There’s just something about the longer days and warm weather that make Sudbury the perfect place to visit during the summer months.
Canadians love summer, and can you blame them? With four distinct seasons and snowy cold winters, summer is the time to get outside and enjoy the warm Canadian weather. The summer season in Northeastern Ontario generally lasts from the Victoria Day holiday in May until Labor Day in September, though July and August are the most popular months, with July temperatures averaging 76.1°F (24.5°C).
Greater Sudbury in Northeastern Ontario is the perfect spot to spend a summer, with easy access to lakes and trails, as well as a bustling city scene with festivals and other summer activities.
City of Lakes: Watery Warm-Weather Fun
With more than 330 lakes surrounding the Greater Sudbury area, it’s easy to see why it’s called the ‘City of Lakes.’ This is the place to go in Northeastern Ontario for boating, fishing, swimming, and other water sports. The opportunities for outdoor adventure are everywhere you look, with plenty of parks, lakes, and campgrounds nearby.
The two largest lakes in Sudbury are Ramsey Lake and Lake Wanapitei—in fact, Lake Wanapitei is the largest lake set within city limits in the entire world! Head to the waterfront at Bell Park on Ramsey Lake for a swim, then dry off with a stroll along the 1.2-mile (2 kilometer) boardwalk. At Wanapitei, take your rod and reel out for some fishing—species here include walleye, trout, and bass.
If you like water but don’t want to get wet, you can still appreciate one of Sudbury’s breathtaking waterfalls. Onaping Falls is located just west of Sudbury, and accessible by hiking the 1.3-mile (2.1 kilometer) A.Y. Jackson Lookout Trail. The falls are also known as High Falls, because the waterfall drops as much as 150 feet (46 meters) in some spots.
Summer Sudbury Skies: Camping and Nature Trails
The Greater Sudbury area, which rests on land traditionally settled by the Atikamekasheng Anishnawbek, has thousands of miles of parks, forestry, and trails perfect for exploring in the summer.
Even the most experienced hiker will have trouble walking the entire Trans Canada Trail – it’s nearly 17,000 miles (27,359 kilometers) long! But part of the trail runs right through Sudbury, allowing anyone to walk along the famous footpath. Walk around Ramsey Lake to Bell Park and into downtown Sudbury, using this tool as your guide to the trail.
Kivi Park is the place to go if you like outdoor sports. With more than 480 acres of open space, it’s a popular spot for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, paddling, and more. Be sure to take in the scenery around you, as Kivi Park features some of the prehistoric rock formations known as the Canadian Shield. For a quiet afternoon in nature, try the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area. Here you’ll find 2,400 acres (971 hectares) of protected green space that includes hiking trails, birdwatching areas, and a manmade lake.
For those who like to ‘rough it,’ camping is a great summer activity with several campgrounds in the Greater Sudbury area. Windy Lake and Fairbank provincial parks (a 39- and 48-minute drive from Sudbury, respectively) are both great options for adventure, with fishing, hiking, swimming, and canoeing on offer. Plus, you can bring your pooch along to keep you company.
Festival Fun: Sudbury’s Summer Culture
While many people escape to the lake in summer, the city of Sudbury is still a great place to be with festivals and activities happening throughout the summer months. Outdoor arts and music festivals take advantage of Sudbury’s warm summer nights to make the city come alive with entertainment.
For music lovers, Jazz Sudbury happens each September and features local and international artists playing some smooth tunes. The Northern Lights Festival Boréal is a bilingual music festival held in July in Bell Park, and is one of the longest-running music festivals in Canada.
Up Here combines music with urban artwork for a fun festival held every summer. The festival turns downtown Sudbury into an urban art gallery with murals and art installations. There are nearly 40 murals painted throughout the downtown area on display year-round, including Canada’s largest mural, covering the exterior walls of Sudbury’s St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Food festivals are also popular in Sudbury during the summer, and there’s something for everyone to eat. Start the summer season with the Greek or Italian festivals, then quench your thirst with a cold brew at the Elgin Street Craft Beer Festival before ending the warm months on a sweet note at the Blueberry Festival.
There’s just something about the longer days and warm weather that make Sudbury the perfect place to visit during the summer months. If you love Sudbury in the summer, come back to Nickel City in the fall, winter, and spring too!
Sudbury shines in summer, but that doesn’t mean there’s any less to do during the winter months. To discover more of what makes Sudbury a great year-round destination, read our Northeastern Ontario Travel Guide.