Looking Back at Sudbury 1948

We found this great video of train making its way from Coniston heading west through the Donovan taken in 1948. It’s amazing to watch especially when you see some of the buildings and infrastructure that existed 70 years ago that are still here today.

So we wondered what was happening in the old City of Sudbury 70 years ago. Remember at that time Copper Cliff wasn’t even part of the city.

• In 1948 there were 41,741 people living in Sudbury. Just over 10,000 homes had hydro installed and many of those homes along with businesses had one of the 11,161 phones installed in the city. There were 166 new homes built that year and 82 new businesses were opened including Reg Wilkinson Men’s Wear which is still going strong today.

• Bill Beaton was elected that year as mayor of Sudbury and Welland S. Gemmell 0f the Progressive Conservative Party – was elected as our MPP at Queens Park under Premier Thomas Laird Kennedy. We had two Prime Ministers that year –  William Lyon Mackenzie King followed by Louis St. Laurent both of the Liberal Party.

Elm Street Sudbury 1948

Downtown Sudbury in 1948. That year 11,253 license plates were sold in Sudbury so there were at least that many cars and trucks on the road legally. Greater Sudbury Public Library MK1597

• Downtown Sudbury was a busy place in 1948. This photo taken that summer shows Elm Street looking east toward Durham Street.

• William Edge Mason, who owned the Sudbury Daily Star, North Bay Nugget and C.K.S.O passed away. Thousands came to his funeral and his estate worth $1,652,382 was set up as a charitable foundation.

Queen's Athletic Field Sudbury 1948MK6377L

There were many sporting events which took place at Queen’s Athletic Field. At one point in the late 1950s it almost became the site of a auto race track. Greater Sudbury Public Library MK6377

• A grandstand, that could seat 1,000 people, was built at Queen’s Athletic Field. Originally called Athletic Field the name was changed to Queen’s Athletic Field after King George and Queen Elizabeth visited in 1939.

• The first Canadian International Trade Fair was held in Toronto and Inco (now Vale) was one of the 34,000 exhibits from countries all over the world. The Inco booth was filled with examples of things that could be made from nickel alloy steels including the nickel Monel kitchen sink which was invented in 1948.

Inco Toronto Industrial Tade Show Sudbury 1948

Inco’s booth at the Toronto Industrial Trade Fair. Greater Sudbury Public Library The Triangle July 1948

• This is what the road to Copper Cliff looked like in 1948. You can see the tracks of the Sudbury Copper Cliff Suburban Electric Railway (SCCSER) along the road. The SCCSER began shuttling passengers in 1912 and by 1950 had ceased operation.

Inco Toronto Industrial Tade Show Sudbury 1948

The road, once Highway 17, now is known as Municipal Road 55 once Lorne Street ends at Big Nickel Road. Greater Sudbury Public Library MK1758.

Allan Paivo Sudbury 1948

Allan Paivio was on the cover of many magazines when he won the title of Mr. Canada.

• Allan Paivio was born in Thunder Bay but his family moved to Sudbury in 1928 when his father started working on the Finnish newspaper Vapaus in Sudbury. In 1943 he joined the Canadian Navy for the last two years of the war and moved to Montreal after the war with his wife. In 1948 he became Mr. Canada for body building. Paivio went on to become one the most cited psychologists in the world and developed the dual-coding theory where he discovered, through many experiments, that people processed visual and verbal information differently and that people retained visual information far better than verbal information.

• People were able to buy margarine in Sudbury stores for the first time. An Act of Parliament had banned margarine in Canada since 1886 (it was allowed for a short period during WWI) in response to Canadian dairy farmers who believed margarine would cut into their butter business.

• The Park Hotel on Notre Dame Avenue was opened.

• The Elizabeth Barrett Browning chapter of the IODE (Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire) received its charter. The IODE was founded in 1900 in Canada and is a charitable organization that raises funds for numerous community organizations.

Caruso Club Sudbury 1948

The first stage of the Caruso Club was completed at the end of 1948. The original building contained the Heritage Hall with a mezzanine and bar and a kitchen.

• The Caruso Club was formed and construction started on the new club’s building on Haig Street. The Caruso Club as we know it today was expanded in 1967 as part of Canada’s Centennial celebrations.

Sudbury Granite Club Fire

The Sudbury Granite Club opened in 1948. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a photo of the building except for this one of the fire from the book put together by Fern Bourque called “We Have a Working Fire”.

• Construction started on the Sudbury Granite Club which was built in 1948 on Riverside Drive. The Granite Club was home to six sheets of artificial ice and became the third curling club in town. Unfortunately it burned down in 1951. The property today houses the Sudbury Armory. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a photo of the building except for this one of the fire from We Have a Working Fire.

• International Union of Mine Mill and Smelter Workers began construction of its Union Hall on Regent Street with a sod turning ceremony in September 1948. The Union also made plans to purchase a 166 acre piece of property on Richard Lake where its camp is still located today.

Mine Mill Sudbury 1948

The 12,000 members of the Mine Mill Union contributed .50¢ a month to the building fund for the new hall. The building is currently home to Sudbury Events Centre. Greater Sudbury Public Library MK3002

Mine Mill 598 Richard Lake Sudbury 1948

This was the original architectural plan for the Mine Mill camp on Richard Lake which included a main lodge, craft area, sleeping quarters and a children’s camp. Greater Sudbury Public Library MK3102

By 1903, 11,000 men worked in the logging industry in the Sudbury District.

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