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Visiting Ramsey Lake, Sudbury, Ontario: a downtown area with an urban lake

Updated on June 30, 2012
Provincial flag of Ontario
Provincial flag of Ontario | Source
Ramsey Lake, Sudbury
Ramsey Lake, Sudbury | Source
Laurentian University Science Buildings
Laurentian University Science Buildings | Source
Laurentian University Science Buildings
Laurentian University Science Buildings | Source

Scenic Lake with fluid name and status

This lake at Greater Sudbury, Northern Ontario may be described as having a fluid name.

Ramsey Lake is often written 'Ramsay Lake', although the '-ey' ending is the correct one. (And of course there is the usual customary matter of word inversion: 'Ramsey Lake' or 'Lake Ramsey'.) Then in Ojibwe its name is Bitimagamasing.

There is also a certain fluidity to Ramsey Lake's status. It used to be known as the largest lake in the world with its boundaries wholly within city limits. The City of Greater Sudbury still possesses such a lake, which is Wanapitai Lake; since boundary changes in 2001 the city has encompassed all of this Lake also, which, at 13,257 hectares, is thus considerably larger that Ramsey Lake's 792.2 hectares. One of the differences between the two lakes, however, lies in that Ramsey Lake extends to close to the Downtown area.

Sudbury is the seat of Laurentian University / Université Laurentienne (1), and Ramsey Lake forms a spectacular backdrop to its campus.

Another very significant complex along the shores of Ramsey Lake is Science North, at the aptly named Ramsey Lake Road, which, as its name suggests, is a museum of science. This facility is Northern Ontario's most popular tourist attraction.

Bell Park along the shores of Ramsey Lake hosts various summer musical events. To the southeast of the Lake, the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area has bird-watching and a self-guided nature trail.

Boat tours of the Lake are periodically available. Tree planting and water purification programs have brought to the Lake and its lakeshore area considerable environment improvements. Northern pike, yellow perch and rock bass are among the Lake's fish population.

June 29, 2012


(1) The University is noted for a significant proportion of Francophone students.

Also worth visiting

In Sudbury itself, the Big Nickel is a 9 metre monument at Dynamic Earth, the earth sciences branch of Science North (see above). The Bell Mansion houses the Art Gallery of Sudbury.

Distances are great in Northern Ontario, but those visitors prepared to travel will find the region very rewarding.

Museum of Northern History , Kirkland Lake (distance: 308 kilometres), is housed in the Sir Harry Oakes Chateau, built in 1919, a noted example of Prairie/Craftsman architecture.

Sault-Sainte-Marie , Ontario (distance: 308.5 kilometres) has many visitor attractions, including the Sault-Ste-Marie Canal National Heritage Site, the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre and the terminus for the Agawa Canyon Tour Train of the Algoma Central Railway. Visitor attractions in neighbouring Sault-Ste-Marie, Michigan, USA include the reconstructed Fort Brady, on the Register of National Historic Places.


How to get there: Airlines flying to Greater Sudbury Airport include Air Canada, from Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections. Car rental is available at Greater Sudbury Airport. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest


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