Science North – Sudbury, Ontario


The clue to the richness of Northern Ontario lies in its geology: the controversial two-billion-year-old Sudbury Basin, believed to be created by either a giant explosion within the earth’s crust or a giant meteorite; and the basalt intrusion and Creighton Fault which divide rocks formed 2.0 and 2.8 million years ago.

Our meetings with community leaders and residents, including the miners who were then on strike, made us realize that the people of Northern Ontario wanted more than an educational or cultural facility that would generate tourism revenues. They were also seeking a positive self-image and recognition from their southern neighbours. A science centre that brings science and natural phenomena within reach, where anyone can touch, smell, or even taste the rock formations, provided a solution that far exceeded everyone’s expectations.

Self-esteem was the unexpected by-product of the community’s direct involvement in the design and construction processes. The miners helped with the excavation work. Baring the ancient rock that would form the walls of the subterranean Basin Theatre, 30-year veterans of the mines marvel.


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