Jim Gordon was the first mayor of the City of Greater Sudbury. He was born in Noranda, Que. in 1937, and raised in Espanola. He moved to Sudbury in the 1960s. A dedicated teacher, Gordon was first elected to Sudbury Council in 1971. He was elected mayor in 1976.
Gordon served as mayor until 1981 when he ran as the Progressive Conservative provincial candidate in Sudbury Riding.
He was succesfully elected to represent Sudbury at Queen‘s Park, where he served as a backbencher under Premier Bill Davis. He was later promoted to cabinet as minister of Government Services in 1985. Gordon’s only electoral defeat was in 1987 when he lost his job at Queen’s Park to Liberal Sterling Campbell.
He went back to the classroom for a couple of years, but returned to public office in 1991. He was elected mayor of Sudbury and held that post until 2000. That year, the City of Sudbury and the Regional Municipality of Sudbury were amalgamated into the newly formed City of Greater Sudbury. Gordon was elected mayor of the new amalgamated city in 2000 and served until his retirement from politics in 2003.
Gordon’s legacy includes the building of Science North, the diversification of the region’s mining industry, increased retail expansion, and the establishment of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine.
In 2004 Gordon was honoured with a Community Builders Award for Economic Development. He is credited with being the architect of the city’s telecommunications strategy. He spearheaded the development of fibre-optic cable in the region through the municipally-owned Sudbury Hydro. The availability the broadband in Sudbury had attracted hundreds of call centre jobs to the city.
Gordon’s service to his community and dedication to Sudbury was honoured in 2004 with the popular boardwalk being named in his honour along Ramsey Lake, connecting Science North to Bell Park. Gordon remains an active member of the Greater Sudbury community.