Sudbury’s downtown in the 90’s looked more like Siberia than the economic and cultural hub of the Nickel Capital of the World.

Fast forward twenty years and things are looking up. From restaurant patios to the facelifts of entire buildings, downtown is changing and is finally starting to show its pretty face.

You’ve probably noticed some significant street level improvements that have been made over the last couple of years. Here’s are some of our favourite improvements.

61 ELM STREET

The owners of 61 Elm St. have made a considerable upgrade to their building by totally revamping the street face. A tasteful renovation has turned a formerly decrepit face to one that improves the whole look of Elm Street.

73 ELM STREET

Our home! Susan Thompson and Dalron have received quite a bit of positive feedback on their restoration of the former Muirhead building. From facade restoration to complete interior overhaul, they have managed to preserve Sudbury’s first brick block built in 1903. This is a nice improvement compared to Dalron’s usual stucco approach to facades.

We are proud to share Sudbury’s most ambitious creative space with WorleyParsons, CentreLine Design, Salute Coffee Company, and TimeHero.

DIAMONDS ADULT NITECLUB

Diamonds has tastefully revamped one of their entrances which improves the look of Durham’s historic block. Do not be fooled. This ain’t no jewellery store.

THE MOTLEY KITCHEN

The Motley Kitchen, Sudbury’s community kitchen, has taken over the former Nibbler’s space and made some significant renovations to transform the space into a modern dining experience. Go grab lunch there sometime! And try the deep fried risotto balls.

84 STATION

84 Station is one of Downtown’s newest coffee lounges across the street from Laurentian University’s School of Architecture. They have turned a previously vacant building into a nice place to sit, sip and hang out.

THE TOWNEHOUSE TAVERN

Sudbury’s iconic music venue now not only offers amazing gourmet beef and beet burgers but also has one of Sudbury’s best patios for an afternoon sun soaking or some late-night brews with friends. Rumour has it, they have their permit to expand their sidewalk patio even more. Keep your eyes peeled and your taste buds tingling.

OSCAR’S GRILL

Oscar’s Grill has made a significant investment in their Durham Street location by completely redoing the face of the building to host Downtown’s best open air eating area (when the front windows are open, of course).

THE LAUGHING BUDDHA

This place is known for its kick-ass patio. The Laughing Buddha is one of Sudbury’s most successful independent restaurants and now they’ve added a new patio that spills onto the sidewalk on Elgin. They’ve also partially redone the facade of their space by removing one set of doors from that awkward double entrance and installing windows that can be opened to bring in the sun. We’ve also received word that they’ve added a private patio in the back of the restaurant for those who want to enjoy bottle service with friends or loved ones. Downtown’s hotspot just got a little hotter.

161 LARCH STREET

Dalron has completely transformed the building at 161 Larch Street into downtown Sudbury’s largest condos. Check out that rooftop patio next time you walk by!

PEDDLER’S PUB

Peddler’s Pub started a sidewalk patio movement downtown when they opened their patio earlier this summer. It now hosts one of downtown Sudbury’s most comfortable patio spaces.

FORKENSPOON

Forkenspoon has taken over the former Boulangerie du Village restaurant on the corner of Larch and Durham streets and turned it into a popular gourmet lunch destination downtown. Their menu changes every day and they have chilled Coca-Cola in the classic glass bottles. Nom nom.

DURHAM STREET

The iconic block on Durham St. now features a prestigious addition of flags on the face of the buildings. It’s all in the details.

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL

It’s no secret that Sudbury’s got some self-esteem issues. We Live Up Here, a community arts group in Sudbury (that we may or may not be involved with), created an inspiring mural on Durham Street which reminds us all that we are beautiful. The mural beautifies downtown by covering up graffiti and highlighting an otherwise invisible wall.

ST. ANNE’S MURAL

Carrefour francophone originally commissioned an artist to paint a mural reflecting Sudbury’s francophone culture around the year 2000. The mural looked great for years but lately, it was showing signs of wear and tear. The folks at We Live Up Here contacted Carrefour francophone and collaborated on a new mural that would replace the aging one. They photographed five pairs of eyes of people who worked at the old St-Joseph’s Hospital before its closure in 1975. Using a pasting technique, they then glued the eyes to the retaining wall last fall. After a tough winter, the wise eyes are now back and better than ever.

LAURENTIAN UNIVERSITY’S SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE

Unless you’ve been under a rock for several years, you know there are big things happening downtown. One of those milestones is the development of Laurentian University’s School of Architecture. They have turned Sudbury’s historic (and partially vacant) CP Telegraph Building into the beautiful administration building for their new campus in downtown Sudbury. The campus build is set to be complete and ready for full enrollment by September 2015. Take a peek through the holes in the wall on Elm and watch it go up!

Some said it couldn’t be done. Way to prove them wrong, Sudbury.

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