For our 2050 vision of downtown Sudbury, we explored the benefits of relocating the Canadian Pacific (CP) rail yard to the outskirts of the city, leaving some train tracks in the area to conserve the potential of urban rail transit. Aesthetically, the rail yard is currently causing a harsh separation between the downtown core and the housing in its south end. Moreover, this land could be used for more profitable activities that would benefit the downtown core. Relocating the rail yard will create space in the downtown core for several facilities, such as a soccer field, additional downtown parking, Project Manitou and the new Entertainment District and Arena/Event Centre. Since this area has already been cleared of trees, the relocation of these facilities on this land will minimize their impact on existing green areas and ecosystems. Removing the rail yard will allow Shaughnessy Street to be connected to Medora Street, uniting the community south of Worthington Crescent with the downtown core.
By 2050, we aspire to daylight a section of Junction Creek. Our first priority will be to daylight the section located under Memorial Park, then the section under Tom Davies Square. If daylighting is not possible in either of these areas, fountains or other structures will be installed to commemorate the creek's natural route. In addition, Tom Davies Square will appear more welcoming to the public with improved entrances, more signage and more seating areas. Our vision recognizes the importance of the co-existence of buildings and green space.
However, we also encourage the treatment of buildings as green space themselves, in line with the City of Greater Sudbury's goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. To achieve this, all new buildings will be constructed using cross-laminated timber, which consists of multiple layers of wood stacked perpendicularly onto each other. This material is comparable in strength to both concrete and steel, reduces construction time and significantly reduces the carbon footprint of buildings, all while being lighter than concrete. In terms of fire resistance, cross-laminated timber chars when in contact with a flame, insulating the core of the material and keeping the structural integrity of the building intact. Through sustainable practices, using timber for construction will keep carbon dioxide absorbed by the tree in its lifetime from re-entering the atmosphere for several decades, unlike when a tree decomposes naturally. Furthermore, excluding where murals are painted, all new buildings will have a white exterior, which will reflect sunlight and help control the building's temperature. Finally, all new buildings and several existing buildings will either feature solar panels on their roofs or green roofs. While solar panels will be used to generate electricity for the building, green roofs will add additional green space in the downtown core, while also extending the lifespan of these rooftops.
Since 1978, the City of Greater Sudbury has become a leader in regreening efforts, winning several awards for their achievements. In order to share these achievements more effectively with the general public, Roy's Furniture's previous location on Durham Street will be renovated to create a green museum. This museum will educate the public on the city's environmental history, including the damage caused by mining and its subsequent regreening efforts. It will also have the potential to share new green technology and strategies with the public, as well as hold panels and events related to the environment.
Creating opportunities for residents to practice safe active transportation has become increasingly important in urban areas in order to promote a healthy lifestyle, community and environment. With this in mind, we have decided to include the Elgin Greenway in our 2050 vision. A new bike path along Elgin Street will connect cyclists to the Ramsey Lake Tour de Sudbury cycling route as well as the provincial Voyageur Cycling Route. The realization of this project will also provide local artists with a space to display their art. The Sudbury Farmer's Market will be permanently located in the Elgin Greenway, with the Via Rail station being transformed into a year-round, indoor farmer's market.
Our vision also includes the relocation of the GOVA transit terminal to the parking lot east of the current location of the Sudbury arena. This location brings the riders closer to several downtown amenities, such as local businesses, Memorial Park and the Sudbury Farmer's Market. The transit terminal will also be in proximity to several major roads, such as Elgin Street, Brady Street and Paris Street, that connect to other major roads. As a result, fewer buses will need to travel on Elm Street, reducing traffic congestion on this busy street. The land the transit terminal occupied will be used for office space and parking.
In recent years, the City of Greater Sudbury has announced several building projects in the downtown core, at an estimated cost of $300 million. Many of these projects are included in our 2050 vision, however, we have considered alternate sites that would better benefit the community, the environment and the economy. For instance, after relocating the CP rail yard outside the downtown area, the new Entertainment District and Arena/Event Centre will be constructed on the land closest to Lorne Street. The facility will serve as a model for other community and Northern Ontario building projects in terms of sustainable development. Each portion of the building will be fully utilized, including the rooftop, which will feature solar panels, a moss roof and a garden. With an access point on Douglas Street and on the new extension of Larch Street, visitors have several route options (including a direct connection to other downtown amenities), reducing traffic congestion in the downtown core after an event. The old arena building will be repurposed to create low-income housing units.
Project Manitou, an 826-unit housing project for seniors, low-income and middle-income residents, will be built on the rail yard land East of the Bridge of Nations. The sustainable, mixed-use building, originally proposed to be built on a property bounded by Brady Street, St. Raphael Street, Lourdes Street and Van Horne Street, will allow its residents to live even closer to the downtown core and its amenities and to have access to ample parking (with the possibility of the construction of an underground parking structure).
Another large project proposed by the city is The Junction, a mixed-use building which will include a library, an art gallery, a hotel, a conference and convention centre and a community auditorium and performance theatre. The city acknowledges the potential opportunity for Sudbury's new World Trade Center to be included in this project, which would bring international attention to the city. We believe it is in the best interest of the city to partner with the owner of the Elm Place (formally the Rainbow Centre) to locate the project in this building. By renovating an existing building, the project cost will be reduced. This building also already has many of the amenities required for the project, such as a hotel, parking and office space. Finally, by filling much of the empty space in the Elm Place, this building will become a more attractive and welcoming feature of the downtown core.
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