Greater Sudbury residents can check out the downtown master plan this week to see the future envisioned by city planners.

Big changes for the Nickel City’s downtown are in store. In the proposed master plan, a visitor to the city could go to a trade show at a newly renovated Sudbury Arena and stay in a four-star hotel next door.

That same tourist might get around the city on the bus at the new transit terminal — which would be on the site of the old Ledo Hotel. Where the bus terminal is now would be a new office building.

The plan makes provisions for dozens of young professionals who could be working in offices in the new "Innotech Park", a building that could be accessed from a proposed Larch Street extension over the tracks to Lorne Street, or a new pedestrian bridge.

This is just a plan, of course. But it does include timelines and some first steps.

Public input still wanted

Whether all of it or any of it gets done, depends on Sudbury city councilors, who are scheduled to vote on the plan in March.

That will happen after a few last minute tweaks to a plan that's been on the drawing board for over a year.

The plan aims for the downtown population to go up by as much as 5,000 in the next 10 years. To do that, it suggests city council offer tax breaks and other incentives to real estate developers.

Those downtown residents might leave their car in one of three parking garages, proposed by the master plan.

And there isn't just new parking — there are new parks as well. The plan would see an expansion of Memorial Park and a new green space, stretching out from St. Anne of the Pines church — replacing pavement with parkland.

Leisure time could also be spent in a proposed francophone arts centre or a new downtown library.

This vision for downtown Sudbury still needs millions of tax dollars to become reality, and the plan itself is still a work in progess. Sudburians have a few more weeks to make suggestions, before the plan goes before city council for approval.

A public input event will take place Jan. 31, from 6-9 p.m., at St. Andrew’s Place on Larch Street.  The event will feature a presentation of the draft plan and strategy and a community question and answer session. Those who can’t make the meeting are encouraged to send comments to growdowntown@greatersudbury.ca by Feb. 21. For more information, visit growdowntown.ca.

Sudbury Downtown Plan - Executive Summary