Canada has many great cities, and Sudbury, Ontario is a thriving city to consider when deciding where to live. Moving to Canada is a life-changing decision. It’s also a time to make important choices that will influence your life going forward. The biggest decision to make will be deciding where to settle.
But before you make your final decision, it’s important to research and compare cities. Looking at things like the cost of living, housing options, local economy, and even the climate can factor into your decision.
Sudbury is a smaller city in Northern, Ontario. The city is known as a world leader in nickel mining. It’s a bilingual community, with many residents speaking English and French. It is worth considering if you prefer the outdoors and nature as there are more than 300 lakes in the region.
So, if you’re considering Ontario, here’s a helpful guide and information about living in Sudbury.
About Sudbury, Ontario
Sudbury is located in Northern Ontario. The city has a large mining industry and is home to nine mines, mills, smelters, and a nickel refinery. It is known as the hard rock mining capital of the world. The city was built on lumber and the mining industry. But today, it has a much more diverse economy.
The city was originally inhabited by the Ojibwe people. In 1850, Ojibwe chiefs agreed to share a large part of the land with the British Crown, establishing the city. It was officially founded in 1883 and named Sudbury in 1893. The city and suburban communities were combined to become the Regional Municipality of Sudbury in 1973. In 2001, the following communities were merged to form the city of Greater Sudbury: Valley East, Rayside-Balfour, Nickel Centre, Copper Cliff, Walden, Lively, Onaping Falls, and Capreol.
The city is unique in many ways. It has over 300 lakes within the city limits. By land area, it is the largest city in Ontario and the fifth largest in the country. It is also diverse. About 40% of residents speak French.
Sudbury is also part of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot program. This program offers a path to permanent residence for skilled foreign workers who want to live and work in smaller communities.
How Many People Live in Sudbury, Ontario?
Sudbury is the largest city in Northern Ontario. Based on 2021 Census data, it has 166,004 residents. This makes it the 31st largest city in Canada. With the largest land area, it also has an incredibly low population density at 49.3 people per square km. As such, it offers a unique Northern lifestyle and a superb quality of life like no other. The population lives in an urban core along with many smaller communities. Since 2016, this city has grown by 2.8%.
How to Find a Job & Build a Career in Sudbury
Sudbury’s Local Economy
A welcoming and diverse community, Greater Sudbury strives to be recognized as one of the smartest, greenest and more sustainable cities in the world. Since the discovery of rich mineral deposits in the late 1800s, the economy in the Greater Sudbury area has followed the boom-and-bust cycles of the mining industry. But over the years, the local economy has diversified and is now a service hub for the Northeastern region of Ontario.
Today the City of Greater Sudbury is a regional shopping destination, serving a catchment area that extends across Northeastern Ontario. Entrepreneurship is a cornerstone of the local economy, with close to 12,000 small and medium-sized businesses operating within the city.
As well, Sudbury is home to the Northern Ontario Film Studios which features a 20,000 square foot main stage with everything to service film production needs.
The top industries in Sudbury are:
- Business and professional services
- Cleantech and environmental
- Mining supply and service
- Research and innovation
Major Employers in Sudbury
There are more than 250 manufacturing companies in the area. The largest employers include:
- Sling Choker Manufacturing
- IONIC Mechatronics
- INOVINTA Group of Companies
- Vale INCO
- Sudbury Regional Hospital
- Xstrata plc
- Sudbury Tax Services Office
- City of Greater Sudbury
- Rainbow District School Board
- Conseil scolaire de district catholique du Nouvel-Ontario
- FNX Mining Company Inc.
Career Pathways in Sudbury
Manufacturing is still one of the top industries to look for work in Sudbury. Retail, healthcare, sales and skilled trades offer the most opportunities. There are several ways to look for work in the city. You can search for a job through the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program (RNIP). You can also use the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce or use a local recruitment agency such as Levert Personnel Resources Inc, Cambrian Search Group, and Workforce Inc.
For more information about how to achieve your career goals in Canada, check out our Finding a Job in Canada resource page!
The Sudbury Housing Market
There are plenty of neighbourhoods to consider in Sudbury, including Downtown, New Sudbury, South End, West End, Minnow Lake, Capreol, Nickel Centre, Rayside-Balfour, Valley East, Copper Cliff, Lively, and Walden. Each area has a unique history.
Is Housing Expensive in Sudbury, Ontario?
Sudbury is one of the most affordable places to buy a home in Ontario. It was ranked as the second most affordable city in Ontario in 2020. Only Thunder Bay had lower average housing prices. Like most other cities in Canada, Sudbury has seen housing prices increase, largely due to a lack of housing options. But comparatively, it is still more cost-effective.
Finding a Place to Rent in Sudbury
Newcomers can typically find a rental for $1300 to $2000 or more. The average rent for an apartment in Sudbury is $1424 for a one-bedroom, $1766 for a two-bedroom.
To search for rentals, use Rentals for Newcomers to find current rental prices in Sudbury.
Buying a Home in Sudbury
Sudbury is very affordable compared to larger cities in the country. The average price of a home in Canada is now $779,000 as of January 2022, according to Royal LePage. The average home price in Sudbury was $458,144. This is a 27.7% increase from the previous year, according to the Sudbury Real Estate Board. With inventory low, expect prices to continue to rise.
Find out more about buying your first home in Canada: First Time Home Buyer: Newcomer Tips
Driving & Public Transit in Sudbury
Driving in Sudbury, Ontario
Since the city is spread out, residents rely on driving to get around. Three main highways connect the city to the rest of the province. They are Highway 17 (a main branch of the Trans-Canada Highway), Highway 69, and Highway 144. Highway 400 is in the process of being extended to Sudbury.
All drivers need a valid Ontario driver’s licence. You will need to complete the graduated driving program to get a full licence.
Get more information about driving in Canada:
Sudbury Public Transit
GOVA Transit offers bus services to residents in the Greater Sudbury area. There are over 40 routes that offer service throughout the Greater Sudbury area and surrounding communities. Get more information about routes and schedules on the GOVA website.
Community Support for Newcomers
Sudbury continues to welcome and support newcomers in this diverse city. Newcomers can get support from local settlement agencies such as the Sudbury Multicultural Folk Art Association, Collègé Boréal and the YMCA of Sudbury. Reseau Nord offers settlement support in French. Learn more about Services in Canada to Help Newcomers Settle.
Language Support in Sudbury
In addition to the YMCA and Sudbury Multicultural Folk Art Association, many community organizations offer free language classes for permanent residents. Services are offered in both French and English. The school boards and community colleges also offer programs. LINC Sudbury is also the main provider of language support for newcomers.
For information, tools, and free webinars about living in Canada visit our Settling in Canada resource page.
Personal Finance & Banking
A strong financial plan will help you make a successful transition to Canada. Newcomers to Sudbury can access banking and financial services through local banks. Most banks offer special programs for newcomers to help them open a bank account, get a credit card and even qualify for a mortgage. Visit your local branch or apply online.
Get more banking tips for newcomers:
Get more information about your financial first steps in Canada by visiting our Banking in Canada resource page!
Sudbury’s Education System
The province of Ontario oversees the education system. Sudbury has a strong bilingual education system with a variety of education options from elementary to post-secondary.
Elementary and High School Education
The elementary and high school system is free to permanent residents. The region offers quality education from kindergarten to Grade 12 in both official languages, and in French immersion. You can enrol your children in one of these school boards:
- Rainbow District School Board
- Sudbury Catholic District School Board
- Conseil scolaire de district du Grand Nord de l’Ontario
- Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario.
Post Secondary Institutions
Sudbury has several post-secondary schools. Laurentian University is a nationally renowned bilingual university. The city also has two colleges and a medical school:
Read more about education in Canada:
Where to Get Medical Care in Sudbury, Ontario
The medical sector is experiencing tremendous growth in Sudbury, and it is now a regional resource and referral centre for residents in Northeastern Ontario. It provides quality hospital-based care to patients throughout the region and several initiatives in the community demonstrate the city’s commitment to a healthy population. In total, there are three hospitals in the city, Health Sciences North, St Joseph Hospital, and Science North Hospital.
Sudbury residents must obtain a health card to receive free medical care provided by the Ontario Health and Insurance Plan (OHIP). OHIP pays for many health services you may need. Click here to learn how to apply for OHIP and get a health card. You can get additional coverage through private health insurance plans.
How to Find A Family Doctor In Sudbury
When moving to a new city, it’s important to find a family doctor. There are well over 100 family physicians in Greater Sudbury. You can search for a doctor taking on new patients through Health Care Connect. Please note that you may be put on a waiting list before a doctor becomes available.
You can also get access to non-urgent health care through local walk-in medical clinics. Get more information about health care in Canada: Steps to Access Free Health Care in Canada
What is Day to Day Life Like in Sudbury?
Ramsey Lake provides public access within walking distance from the downtown core, while many provincial parks are within short driving distance of the city. Access to nearby outdoor activities creates a great opportunity for a healthy work-life balance.
Things to Do in Sudbury
Sudbury is a big city geographically. It is an outdoor paradise. There are over 300 freshwater lakes and beautiful forests and woodlands. You can enjoy the outdoors, events and festivals held by the city year-round. But it’s perhaps best known for the iconic Big Nickel.
Public Spaces & Attractions
The city offers many attractions including Dynamic Earth, Greater Sudbury Heritage Museum, and the Inco Superstack. Science North is one of the most popular science destinations in Ontario. It’s also built right into the rocky shore of Ramsey Lake.
Be sure to check out the Northern Lights Folk Festival, Canada’s longest, continually running outdoor music festival. Other festivals include Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival, Junction North International Documentary Film Festival, Sudbury Pride, and Up Here Festival.
Restaurants & Nightlife
The city also offers diverse restaurants and cuisines, along with bar options, music, dancing and live entertainment. Restaurants and nightlife are dispersed throughout the city, but most restaurants and pubs are concentrated in downtown Sudbury.
Nature & Natural Landscapes
Residents of Sudbury are fortunate to have Ramsey Lake near the city’s downtown core. Moonlight Beach is popular in the summer and residents ski at Adanac Skill Hill during the winter. There are also many provincial parks that are close to the city where you can camp, canoe, fish, snowmobile, hike and bike.
Sporting Events & Concerts
Sudbury is home to the Sudbury Wolves hockey team and Sudbury Five of the National Basketball League of Canada. Laurentian University is part of the U Sports league. The city also is home to a number of other minor sports teams.
Culture & Diversity In Sudbury
Sudbury has the third largest francophone population in Canada outside of Quebec. About 38% of people identify as bilingual (French and English). The other main languages spoken in the city include Italian, Finnish, German, Ukrainian and Polish.
About 4% of the population identifies as a visible minority, which is lower than the national average. However, the city has a higher proportion of people who are Indigenous Canadians (12.5%).
Sudbury is primarily a Christian community. About 80% identify as Christian, with 60% identifying as Catholic. About 18% of the population has no religious affiliation. Other religions that residents identify with include Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, and Sikh.
The Weather in Sudbury
Sudbury has a humid continental climate with warm and often hot summers and long, cold, snowy winters. You can expect snow on the ground for six months of the year. It is a city where residents enjoy the winter weather. The average high temperature in January is −8.4 °C, by May it’s 17.2 °C and in July it’s 24.8.
Common Questions Immigrants Ask About Living in Sudbury
What are the Pros and Cons of Living in Sudbury?
There are many great reasons to consider moving to Sudbury. It is an ideal place to live if you love the outdoors and nature. It is a diverse community with a strong economy along with a great education and healthcare system. It’s an ideal city to raise a family.
One of the potential drawbacks is the city’s harsh winter weather. But, with many winter activities to enjoy, you’ll find yourself staying active. You may also find that it is a fair distance from other major cities in Ontario.
Is Sudbury A Cheap Place to Live?
Sudbury is one of the most affordable cities to live in Ontario. Even though the cost of living is going up, it is still a much more affordable place to buy a home compared to the bigger cities in Canada.
Is Sudbury A Good Place To Live?
Sudbury is one of the best cities to live in Northern Ontario, and it is the biggest. You get a combination of urban and rural living in one location. And, it’s a growing city that is becoming more diverse each year.
For more information, tools, and free webinars about living in Canada visit our Settling in Canada resource page. We’ll help you to settle successfully!