Greater Sudbury is the most densely inhabited city in Northern Ontario, Canada with 157,857 individuals residing there. Greater Sudbury was created rather recently. In 2001, the towns and cities of the former Regional Municipality of Sudbury, and some previously unincorporated geographic townships, merged to become Greater Sudbury. By land area, it is the largest city in Ontario, and the 7th largest municipality by area within the nation.
Constituting its own independent census division, Greater Sudbury is not part of any county, district or regional municipality. Just four other cities within Ontario have this status: Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton and Kawartha Lakes.
As a mill and mining town, Sudbury has a colourful labour past. During 1944, the city's mine workers succeeded in making a union with the certification of the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Local 598. Two businesses, Falconbridge and Inco, attempted to destabilize the union by setting up their very own puppet unions, the Falconbridge Workers Council and the United Copper Nickel Workers Union which the workers called "Nickel Rash". The workers rejected these puppet unions. The first mine workers' strike happened during 1958 following many years of unrest. Smaller strikes likewise occurred during the late 1960s.
Despite the presence of huge nickel deposits within the area, Sudbury City has had difficulties reaping economic benefits due to taxation problems. Before the creation of the Regional Municipality of Sudbury during the year 1973, the city was not allowed to levy taxes against the mining companies, whose facilities were located in outlying company towns, such as Coniston, Copper Cliff, Falconbridge and Frood Mine. The city of Sudbury attempted to solve the issue by annexing the company towns, but the Ontario Municipal Board always denied the requests of the city.
The ability of Sudbury to directly levy municipal taxes on mining businesses has been limited when compared to different Ontario cities, whose primary employers operate within various businesses. One local newspaper called Sudbury City "a city without a city's birthright," due to its taxation problems. Nevertheless, mining remains a vital industry in the city of Sudbury.
Despite obstacles, Sudbury City has managed to diversify its economy, developing as a centre of government, commerce, tourism and research. The Vale nickel mine has long been the Sudbury City's biggest single employer. However, the proportion of people hired by Vale has declined from 25 percent during the 1970s to less than five percent of Sudbury City's labor force these days. The mining trade is now outranked by health care, education, hospitality services, public administration, mining equipment manufacturing and retail trade.
Although the city of Sudbury is still the site of labour issues - for example, a recent strike at Vale lasted from the summer of 2009 to the summer of 2010 - they tend to have minimum effect on Sudbury City's economy than the past.