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  1. Troy
    September 15, 2017 @ 11:45 am

    I stumbled upon your story, and wanted to share that your writing and imagery really resonated with me. You took me back to some memories I haven’t thought about in a long time. I too am a 1970’s child of Sudbury, roaming around the Gatchell area, inhaling sulphur while playing on, and at the base of the Big Nickel hill. Watching the slag dumps at dusk was, and will always remain a special experience for me. I left the North a number of years ago having set up a career and life in Southern Ontario, but I continue to feel a pull or longing that brings me back to Sudbury and the North. Whenever I visit family I find it’s not visually the same. The re-greening efforts occurring in the Sudbury basin are to be applauded, but I miss the black, rust/copper colours of the stark and rugged landscape….they are vivid in my mind to this day.

    Thanks for taking me back….

    (We always had great hills to go tobogganing on and plenty of good times at the outdoor rinks in the winter!)

    PS. My father lives on Vancouver Island, and I have visited there many times. I can see why you set up roots out there….beautiful place to live.

    • Christine
      September 19, 2017 @ 11:55 pm

      Troy, ah yes! The tobogganing hills! When we were kids we called it “sliding” for some strange reason. 😉 My sister and I used to zip down the hills by Princess Anne Public School for hours on snowy days. And we both learned to swim in the Gatchell Pool. We still walk on the bicycle loop at Delki Dozzi whenever we go back to visit. Ah, good ol’ Sudbury. I know what you mean about that bleak beauty and, as you so beautifully put it, the “rust/copper colours of the stark and rugged landscape.”

      Thanks for walking down memory lane with me. Appreciate you dropping a line! (And yes, Vancouver Island is a wonderful place, too.)

  2. Richard Woloschuk
    September 3, 2016 @ 10:39 am

    Lovely words and description. I believe only someone who grew up as a child in Sudbury – scrambling about the rocks, throwing stones into Junction Creek, swimming n the lakes, and picking those wild blueberries – could appreciate the beauty and wonder of That basin city. Thanks for writing. I loved it.

    • Christine
      September 3, 2016 @ 1:21 pm

      Thanks for your kind words. Ah yes, Junction Creek! We used to walk there as kids, picking up clumps of moss and rocks to bring home. And I crave those blueberries every summer.

  3. Kerrie K
    August 31, 2016 @ 1:38 am

    Well said! I still remember climbing the stairs to Marymount with the task of sulfur in my lungs. Lol. I have fond memories of watching the stag and blueberry picking on the black rocks. What happens when they get rid of the nickle as currency? Will people still talk about “The Big Nickle”? It’s definitely a place of resilience.

    • Christine
      August 31, 2016 @ 11:48 am

      Ah yes, that lovely burning feeling in the lungs, that strange taste on the tongue. I know it well! Glad you liked the piece.

  4. Ken K.
    August 30, 2016 @ 1:13 am

    I love your post Christine. Your dynamic imagery of your childhood and youth in Sudbury are like the chorus of a familiar song to me. Such sweet and lasting memories of the Big Nickle city. Such a joy to explore these faded gems each time I return. Thank you.

    • Christine
      August 30, 2016 @ 11:20 am

      Hey, glad you liked it, Ken! Ah, Nickel City. Sweet, sulphuric memories indeed.

  5. Jeff Elofson
    August 29, 2016 @ 6:50 pm

    What a great little story Christine – I lived up in Whitehorse Yukon for a couple years to Toronto and something always brings me back to Sudbury! I hope you’re doing well – Jeff Elofson

    • Christine
      August 30, 2016 @ 11:19 am

      Jeff, long time no see! Great to hear from you across the years. Glad to see your love for Sudsy is strong as ever.

  6. Janet
    August 28, 2016 @ 6:05 pm

    Incredible imagery. And so true. It’s an amazing landscape, that dark crater. Keep mining.

    • Christine
      August 30, 2016 @ 11:22 am

      Thanks, Janet! And I shall continue mining for sure. 😉

  7. Ward3
    August 28, 2016 @ 3:38 pm

    Thank you so very much. We moved to my father’s hometown of Sudbury in 1970, and I relate so much to all you posted. I could not wait to escape that place, but now it seems I am drawn back. I miss the rocks. I miss picking blueberries. I miss the wind off the many lakes. Those rocks are so beautiful. The scraggly trees were metaphors for us, the scraggly kids growing up into an uncertain future on those rocks. Most of my generation is gone, and in the south or further afield. I don’t know how they feel about this, but there is nothing like watching the hiss of the snow melting as it is hit by slag. There is nothing like taking your date parking under the water tower. I miss it and I need to go back.

    I now live in another armpit, Hamilton, and this place is so like home except for the missing rocks.


    • Christine
      August 28, 2016 @ 5:21 pm

      Wow, I love all those details you just shared! Sounds like you have some excellent stories up your sleeves. Ah, beautiful Ontario. Thanks so much for writing.