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‘The future’s brighter for downtown,’ says business owner

Alexandria's Restaurant and Lounge owner Mohamed Zohdy said that although he’s not exactly thrilled to vacate the downtown property his restaurant has occupied for decades, he sees the greater good in the city’s mission to redevelop the city’s downtown core
Alexandria's Restaurant and Lounge owner Mohamed Zohdy is seen outside the building this week. The city is set to buy his downtown property, and he plans to have a new building constructed near downtown.

Although not exactly thrilled about vacating the downtown property Alexandria's Restaurant and Lounge has occupied for 32 years, owner Mohamed Zohdy said he sees the greater good. 

“It’s my baby,” he said of the building, which the City of Greater Sudbury announced on Oct. 24 it plans to purchase and demolish alongside other area properties by the end of next year.

However, Zohdy added that he sees the merits in the city’s downtown land purchase. 

“We’re very happy, because I think the future’s brighter for downtown,” he said, adding that he hopes to see the city bring more development to the city’s downtown core.

As for Alexandria’s Restaurant and Lounge, Zohdy said he plans on developing a brand-new building to house the popular eatery. 

It will be close to the city’s downtown, he confirmed.

“We love downtown, and we appreciate downtown and are going to stay close,” he said, adding that he hopes all of the businesses affected by the city’s impending land purchase stay in the area.

On Oct. 24, city council voted to purchase several downtown properties to the immediate east of the Sudbury Community Arena, to make room for the city’s events centre project.

Although city council is not expected to decide on whether to proceed with a renovated Sudbury Community Arena project or a new downtown build until next year, Mayor Paul Lefebvre clarified that the land will be integral to either project.

The goal, he explained, will be to attract private ancillary enterprises to the arena’s immediate vicinity, be it a hotel, convention centre or other ventures that complement the development.

Including a block to the properties’ immediate south, which the city purchased earlier this year (Ledo Hotel block), the city has been cleared by city council to spend $12.5 million on downtown land. Thus far, they have purchased almost all of the properties enclosed by Brady Street to the north, Shaughnessy Street to the east, Elgin Street to the south and Minto Street to the east. Some of the land is already occupied by municipally owned parking lots.

The only exception is the Wacky Wings property, whose owner declined comment to this week. 

This property, Lefebvre clarified earlier this week, is “being discussed.” went doorknocking in the area this week to find out what the future might hold for the affected businesses. 

In addition to Alexandria’s, affected businesses include Golden Grain Bakery, Old Rock Coffee, Advanced Detailers, The Dog House Sports Bar, and a rooming house.

Old Rock Coffee is seen in downtown Sudbury, with a sign for Advanced Detailers and Ledo Hotel pictured in the background. All three buildings are part of a broader land purchase deal by the city. Tyler Clarke/

The owners of Golden Grain Bakery and Old Rock Coffee were unavailable, while the owners of Advanced Detailers and The Dog House declined comment. Both Advanced Detailers and The Dog House have been in their respective locations for more than 20 years.

The Golden Grain Bakery in downtown Sudbury is part of a block the City of Greater Sudbury has been cleared to (almost entirely) purchase. Tyler Clarke/
Wacky Wings is the only building on its block the City of Greater Sudbury has not been cleared to purchase. . Tyler Clarke/

Downtown Sudbury Business Improvement Area co-chair Jeff MacIntyre told the land purchase has instilled faith in the community that something will finally happen.

“It’s pretty exciting,” he said. “The city has had a lot of false starts (with an arena project).”

It’s gotten to a point that business owners are now saying, “‘We need to see the city’s serious before we take action,’” McIntyre added.

By purchasing this land, he said, “the confidence in the business community grew a lot.”

Although it’s unclear what, exactly, the city will end up doing with the land, MacIntyre said he hopes it’s something that creates traffic, and contributes toward a new economic hub.

The properties are in proximity to Tom Davies Square to the north (the proposed future site of a new central library/art gallery), the Sudbury Theatre Centre to the east, railroad tracks to the south and the Sudbury Community Arena to the west.

There’s a lot of potential for these properties, MacIntyre added. 

“It’s time to take big moves and do big things again so people take a second look at Sudbury and see it as an exciting place to locate,” he said. “Let downtown be the economic workhorse again.”

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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