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Database location #466
Public Location
Created by TalkingWallsPhotography (CONTACT)
This member has donated.
Creation Date: 1/1/2006
Last Photos Uploaded: 1/1/2006

During the 1950s and 1960s there was unrest with the employees of Inco and Falconbridge. The mine’s employees were not only fighting to become unionized but were also caught in the debate as to which union would best represent them. The Mine Mill and Smelter Workers union was one choice while the United Steelworkers of America was a second. The issue of which union to select, saw violence break out in the streets as workers literally fought it out.

Eventually the two unions came to a shaky truce, the Mine Mill ended up representing the Falconbridge workers while the Steelworkers of America represented the Inco workers.

The two unions would eventually merge during the 1960’s at which time two Steelworkers named Don McNabb and Gib Gilchrist would be instrumental in finding the merged union a place to call home.

The Canadian Legion Hall, established in 1947 at 92 Frood Road in Sudbury, was seeing declining membership. Unable to keep the hall in operation, they were approached by McNabb and Gilchrist’s with an offer to take over the property.

After some renovations took place, The United Steelworkers of America Local 2020 Hall officially opened on November 25, 1965.

Over the next four decades the hall would become a popular location for hall rentals and town events. Wedding receptions were often held at the hall upstairs while stag and does were held in the basement.

During the early morning hours of September 19, 2008 a fire broke out at the Steelworkers Hall. The Greater Sudbury Fire Department responded and doused the building with more than 1 million gallons of water. By the time the flames were finally extinguished, 26 hours later, the decision had been made to demolish the building.

As a result of the fire, historic photographs were lost. Local 6500 United Steelworkers with over 3500 members, lost paperwork that included member’s compensation files.
An investigation into the fire has determined that the fire was deliberately caused. A reward of $15,000 was offered for information leading to the arrest of those responsible. Two twelve year-old youths were eventually charged with this crime.

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Steelworkers Demolition (January 27, 2009)

Steelworkers Hall circa 1967