Skip to content
Jobs | Contact | Tip line: 705-673-0123

Explore Brigitte Labby's collection of historic Sudbury photos at March 11 event

Sudbury woman said she began searching for old images of the city 8 years ago 

Sudbury's Brigitte Labby has a passion for collecting old photographs of the city, and she loves sharing them with other people.

You may have seen her sharing some of these pictures of years gone by on community message boards on social media.

Labby is holding a “Going Down Memory Lane” event to share a slideshow of some of these images at the ParkSide Centre Wednesday, March 11.

“It's really to re-live the past of Sudbury,” she said.

“A lot of people remember Sudbury from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. Those were really booming years in Sudbury. There's a lot of photographs and postcards from that era.”

She said she plans to share historic photos not just of the Greater Sudbury area, but will also throw in a few of other Northern Ontario communities to see if any can guess where they were taken.

Labby said she became interested in old photos around eight years ago after taking her younger daughter to North Bay's historic Capitol Centre.

“When I walked in, I was just amazed with the architecture,” she said.

“I was looking at the stair beam and the stairwells and the ceiling and the light fixtures. My daughter was kind of laughing at me and saying 'Mom what are you looking at?'

“Then I went home and I researched that theatre. I wanted to find out when was it built. I just wanted to learn about that theatre. Then I started doing the same in Sudbury.”

Labby said part of her fascination with old photos stems from her own love of photography — she likes taking nature photos.

She's also interested in how communities change as the years go by. 

The woman lived in Azilda from birth until she was a pre-teen, when she moved to western Canada. She left Sudbury in 1980, and moved here as an adult, in 1997, and was amazed with the changes.

For example, she said she remembers downtown Sudbury being a busy shopping area when she was a kid, especially the Eaton's store in the City Centre mall.

Now known as the Rainbow Centre, many of the mall's former shopping areas have now been converted into office space.

Labby said she's found images of the Greater Sudbury area through libraries and the archives. Old postcards have been especially helpful.

She said she's shared slideshows of her photo collection before, including at long-term care facilities, adding that old photos can help spark memories for those with dementia.

“Typically people ages 50 and older tend to appreciate the show, especially if someone has been living in Sudbury for a long time, or was born and raised here,” Labby said. “Those sites will be familiar to them.”

If you'd like to take in Labby's slideshow, the free event takes place 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 11 at the ParkSide Centre, located in the YMCA building at 140 Durham St. in downtown Sudbury.

Email Labby at to reserve your seats. Parking is free.

If you're interested in Labby presenting her slideshow at an upcoming event or for a group or organization you belong to, phone her at 705-674-0224 for more information.


Heidi Ulrichsen

About the Author: Heidi Ulrichsen

Read more