Town of Onaping Falls

On June 8, 1972, the Provincial Government informed the communities of Dowling, Levack, and Onaping that they would be amalgamated into one entity to be known as the Municipality of Onaping Falls and that this municipality would be considered part of the Regional Municipality of Sudbury.

At this time, the political structure of the three communities were quite varied. Onaping was completely a company town as Falconbridge Nickel Mines Ltd. owned all of the land and the majority of the homes. The residents were governed by a Board of Trustees as appointed by the company. Levack was also a company town owned by the International Nickel Mines Ltd. with the land and the majority of the homes being owned by the company. Levack had been incorporated as a town and their political representatives were elected by the townspeople. Dowling was a completely different situation as all of the land and homes were publicly owned. Dowling had a Township Council to govern the community and elections were held once a year.

With the declaration of amalgamation, Dowling, Levack, and Onaping (three vastly different communities) were forced to find a way to exist as one entity. In the fall of 1972, the first election for the Municipality of Onaping Falls was held. Jim Coady was acclaimed Mayor and the remainder of the Council consisted of Earle Jarvis as Councillor-at-Large, Pat Owens and Fred Spencer for Ward One (Levack), Russ Beaudry for Ward Two (Onaping), and Germaine Gorham and John Schneider for Ward Three (Dowling). The new Council met a series of seven times throughout the fall and winter of 1972 and on January 1, 1973, they officially became the governing Council for the Municipality of Onaping Falls.

The new Council had the very difficult task of establishing a unified system that would serve the needs of each community. This was a challenge for even the most basic of services because each community had its own way of doing things. By the inaugural meeting of the Council of the Municipality of Onaping Falls on January 5, 1973, the groundwork had been laid to unify the three communities and now it was a matter of implementing the new system.

In 2001, the Municipality of Onaping Falls joined with Chelmsford and Azilda to form Ward Two in the City of Greater Sudbury. Once again, amalgamation was a difficult process to achieve and while most issues have been resolved, some still remain for our collective City.

Today, the phrase "City of Greater Sudbury" is little more than a political term used to identify our region. Each community is still referred to by its original name and the people therein are respected and honoured for their different backgrounds and histories.


Material compiled from The Story of Onaping Falls.

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