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KED Threatened by Increasing Referendum Signatures

Kingsway Entertainment District continues to be a topic of wide discussion across Greater Sudbury, even though the project has proven more than once that there is nothing illegal about its approval and legislative hurdles passing. There is a new virtual petition circling in the region and powered by Patrick Crowe, aiming to stir the pot and potentially change the course of development.

Mr. Crowe is a long-standing opponent of the entertainment zone project and he recently made his next move in the form of a petition. It would seek a binding referendum on a regional level, asking people whether they want the construction of the district or not. Such a referendum could be introduced in the form of an easy-to-understand question.

Online Petition

Sudbury is bracing for the construction of Kingsway Entertainment District in the upcoming years if all goes smoothly, but local opposition seems to have other plans for the major project. This petition that launched just recently seeks locals’ opinion on a potential referendum on the proposed CA$100-million arena and events center. This question could be implemented in the ballot for municipal elections.

The latter is projected to take place in October 2022, giving locals enough time to contemplate on the subject and vote when it is time for action. The city council is asked to introduce this referendum on the ballot. Individuals interested in the petition could find it online and get to know the alternative proposal better. It makes it clear that instead of building a large project that would cost CA$100 million to local taxpayers, renovation could be done.

The existing Sudbury Community Arena situated in the city center could be improved and modernized, in order to accommodate live events and entertainment in the foreseeable future. Up until now, more than 700 individuals have signed the petition in support of the latter proposal for the renovation of an existing facility. Expectations are that it will revive the downtown area.

October 2022 Referendum

It should be noted that the well-developed public transportation, as well as new development of public spaces, restaurants, bars, and schools. The month of June saw a positive update coming from Mayor Brian Bigger. According to him, the city council’s decision to launch the project in the area stays and can now move forward, and if everything goes to plan, the event center should be launched in 2024.

He made it clear that there should not be any further complications with the event center. He explained that staff members are working closely with the partners in the Kingsway Entertainment District to ensure just that. According to the report, several major tasks must be reviewed and completed for the construction process to officially begin. This includes determining a venue operator, acquiring build RFP, road and intersection construction, and presenting design drawings.

Gateway Casinos and Entertainment is the operator that plans to launch a casino complex within the proposed entertainment zone and it also looks forward to receiving more information on the project. PricewaterhouseCoopers recently conducted a new report on the event center to determine which site would be more suitable for the project. The final report stated that the revamp of the downtown arena would cost between CA$125.4 million and CA$128.6 million.

Source: “New petition aims to derail Sudbury’s KED“,, July 28, 2021