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Science North the top visitor destination in Northern Ontario



Science North celebrated over 10 million admissions to its attractions since 1984 – and has played a significant role in bolstering the local, regional and provincial economies through tourism and job creation, according to a study by TCI Management Consultants.


As a significant and growing contributor to economic prosperity, Science North commissioned the study to measure the economic impact as an operating entity in Greater Sudbury, the impact of tourism in Northern Ontario, the impact of international sales of Science North produced exhibits and films and the impact of capital projects including the renewal and expansion of visitor experiences.


“Science North is a hub of education, innovation and research, and this study reaffirms that it is an important contributor to the economic prosperity of Northern Ontario – bringing jobs, tourism and significant spending to the region,” said Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “I am proud of our government’s investment in Science North and its invaluable work.”


“For more than 30 years, Science North has had a substantial impact on the local and provincial economies,” said Science North Board Chair Scott Lund. “As the second largest science centre in Canada, Science North’s growth and expanding service in Northern Ontario have been greatly enabled by the partners and supporters locally and from around the world.”

“Science North continues to have a positive influence on the Greater Sudbury community, the Northern Ontario region and the Province of Ontario through economic and job growth,” Guy Labine, Science North CEO added. “It was important for Science North to have an independent assessment and review of Science North’s economic impact.”

Impact of Operational Spending

Science North has an operating budget of approximately $14.8 million per year. This translates into $37 million of benefits for the local and provincial economy per year, and every year Science North’s operations create and support 329 jobs.


Impact of Capital Spending

Over the last 31 years, Science North’s capital investments, including renewing and/or expanding visitor experiences, has totalled $152 million (2014/15 dollars). This translates into $157 million in additional impact and has supported 732 jobs.


A Tourism Generator

Science North is the single largest visitor destination in Northern Ontario, with total visitation to all of its attractions at 381,000 admissions during the 2014/15 season. Of these admissions, well over 100,000 were tourists from outside the local area. These tourist expenditures generated $41.5 million in economic impact locally, or $45.6 million provincially. Since opening in 1984, the attraction has sold 10 million admission tickets and those visitors have generated significant economic impact as a result of new and extended stays at hotels and other accommodation facilities, as well as spending on the full range of tourism services, including restaurants, retail outlets, gas stations, transportation services and others. Science North continues to stimulate and attract substantial visitation to Greater Sudbury and throughout Northern Ontario through partnerships with other attractions in the region including the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat with Arctic and polar bear themed experiences, and the communities of Kenora, Kirkland Lake, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay with the Wildlife Rescue traveling exhibit tour. Science North continues to anchor the region’s tourism industry and annually sustains 313 local jobs and a total of 337 in the province.


Impact from International Sales

Since 1994/95, Science North has been involved in the development and lease or sale of exhibits, films, and other award-winning visitor experiences for science centres, museums and other attractions globally. The total value of this activity, measured in terms of 2014 dollars, is $54.2 million ($2.71 million annually). The economic spin-off has generated $130.6 million in direct and indirect impact. Additionally this has helped to create and sustain 1,155 jobs province-wide.


A Catalyst for Positive Image and Brand

The study confirms that Science North has served as Northern Ontario’s pre-eminent tourist attraction for the last three decades. Not only is it renowned throughout Northern Ontario, it has a stellar international reputation by virtue of its work in developing exhibits, films, and displays for clients worldwide. In addition to the quantitative benefits, Science North has a positive economic impact in the region and the economy of Northern Ontario in terms of being a catalyst for other types of development and contribution to a positive image and brand for the area.


About Science North

Science North is Northern Ontario’s most popular tourist attraction and an educational resource for children and adults across the province. Science North maintains the second- and eighth- largest science centres in Canada. Science North’s attractions include a science centre, IMAX® theatre, digital Planetarium, butterfly gallery, special exhibits hall, and Dynamic Earth – Home of the Big Nickel, a separate science centre focused on mining and earth sciences. In addition to the two science centres in Sudbury, Science North also oversees an award-winning Large Format Film production unit, as well as an Exhibit Sales and Service unit, which develops custom and ready-made exhibits for sale or lease to science centres, museums, and other cultural institutions all over the world. As part of its mandate, Science North provides science experiences throughout Northern Ontario including outreach to schools and festivals, summer science camps and more, and has a permanent base in Thunder Bay providing outreach to the Northwest. Science North is an agency of the Government of Ontario. For more information please visit


Source: Science North

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