Sudbury’s story is inextricably linked to our Superstack. The story is not just environmental degradation. It is also inextricably connected to the planting of millions of trees, the extraordinary recovery of our lakes, the enriching of our depleted soils, and the return of biodiversity.
Growing up in Sudbury meant being associated with the Superstack, which I thought was a ‘cloud-making machine’ when I was really young. I didn’t understand the environmental legacy. What I knew at a young age was that we were here because of nickel.
This symbol of our city and Canada’s second tallest structure represents massive possibility. Once gone, a big piece of the city’s identity and story will be lost, along with the opportunity to remake this emblem of Sudbury’s environmentally dark past into one of a regenerative future.
As a child, I participated in the regreening efforts each year, as did so many Sudburians. We planted millions of trees on our ‘moonscape’. It inspired my career and understanding of humanity’s ability to be agents of degradation or regeneration. It was apparent to me that we could kill whole ecosystems in pursuit of the things we needed – or we could come together to heal and restore conditions conducive for life.
Sudbury proved both in a single century. While demolition by implosion was ruled out because of the obvious hazards that would create, demolition by any means will have huge energy and carbon implications, cost millions of dollars, and might bring negative air quality impacts to local residents.