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Helpers: Let Paul Haynes walk you through Sudbury's history

A long-time volunteer with Rainbow Routes, Paul Haynes’ historical hikes uncover the local history factoids you don’t hear about in school

There's lots to discover in our own backyard. Local history explorer Paul Haynes can help you learn about the City of Greater Sudbury's interesting characters and historical places and events.

Haynes is one of those citizens committed to ensuring Sudbury's stories are told, recorded and preserved for future generations.

He has organized numerous Rainbow Routes walks and also conducts history tours as a member of the Ward 10 Kingsmount-Bell Park Community Action Network (CAN).

Earlier this year, Haynes received a Civic Award from Greater Sudbury Mayor Paul Lefebvre for his volunteer work with the Rainbow Routes Association.

Rainbow Routes' hike club events take place on the first Saturday of the month and are advertised on its website and Facebook page.

This summer Haynes conducted a walking tour around Capreol, and one along the old streetcar route from Lorne Street to Copper Cliff.

Last summer for the Ward 10 CAN, Haynes and environmentalist Peter Beckett hosted a walk through Bell Park and highlighted its changing landscape over the past century.                                                                                                                     "The type of information I like to share is the little bits that no one else has," Haynes said. "Like why (lumber baron) William Bell didn't like pea soup. He didn't like it because he was eating it in the dining car" when the CPR train he was on derailed into the Spanish River (1910).

His interest in local history was sparked when he was on the city's Centennial Committee in 1983. Haynes is the person to ask about who originally lived in the city’s stately heritage homes and about Sudbury trivia such as the sidewalk stamps in older neighbourhoods. 

Sidewalk stamps are the markings contractors put on sidewalks that include the street's name and date of paving. In Sudbury, the oldest sidewalk stamp is 1929, according to Haynes, who shares his research on the Ward 10 Bell Park/Kingsmount CAN website.

Haynes is the communications chair for the Ward 10 CAN. It's a job that comes naturally to the Brantford native who moved to Sudbury in 1970 shortly after leaving high school. A friend was working at CKSO FM and suggested there might be an opportunity for him there as a radio board operator.

Within a year, Haynes was hosting the overnight show. In those days, listeners could phone the announcer and make requests for their favourite songs. 

Haynes is a member of the last generation that didn't need a college or university degree to get a job in media. Enthusiasm was all that was required. 

He says he studied at the "School of Cambrian Broadcasting," at the Pine Street studios where he did a little bit of everything. 

By 1975, he was working at CKSO Television as a staff announcer and writing advertising copy. He also filled in at CKSO AM and CKSO FM.

During the halcyon days of his 20s, Haynes was able to pursue his interest in tennis, heading to Mexico in the winter — he was one of the founders of the Sudbury Tennis Indoor Tennis Club— and returning to  Sudbury in the summer to work as a vacation replacement at CKSO. 

Later when CKSO Television became part of Mid-Canada Television and moved to the new studios on Frood Road, Haynes settled down working there as a voice-over announcer and promotions co-ordinator, a job that put him in touch with community organizations. 

He was involved in events such as the Easter Seals Telethon and a hot air balloon festival.

A natural career progression for someone with Haynes' varied experience is to move to an advertising agency. He worked at 50 Carleton before establishing his own agency (called Haynes) with his wife, Karen.

Now semi-retired, Haynes has time to devote to the hobbies he enjoys. He plays tennis twice a week, works on a musical memory personal and family history project, does research for his walks, contributes to the Ward 10 CAN website, and meets with his former broadcasting buddies.

Vicki Gilhula is a freelance journalist. Helpers is made possible by our Community Leaders Program.


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