The Sudbury Theatre Centre (STC) was filled with laughter and smiles the night of Sept. 11 when Bruce Bell, actor, comedian and playwright, told the tales of old Sudbury. Dozens gathered at the STC to see Bell perform as he took them on a trip down memory lane.
Born and raised in Sudbury, Bruce went to Sudbury High and at 17, Bruce was hired by Tony Lloyd to be an apprentice at the Sudbury Theatre Centre when it first opened at the former Inco Club in 1972.
Bruce made his professional stage debut at the STC in a production of "The Man Who Came to Dinner" in December 1972.
Soon after Bruce left to pursue a career in the theatres in Toronto where for the next 50 years carved out quite a niche for himself as an actor, comedian and playwright.
Bruce is the author of two books Amazing Tales of St. Lawrence Neighbourhood and TORONTO: A Pictorial Celebration. He is also a five-time nominee for the Order of Ontario for his work interpreting Ontario's and Toronto's past.
For nearly the past year, Bell has written a series of columns for Sudbury.com, sharing his memories of downtown Sudbury in the late 1960s. Bell’s reminiscences include Christmas in downtown Sudbury back in the 1960s and 1970s back in December 2020. You can read that story here. Back in January, he reminisced about SS Kresge’s, which you can read here, while in February, Bell took a stroll through the old Sudbury Woolworth's location.
In March, he took us on a tour through the old Zellers store and last month he led us on a wander through the old Nickel Range Hotel. In May, Bell brought readers on a wander through the historic Borgia Street neighbourhood. In June, Bell walked us down Durham Street on a Friday night in the late 1960s. In July, he took us back onto Durham just as the hippy invasion began. And he finished his three-part series on the turbulent late 1960s in downtown Sudbury.
Bell shares many of these stories and memories — complete with his unique sense of humor — during his live virtual tour at STC. Sudbury.com new media reporter Eden Suh produced the video.
The event was sponsored by Sudbury.com.