Even though the project has demonstrated repeatedly again that there is nothing illegal about its approval and legislative hurdles passing, the Kingsway Entertainment District continues to be a major topic in Greater Sudbury. A new virtual petition, headed by Patrick Crowe, is spreading across the region, with the goal of stirring the pot and possibly changing the path of development.

Mr. Crowe has been a long-standing opponent of the entertainment zone project for a long time, and his latest move came in the form of a petition. It would seek a binding referendum on a regional level, in which people would be asked whether they want the district construction or not. Such a referendum could be introduced in the form of an easy-to-understand question.

Online Petition

If all goes well, Sudbury will see the construction of the Kingsway Entertainment District in the next years, but local opposition appears to have other plans for the major project. This petition, which was just launched, asks locals for their opinions on a possible referendum on the proposed CA$100 million arena and events center. This question could be implemented in the ballot for municipal elections.

The latter is scheduled for October 2022, giving locals enough time to think about the subject and vote when the time comes. This referendum will be put on the ballot by the city council. Those who are interested in the petition can find it online and learn more about the alternative proposal. It shows that instead of building a huge project that would cost the local taxpayers CA$100 million, renovation may be done.

In the near future, the existing Sudbury Community Arena in the city center could be expanded and modernized to accommodate live events and entertainment. More than 700 people have signed the petition in support of the latter proposal for the renovation of an existing facility up until now. Expectations are that it will revive the downtown area.

October 2022 Referendum

It’s important to note that public transportation is well-developed, as well as new development of public spaces, restaurants, bars, and schools. The month of June saw a positive update coming from Mayor Brian Bigger. According to him, the city council’s decision to start the project in the area is still valid and may now proceed; if all goes according to plan, the event center should open in 2024.

He made it clear that the event center should not be the source of any future issues. He explained that staff members are working closely with the partners in the Kingsway Entertainment District to ensure just that.   For the construction process to officially begin, several important tasks must be reviewed and completed, according to the report. Choosing a venue operator, acquiring a build RFP, constructing roads and intersections, and presenting design drawings are all part of this process.

Gateway Casinos and Entertainment is the company that hopes to open a casino complex in the proposed entertainment zone, and it is interested in learning more about the project. PricewaterhouseCoopers just released a new report on the event center to see which site would be best for the project. The cost of renovating the downtown arena was estimated to be between CA$125.4 million and CA$128.6 million in the final report.