If you’re looking for things to do in Sudbury, you’ve come to the right place.
Located 400 kilometres north of Toronto and officially known as Greater Sudbury, this city of lakes has a population of approximately 170,000 people and was traditionally known as a mining town, including the Canadian Copper company, which was founded in 1886, and has since merged to become the Nickel Company of Canada. The city still has 10 mines, and as you may have guessed, many of the town’s attractions are related to mining, such as the impressive Science North, Dynamic Earth, and the famous Big Nickel.
However, it’s not just mining. Sudbury also has more than 330 lakes, a variety of parks, nature reserves, and is a city with some great restaurants and interesting activities. It has become a very popular place to visit in Northern Ontario.
Whether you’re looking to explore Sudbury on its own or including it as part of an Ontario road trip, learn about the top attractions and restaurants in this Things to Do in Sudbury travel guide.
What to Do in Sudbury
As mentioned above, Sudbury is full of mining history and beautiful outdoor scenery. Whether you’re looking to admire the second largest freestanding chimney on the planet or explore the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area, these are the top 11 things to do in Sudbury.
Allow plenty of time to visit Science North. Opened in 1984, this is Canada’s second-largest science centre and a fascinating interactive museum within two large snowflake-shaped buildings joined together by a rock tunnel that passes through a geological fault line formed over a billion years ago. Science North has a host of engaging and interactive exhibits spread across four levels that are fun for the whole family. There is an IMAX theatre, a butterfly gallery, a digital planetarium, and a Special Exhibits Hall. On each floor, there are “Bluecoats” scientists full of amazing information, and educational tips to answer your questions.
There are plenty of fun things to do like the flight simulator and spinning on the gyroscope. If you’re thinking of spending the whole day at Science North, consider purchasing the passport ticket option, which allows access to all attractions located on-site, including the planetarium, IMAX theatre, and Dynamic Earth.
Location: 100 Ramsey Lake Road, Sudbury, Ontario
Discover Sudbury’s Mining Heritage at Dynamic Earth
Dynamic Earth is an earth sciences centre and is also operated by Science North. It’s an interactive science museum established in 2003 that focuses on the city’s mining history. Dynamic Earth has a wide variety of displays and exhibits where the kids can learn how to mine, climb a mineral wall, look at diamonds, and identify different minerals. There are gold panning experiences and displays of fossils and meteorites. They can also go on an underground tour of the mines that takes them deep into the earth and displays the work done by the miners over the years, as well as the technological changes that have taken place. There is also a giant sandpit complete with manually operated diggers, and huge mining machinery they can climb around.
Location: 122 Big Nickel Mine Drive, Sudbury, Ontario
Look in Awe at the Big Nickel (World’s Biggest Coin)
Half of Canada’s nickel production is in Ontario and most of it comes from Sudbury! In 1967, as part of the Canada Centennial celebrations, the world’s biggest coin, a 9 metre tall (30 feet) 5 cent Canadian coin (aka the “Big Nickel”) was erected on the grounds of the Dynamic Earth Science Museum and represents the efforts of Sudbury nickel miners. It’s a not-to-be-missed photo opportunity while you’re visiting Sudbury.
Location: On the grounds of the Dynamic Earth Science Museum.
See the Superstack – The Second Largest Freestanding Chimney on the Planet
Another great photo opportunity if you make it to Sudbury soon is the Superstack, which towers over everything and is visible from almost anywhere in the city. In fact, it’s not only the tallest chimney in Canada but is the second tallest freestanding chimney on the planet!
The chimney stands tall at 380 metres (1,250 feet). This is about the same height as the Empire State Building. It was built in 1970 to transfer waste gases away from the nickel smelting operation and the city. It is no longer in use and will be demolished soon.
Location: 18 Rink St, Sudbury.
See Canada’s Largest Mural
A former deserted hospital in Sudbury was becoming an eyesore, so in 2019 as part of the Up Here Festival, the famed L.A. street and graffiti artist, RISK, painted over it to add some colour and bring it back to life while creating the largest mural in Canada.
The 74,000 square feet piece of art took RISK and his 5 person crew (plus 24 local people), 860 gallons of paint, 1500+ volunteer hours, three lifts, and one crane to create. It’s certainly an amazing sight to see!
Location: formerly the Sudbury General Hospital on Paris Street, Sudbury.
Visit Bell Park
Alongside Canada’s largest mural on the shores of Ramsey Lake and just a few minutes from Science North is the sprawling urban Bell Park with its 2 km stretch of boardwalk, good-sized summer patrolled beach, a children’s playground, plenty of picnic spots in gazebos and gardens, and an amphitheatre where some of the city’s festivals and outdoor concerts are held, such as the Sudbury Summerfest in August, and the Northern Lights Festival Boréal music festival in July. Bell Park also features a number of sculptures celebrating the city’s mining heritage.
Location: Bell Park, Paris Street, Greater Sudbury, Ontario.
Kivi Park is a 450-acre sport and outdoor activity park located in the south end of Sudbury, overlooking Long Lake. It is perfect for year-round outdoor adventure and recreation for all ages and abilities with its extensive trails, recreational spaces, soccer fields, basketball court and lakes.
The 55.7 km Trail Network has been established for snowshoeing, classic and skate cross-country skiing, fat biking, mountain biking, hiking, and dog walking. You’ll even find a one-km skate path through the forest in the wintertime, which is lit up at night.
Then there’s Crowley Lake on the southern side of the park, which provides access to canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing and hiking. Kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards are available to rent for a fun day on the water.
Location: 4472 Long Lake Rd, Sudbury, Ontario P3G 1K4 Canada
Lake Laurentian Conservation Area
Lake Laurentian Conservation Area is only a 10-minute drive from downtown and stretches from Lake Ramsey to the Southeast Bypass. This 2,400-acre conservation area is filled with lakes, trails, and wildlife. It has a huge network of hiking, biking, and cross-country ski trails and is a nature lovers’ paradise with its man-made lake and pond, scenic lookouts, self-guided nature trail, multiple wetland areas, and high bird populations.
In winter, there are trails specifically groomed for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, and in the summer, the trails are lined with plenty of blueberry and raspberry plants just ripe for the picking.
However, keep in mind that Lake Laurentian does not rent out canoes, kayaks or SUPs. There are some kayaks and canoes that they lend out, but you might want to hire one in advance or bring your own with you. Either way, this is a great way to potentially see beavers, turtles, Great Blue Herons, and loads of other creatures enjoying the rocky cliffs, marshlands, and forests of the Lake Laurentian Conservation area.
Location: 2309 S. Bay Road, Sudbury, Ontario
The Impressive Onaping Falls
Just a 30-minute drive west of Sudbury is the stunning waterfall created where the Onaping River drops 55 metres over a sheer cliff to the riverbed below. It is particularly impressive in autumn (early to mid-October) when the fall colours are at their peak.
At the visitor centre, you can see displays about the geology of the area and pick up a trail guide. A flat one km walk from the visitor’s centre takes you to the A.Y. Jackson Lookout where a bridge offers superb views of the falls. From here you have the option of another two km of trail through dense forests.
In addition, there are some lovely places around here to go camping in Ontario.
Location: ON-144, Greater Sudbury, Ontario
Art Gallery of Sudbury
The Art Gallery of Sudbury is housed in a turn-of-the-century mansion that was once the home of the lumber baron William Joseph Bell. It opened in 1967 as a project to celebrate Canada’s centennial and was originally called the Laurentian University Museum and Art Centre.
The Art Gallery of Sudbury is an easy walk from downtown and houses an impressive permanent collection of more than 2,000 artworks from across Canada featuring works by local, regional, provincial, and national artists.
The collection includes pieces by Group of Seven artists A.Y. Jackson and Franklin Carmichael, as well as examples from First Nations and local artists. There are educational seminars, lectures, workshops, and visiting art exhibits are also held here.
Location: 251 John Street, Sudbury, Ontario
Northern Ontario Railroad Museum & Heritage Centre
The Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre are located at Capreol, a 30-minute drive north of downtown Sudbury and gives a fascinating look back to the railroads that helped link Northern Ontario to the booming south. It has done an excellent job of preserving and showcasing the history of railroads in and around Greater Sudbury.
The indoor displays include costumes and a large model railway layout that are displayed in the Victorian era former home of the superintendent of the region’s railways, and in the town’s old fire station and local jail.
The outdoor area showcases numerous railcars and fascinating engines. There is a railcar that was once a mobile classroom and is complete with desks, woodstove, and sleeping quarters. There are antique locomotives including a 1919 Westinghouse Electric locomotive, a 1944 U-1-f Class MLW 4-8-4 steam locomotive, an 1899 caboose, and a slag pot car.
Location: 26 Bloor Street, Capreol, Ontario
The Anderson Farm Museum
The Anderson Farm Museum is a 57,000 square metre historic dairy farm that was once owned by Finnish immigrants Frank Anderson and Gretta Anderson and was one of the largest dairy farms in the Sudbury area during the 1920s and 1930s.
Enjoy the Winter in Sudbury
If you’re visiting Sudbury in the winter months, there is plenty for you to do. There are two downhill ski facilities and they all have ski rentals. The ski runs are well maintained and night skiing is available.
There is also an abundance of trails if you prefer to cross-country ski, including the 10-kilometre Naughton Ski Trails that run through a pretty forest. Sudbury also has one of the largest systems of groomed snowmobile trails in the world with over 1,200 kilometres of trails that connect the city with surrounding communities and offer some magnificent scenery too!
Where to Eat & Drink in Sudbury
Looking for the best places to eat in Sudbury? You won’t have to look very far. Sudbury has many great choices. To help you out, we scanned the internet to find restaurant reviews for Sudbury and we have listed the five restaurants that stood out from the rest.
According to TripAdvisor, The Kouzzina is the #1 restaurant in Sudbury. Reviewers noted that it has excellent service, delicious food, a wonderful atmosphere, and a beautiful patio. The wine selection is extensive and it’s a great place for both lunch and dinner.
Tucos Taco Lounge
Everyone loves tacos and Tucos Taco Lounge is a great place to eat some. TripAdvisor ranks this restaurant as the second most popular option in Sudbury, thanks in part to their delicious vegan jackfruit tacos, Hawaiian nachos, and taco salad burritos. The restaurant has a fun, casual vibe and also makes a good hot toddy.
According to Yelp, Laughing Buddha is also one of the top restaurants in Sudbury. This casual restaurant serves mostly vegan and vegetarian dishes, although there are some meat options as well. People tend to live their salad and grain bowls, as well as their pizzas and sandwiches. The Buddha Bowl is one of the most popular options, which includes tempeh as protein, along with fresh greens, edamame, quinoa, crispy chickpeas, tempeh, avocado, and herbed tahini.
Respect Is Burning Supperclub
According to Restaurant Guru, one of the top hotspots in Sudbury right now is Respect is Burning Supperclub. The name is interesting enough to encourage a visit, but this vintage Italian tavern and home cookery served up some delicious dishes alongside over-the-top Italian Energy and heaps and loads of authentic family love.
Tommy’s Not Here
Wild mushroom ravioli, duck confit penne, and lamb shank are just some of the items that you’ll see on the Tommy’s Not Here menu. There are also some delicious desserts and a good wine list. It’s a relatively fancy restaurant with reasonable prices and is known for high-quality food.
Bella Vita Cucina
Another great Italian restaurant in Sudbury is Bella Vita Cucina. Perfectly cooked gnocchi, seafood risotto, creamy tiramisu, and soft crème brûlée are just some of the things customers rave about. It has a romantic atmosphere, attentive staff, and affordable prices.
How to Get to Sudbury
So you’ve picked out the top attractions in Sudbury you want to see and the restaurants you want to dine at. Now you have to get there! Below are all the ways in which to arrive in Sudbury, Ontario.
Getting to Sudbury by Car
There are three major highways in Ontario that will take you to Sudbury. These are the Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy 17), Highway 69, and Highway 144, which are often used by those coming from Ottawa.
From Toronto, you’re looking at 400 km and a drive time of about four hours. From Ottawa to Sudbury, the drive time is just over five hours.
Getting to Sudbury by Rail
The train station located within the city is only for local trains to Capreol. However, just 10 km from downtown Sudbury is the “Sudbury Junction Train Station”, which is served by VIA Rail’s “The Canadian” that goes from Vancouver to Toronto via Jasper and Sudbury. There is no shuttle service to downtown Sudbury.
There is one train per week from Toronto to Sudbury and it takes about seven hours.
Getting to Sudbury by Bus
Alternatively, travellers can reach Sudbury by bus. Greyhound operates from the bus station in Sudbury city with regularly scheduled buses to and from all major cities in Canada. There are several buses per day to Toronto.
Getting to Sudbury by Air
Sudbury Airport, which is located about a half-hour drive from downtown, is a small airport that is served by Air Canada Jazz, which has flights from the Pearson International Airport in Toronto twice daily, and Porter Airlines which flies from the Toronto Island airport and offers connections to and from Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Boston, Chicago, and Newark. Bearskin Airlines also flies to and from Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Timmins, and Sault Ste. Marie.
Best Time to Visit Sudbury (Weather in Sudbury)
Summer (June to August) is the most popular time to visit Sudbury. The weather at this time is pleasant with temperatures between 20 degrees C ( 68 degrees F) and 25 degrees C ( 77 degrees F). Spring can be the rainy season, so pack your umbrellas if you’re planning to visit during this time.
Snow usually starts falling in November and lasts until March or April. From mid-December to the end of February the temperature is usually below zero. Wear plenty of layers if you’re travelling anywhere during the winter in Canada.
Looking for More Things to Do in Ontario?
While Sudbury offers a lot, Ontario is a massive province with so many amazing things to do. For more ideas of things to do in Ontario, check out these travel guides below.