Historical Plaques of
Sudbury District

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The next 2 plaques were sent in by Mary Crandall


Location: at Big Nickel Mine museum and site of the 'Big Nickel', Sudbury

Mine Rescue Stations
When 39 miners were asphyxiated in the 1928 Hollinger mine fire in Timmins, public concern prompted the province to set up mine rescue sites in Timmins (1929), Sudbury (1930) and Kirkland Lake (1932). The stations provided bases for rescue teams hand picked from miners who volunteered for the dangerous work. Funded by an annual levy on mining companies, they stocked emergency gear and operated special smoke rooms for training rescuers. In later years more stations were established and instruction was extended to deal with rockbursts, floods, bulkhead failures and other mining hazards. Ontario mines have used the equipment and training provided by the stations to run a mine rescue system that responds quickly and effectively to emergencies in their work places.

Erected by the Ministry of Natural Resources


Location: at Big Nickel Mine museum, Sudbury

In Honour and Memory of the "Pioneer Holditch Family

William Holditch

William Ernest Holditch

William Holditch owned and operated one of the first general stores in Sudbury, located where the City Centre entrance stands today. He was also a prospector and sold mineral rights. His son, William Ernest Holditch, was a prospector and land developer who owned and lived on the Big Nickel Mine property. The Holditch family generously donated the mineral rights for the Big Nickel Mine property to Science North.


Location: Notre Dame & Kathleen Sts., Sudbury

The Society of Jesus opened a classical college at this site in 1913. The next year the province granted Sacred Heart College a charter giving it degree-granting powers. At first the college was bilingual, but after 1916 it taught exclusively in French. Sacred Heart College became a centre for the education and formation of young Franco-Ontarian men. In 1957, it changed its name to the University of Sudbury, which became the Catholic component of Laurentian University, in 1960. The Jesuits continued to teach secondary school here until 1967. Sacred Heart College played a major role in the development of the Franco-Ontarian community of northeastern Ontario.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation


Location: 40 Beech St., Sudbury

An important centre of the Roman Catholic Church in northeastern Ontario, Saint-Anne des Pins was established as a mission by Jesuits in 1883. A log church, now the presbytery, was built to serve as a school, as well as a place of worship for the congregation and to provide a base for missionary work in Manitoulin Island, Sault Ste. Marie and settlements along the Canadian Pacific Railway. Active in community life, Sainte-Anne's played a prominent role in fostering the development of Franco-Ontarian culture in the region. It was erected a parish in 1889 and remained the only Roman Catholic congregation in Sudbury until 1917. Housed in the present structure since 1894, Sainte-Anne's continues to be active in cultural affairs.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Citizenship and Culture


Location: In Civic Square, Brady St., Sudbury

The establishment of a Canadian Pacific Railway work camp here in 1883 stimulated the growth of a frontier community. Within a year a bustling settlement containing boarding houses, stores, and a hospital had emerged. Though it suffered a temporary set-back in 1885 when track-laying crews moved westward, Sudbury quickly revived. Located in a region rich in timber and mineral resources, it developed as a service centre for logging and mining operations. In 1892, with 1500 residents including a large number of French Canadians, Sudbury was incorporated as a town. A sharp increase in the demand for nickle after 1900 and extension of railway services precipitated rapid expansion, and in 1930 Sudbury, a thriving multi-ethnic community, became a city.

Erected by the Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Citizenship and Culture


Location: In Bell Park, Elizabeth St., Sudbury

A ring of low hills, with Sudbury on the south rim, follows the outline of the "Sudbury Nickle Irruptive", a unique and remarkably complex geological structure. The mines situated along the outer rim of this boat-shaped basin produce most of the world's nickel, platinum, palladium and related metals, and large amounts of copper, gold, tellurium, selenium and sulphur. Made up of many kinds of igneous rock forced while still molten into a roughly concentric arrangement, some seventeen hundred million years ago, the basin is about 37 miles long and 17 miles wide. These rocks and the minerals of the ore deposits probably had a common source deep within the Earth's crust.

Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario


Location: In Bell Park, Elizabeth St., Sudbury



Location: At the entrance to the R. D. Parker Bldg., University Dr., Sudbury

On petition of the University of Sudbury, the United Church of Canada and the Anglican Diocese of Algoma, supported by prominent citizens, this non-denominational, bilingual institution of higher learning was incorporated in 1960. Higher education in Northern Ontario had its origins in Sacred Heart College, founded in 1913 by the Society of Jesus, which as the University of Sudbury first exercised its degree-granting powers in 1957. Such power, except in theology, were suspended in 1960 when both the University of Sudbury (Roman Catholic) and the newly incorporated Huntington University (United Church) federated with Laurentian University, which awarded its first degrees in 1961. In 1963, Thorneloe University (Anglican), incorporated in 1961, joined the federation.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board,
Department of Public Records and Archives of Ontario


Location: Regional Rd. 55, near the site of the Meridian Line,
Naughton, 17 kms southwest of Sudbury

While laying out a meridian line (a north-south survey line) in 1856, provincial land surveyor Albert Salter observed severe compass needle deflections some five kilometeres north of here. Alexander Murray, assistant provincial geologist, examined the area and reported "the presence of an immense mass of magnetic trap". Analysis of rock samples revealed nickel, copper and iron. This was the first indications of the Sudbury region's mineral wealth, but it aroused no interest at the time because the site was so remote. In 1886 prospector Henry Ranger rediscovered the deposit and in-1900 the Canadain Copper Company (later International Nickel) began working the claim. It became the Creighton Mine, one of the world's leading nickel producers.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry Culture and Communications


Location: At the site of the former post, Regional Rd. 55,
Naughton, 17 kms southwest of Sudbury

The Hudson's Bay Company had established a fur trading post on the western shore of Whitefish Lake by 1824. It was hoped that a depot adjacent to the portage route to Wakami Lake would help prevent independent traders in Michigan, Wisconsin and southern Ontario from encroaching on trade north of the French River. In this, the post was reasonably successful. In 1887 the Company dismantled the building and moved it here to Naughton (Walden) so that it would be closer to the Canadian Pacific Railway line to Sault Ste. Marie. With the development of lumbering and mining in the region the fur trade declined in significance, and in 1896 the post was closed.

Ontario Heritage Foundation,
Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation


Location: Young & Pine Sts., Chapleau

In 1885 land had been purchased and land granted from the C.P.R. for the purpose of building a church for the members of The Church of England who were living in the fledgling community of Chapleau. The decision to build the church was made at a meeting in December 1885. The original St. John's Church, a twenty by thirty-two foot frame building was opened on July 1, 1886. In 1906 it was decided that a new church was required. The first service in the present St. John's was held on March 29, 1908 when it was dedicated by Bishop George Holmes.
This plaque erected by St. John's Anglican Church
with the assistance of
the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Culture


Location: In Centennial Park, opposite the CPR Station, Chapleau

LOUIS HÉMON 1880 - 1913
The author of "Maria Chapdelaine", Hémon was born at Brest, France. He immigrated to Canada in 1911 and spent about eight months in the Lac St. Jean region of Quebec. While working on a farm near Péribonka, he wrote this well known novel, a story of habitant pioneer life, which won widespread recognition. Acclaimed by literary critics in France, it was translated into English and many other languages. The French and English versions sold over a million copies. Though "Maria Chapdelaine" created much controversy, it has been one of the most widely read books written on French Canada. Killed by a train near Chapleau, Hémon is buried in a local cemetery.

Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario


Location: In a picnic area 4 km south of Estaire on Highway 69 south of Sudbury

Burwash Industrial Farm was established in 1914 based on the revolutionary premise that low-risk inmates would benefit form the exercise and skills learned while working outdoors at self-supporting institutions. Burwash Industrial Farm accommodated between 180 and 820 minimum and medium security offenders with sentences of three months to two years less a day. Over time, it grew to occupy 35,000 acres owned and 101,000 acres leased, housing three permanent camp sites, several temporary ones, and a town of prison staff families with a population of 600 to 1,000 people. Prison inmates provided labour to build the entire community and ran an extensive mixed farm, a tailor shop, and a prosperous logging operation. Burwash Industrial Farm was one of the largest reform institutions in 20th century Ontario. It closed in 1975 because of changes in correctional practices.

Ontario Heritage Trust, an agency of the Government of Ontario


Location: On the corner of Commissioner Street and St. Charles Street (Highway 637), Killarney

Etienne Augustin de la Morandière, fur trader and founder of Killarney, settled here in 1820, when this locality, on the voyageurs' canoe route to the Northwest, was known as Shebahonaning ("narrow channel"). A substantial trading establishment, built by Morandière on Drummond Island after the War of 1812, was destroyed by fire in 1817, and he moved here permanently after trading for a time at Flat Point, Bay of Islands. La Morandière raised crops and brought cattle to Killarney. Accessible only by water, the settlement grew slowly, though it attracted anglers and was once an active commercial fishing centre. The opening of Highway 637 in 1962 brought this previously remote village and Killarney Provincial Park, within reach of tourists.

Erected by the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board
Ministry of Colleges and Universities