Sudbury Living - Winter 2008 - (Page 70)

city stories hEritAgE lost A historian visits his hometown and finds something missing. By Bruce Bell the jukebox while eating meatball sandwiches? has emerged out of its gloomy the destruction of sudbury’s past and dismal dark ages to become seems to be endless. Where was one of the most beautiful cities in the imposing Nickel Range hotel Ontario. where Alex trebek grew up? What i recently returned to my homehappened to a once lavish Victorian town, my second visit in 15 years. mansion that stood on the corner of the once barren hills are now deep Beach and Frood? When i was 10, forests with fields of grass growing i was desperate to see the interior, out of the blackened outcroppings so i knocked on the door and asked of some of the oldest rock on Earth. to see a room advertised for rent the mining of nickel and the much to the astonishment of the smelting of iron-ore put sudbury on BRuCE BEll lOVEs his hOmETOwn. landlady! the map. Enormous smelters, some All gone. Most of it was torn twice the size of toronto’s Eaton Centre, and the accompanydown in the last decade in an orgy of demolition leaving only ing colossal smoke stacks, polluted the land in unimaginable large tracts of open land to remind us of what once was. ways. there was hardly a blade of grass or tree left standing All is not lost as sudbury’s downtown core still has a few terrific when i was a young boy growing up in the West End. restaurants, trendy coffee houses and a marvellous farmers’ marOthers will say it was the clear cutting of the forests that ket. sudbury still has possibly two of the finest examples of 1930s caused the great decay of the land but nevertheless, with indusArt Deco architecture in Canada with the Northern Ontario try came people, money and a construction boom. By the late Building on Durham, and the former inco Club on Frood. 1950s, sudbury had some of the most stunning architecture for Downtown sudbury reminds me of what downtown toronto a city of its size. once looked like at the end of the 1960s, a vast wasteland of since childhood i have always had a fascination with archiparking lots but still having just enough hipness and architectecture, and sudbury had an Art Deco movie palace (Capitol tural treasures to be reborn into an active, lively and very livtheatre) to rival anything in toronto. sudbury also had deable downtown core. tailed bank facades of white sandstone, and mansions that could For the past few decades sudbury has been tearing away at fit easily into Forest hill or Rosedale unnoticed. the city also its historic heart leaving behind vast expanses of nothingness. had one of the first post-modern buildings in Canada, the tD Now is the time to end the destruction, build anew and retrofit Bank on Durham st., a brilliant little work of art built in the what remains to lure people back to the downtown core of this international style, which stood next to a dazzling Edwardianremarkable city. style post office. the rebirth of sudbury’s landscape is breathtaking, and with sudbury went though an urban renewal phase in the 1950s more than 300 lakes within the city’s limits, there are areas of and 1960s. heritage buildings were replaced with newer but sudbury that can rival the beauty of Muskoka or the serenity of less impressive ones. As i walked the streets of the downtown, toronto island. My hometown now needs a visionary to save my heart sank as i stood in parking lot after parking lot. What its heritage buildings for they can never, ever come back. happened to the Capitol theatre where i first saw M*A*s*h Bruce Bell is a historian, author and actor living in Toronto. He and Butch Cassidy? Where was the Woolworth building where is well known for his writing about historic Old Toronto and his i used to buy my Beatles records? What happened to the utterly walking tours of the St. Lawrence Market area. unique Manhattan Restaurant, where after working all day in Visit the local theatre, i would sit with my friend Kirk and listen to suBmissiOns TO CiTY sTORiEs mAY BE sEnT TO VgilhulA@lAuREnTiAnmEdiA.COm sudBury, aFter years oF a Massive reForestatioN ProJeCt, 70 Sudbury Living Winter 2008

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sudbury Living - Winter 2008

Sudbury Living - Winter 2008
Cover Story
Health and Fitness
People are No Longer Shy about Getting a Little Work Done
On the Town
Wonderful Winter
City Stories

Sudbury Living - Winter 2008