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Few attend Minnow Lake fire station relocation meeting

Tuesday night marked the first in a series of public meetings about sweeping changes proposed for the city’s 24 fire and paramedic stations

Turnout was low for the first in a series of public meetings the City of Greater Sudbury is hosting about sweeping changes proposed to their 24 fire and paramedic stations.

Approximately twice as many city staff members attended the meeting as members of the public, with only four residents walking in during the first hour and a half of the two-hour event at St. Charles College on Tuesday night.

Not too surprised by the low turnout, Greater Sudbury Fire and Paramedic Services Chief Joseph Nicholls told they’d started off with a meeting centred on one of the least-contentious proposed changes to the city’s collection of emergency services infrastructure.

The Minnow Lake station, he said, is the “most out of place of all the halls.”

The city’s plan would see it relocated approximately two kilometres north of its current location at 144 Second Ave., to a new property at the junction of The Kingsway and Falconbridge Road. 

This, Nicholls said, is a fairly straightforward plan for the career fire/paramedic station.

Proposed changes to other areas of the city as part of the city’s emergency services infrastructure plan, most notably to volunteer stations in the outlying communities, would result in more significant changes, including the closure of several of them.

The proposed shuttering of the Skead station, to be consolidated with Falconbridge into a new ideal site for Garson, resulted in a 417-name petition presented to city council in opposition.

Upcoming meetings such as the April 13 gathering at the Skead Community Centre should result in larger crowds than Tuesday’s, Nicholls said. Several petitioners in Skead have already indicated they intend on showing up, and have encouraged their neighbours to do as well.

Upcoming public meetings will be hosted in other Greater Sudbury communities, and will centre on proposed changes to specific stations, just as Tuesday’s meeting focused on Minnow Lake. 

“We’re just trying to deliver the information,” Nicholls said, adding that each meeting will follow the same format, wherein people drop in and are able to speak with a collection of city staff about their concerns, face-to-face.

A series of information boards will be set up with details about what has been proposed, including information specific to the fire and paramedic station(s) being centred on in each community.

Tuesday’s topic of discussion was the Minnow Lake station, which was built in 1981.

It has an estimated replacement cost of $1.61 million, and a 2018 building condition estimate noted its 10-year capital repair requirements will be $1.47 million. 

The five-year average for fire response is 492 incidents, and they had a 90th percentile response time of eight minutes and 30 seconds. 

The paramedic services operating out of the station managed a call volume of 2,205 last year.

The station has a staffing level of four firefighters and one ambulance, 24/7.

Relocating the Minnow Lake station would shave six seconds from response time in the local fire beat, and 20 seconds across all career areas in the 90th percentile times (the time in which 90 per cent of responses are made). 

Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc attended Tuesday’s meeting, and said he’s “very excited” to see the potential for a new fire hall in the neighbourhood, and that the low meeting turnout shows it’s not a contentious proposal.

“The fire hall that we currently have, it doesn't suit the needs of our fire department,” he said, adding the building is too small to meet the needs of a modern station.

Alongside in-person public meetings, the city set up an online information page and survey for people to fill out online (click here to find it). The site went live on Tuesday, and a city spokesperson said a French version of the page is expected to go live on Wednesday.

The next public meetings are:

Thursday, April 13


Coniston Emergency Services Station

7 Second Ave., Coniston

5 to 7 p.m.



Skead Community Centre

3971 Skead Rd., Skead

5 to 7 p.m.


Wednesday, April 26

Beaver Lake

Beaver Lake Emergency Services Station

7535 Highway 17

5 to 7 p.m.


Thursday, April 27


Falconbridge Emergency Services Station

21 Edison Rd., Falconbridge

5 to 7 p.m.



Hanmer Emergency Services Station

4680 Lafontaine St., Hanmer

5 to 7 p.m.


Wednesday, May 3


Wahnapitae Emergency Services Station

162 Hill St., Wahnapitae

5 to 7 p.m.


Monday, May 8

Val Caron

Val Caron Emergency Services Station

3064 Leduc St., Val Caron

6 to 8 p.m.


Vermillion Lake

Dowling Leisure Centre – Boardroom

79 Main St. W, Dowling

5 to 7 p.m.


Wednesday, May 10

Copper Cliff

Copper Cliff Emergency Services Station

35 Godfrey Dr., Copper Cliff

5 to 7 p.m.


Wednesday, May 17


Waters Emergency Services Station

25 Black Lake Rd., Lively

5 to 7 p.m.


Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for


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Tyler Clarke

About the Author: Tyler Clarke

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for
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