake’s 13-mile (21-kilometer) loop.
West of the park stands Science North, Sudbury’s most popular attraction. Explore the butterfly garden, see a movie in the IMAX theater or watch a presentation in the planetarium. Across town is Dynamic Earth, a museum based around geology and Sudbury’s mining history. See the Big Nickel out front, a 30-foot (9-meter) replica of a 1951 Canadian nickel memorializing Sudbury’s once-thriving nickel mining industry. Inside the museum, walk seven stories underground to find a tunnel with exhibits on mining techniques.
Sudbury’s artistic heritage is on display in its two main art museums. The Art Gallery of Sudbury is housed inside Bell Mansion, the stately 1907 manor of lumber mogul William Joseph Bell. Explore its collection of works by contemporary regional artists. See more contemporary local art at La Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario, a French-language museum representing Sudbury’s large Francophone population.
Revel in the outdoors in one of eight provincial parks within easy driving distance of Sudbury. The largest is Killarney Provincial Park, a 1.5-hour drive southwest. Killarney’s beauty is known throughout Canada because the famed Group of Seven painter, A.Y. Jackson, painted landscapes here. Head farther south to the picturesque shores of Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay.
Fly or make the 4-hour drive from Toronto to reach Sudbury. While its large population and quality museums will make you forget you’re in rural Ontario, the gorgeous natural areas nearby will surely remind you.