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City tears down more buildings in downtown Sudbury

Buildings coming down around former Ledo Hotel site to clear space for future arena development
A crew is seen removing asbestos-containing material from the old Golden Grain Bakery building this week in advance of its planned demolition.

Heavy machinery knocked down more buildings in Downtown Sudbury this week, and the Golden Grain Bakery building is next on the list.

The remaining buildings on the triangular block the Ledo Hotel stood on until last month came down on Feb. 12, during which the hazardous materials abatement crew shifted to the next building.

Asbestos abatement was seen taking place at the Golden Grain Bakery building, and is expected to continue for a couple of weeks, city Fleet and Facilities director Shawn Turner told

Faced with a “considerable amount” of asbestos both inside the building and around its exterior, the demolition crew has cordoned off the sidewalk outside the building while abatement work takes place.

A crew is seen piling the remains of buildings on Shaughnessy Street they demolished on Feb. 12. Tyler Clarke /

“We really weren’t thinking the sidewalk would be closed until such time as we were demolishing it, but unfortunately there was some asbestos material on the exterior,” Turner said, noting a section of Romanet Lane to the east of the building will also be closed off.

It’s anticipated the Golden Grain Bakery building will come down within approximately three weeks.

The tear-downs are part of what Mayor Paul Lefebvre described last year as the City of Greater Sudbury’s “historic” investment in downtown.

The city has purchased or is in the process of acquiring all of the land enclosed by Brady Street to the north, Shaughnessy Street to the east, Elgin Street to the south and Minto Street to the west.

All of the buildings therein are to be demolished to make way for the city’s downtown arena project, either to accommodate the arena itself or ancillary services such as a hotel, convention centre or other ventures that might complement the development.

The goal, Lefebvre explained last year, is to “stimulate and create an economic hub.”

There’s still no concrete plan, with city council expected to decide in March whether to proceed with a new arena/events centre build, or a renewal/renovation of the existing Sudbury Community Arena, located to the immediate west of the land city council is acquiring.

The initial round of demolitions started in January, when a crew from Lacroix Construction Co. tore down the Ledo Hotel building.

Although the tender they were awarded initially included only this singular building, Turner said that after the city gained title to additional buildings they issued a change order to include the other buildings on its triangular block and the Golden Grain Bakery building.

The old site of the Ledo Hotel is seen vacant this week after its demolition last month. Tyler Clarke /

A tender opened on Feb. 12 for the second round of demolitions, which will include 211 and 219-221 Shaughnessy St., which are the addresses for Alexandria’s Restaurant and a rooming house located next door. 

The bid closing date is March 1, and Turner said he anticipates the project’s first few weeks will consist of hazardous material abatement, as it has with other buildings dealt with thus far.

“All these buildings are of similar vintage, so that abatement needs to be done prior to demo,” he said.

The third demolition tender will include Advanced Detailers, The Dog House Sports Bar and Brûlerie Old Rock Roastery. 

Although the Old Rock café closed in December, owners Carole and Luc Roy struck a deal with the city to keep the building open as a roastery until the end of June, when they must vacate.

The city managed to reach agreements with all affected property owners except for those behind Wacky Wings. The city is currently going through the expropriation process for Wacky Wings, and Lefebvre’s expressed goal is to have all of the properties cleared to make way for the arena/events centre project by the end of the year.

The cost of the downtown Sudbury land project to date is approximately $13 million, including all purchases to date and the first round of demolitions, including the projected cost of the triangular block and Golden Grain Bakery building.

This does not include the cost to expropriate the Wacky Wings building, nor the demolition costs associated with the balance of buildings.

Funds are being drawn from the pot of money originally approved for the Kingsway Entertainment District arena/events centre planned to take shape on The Kingsway until city council voted to pull funding and effectively kill the project in July 2022.

Prior to the current round of land purchases/demolitions, this pot of funding sat at approximately $84.8 million of its original $90 million, which the city borrowed at an interest rate of 2.416 per cent.

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for