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The end of Sudbury’s beloved Ambassador Hotel

August 2021

The Ambassador Hotel was a beloved hotel in Sudbury, Ontario, dating back to March 1968, when the four Ceppetelli sisters bought a prime piece of real estate, at the corner of Falconbridge Road and The Kingsway. Situated not far from the Sudbury Airport, the Ambassador Hotel was also close to tourist attractions such as Dynamic Earth, Science North, Laurentian University, Bell Park and the city’s two colleges.

The Ceppetelli were already experienced hotel operators. They owned and operated the nearby Four Sisters Motel, which is still in operation.

The hotel had 45 guest rooms in a two-story low-rise building. A small, three-story tower at the east-end featured a lounge and nightclub on the ground floor, a restaurant on the second floor and three meeting rooms on the upper floor.

The lower level had a pool, gym and wedding/banquet facilities, accompanied by their own wedding planning service.

The restaurant, which opened in 1982, originally operated under the name Bogarts, but was later replaced with Laura Fratelli’s Italian Eatery. Fratelli’s featured a large wall mural, depicting the Little Italy area of nearby Copper Cliff, which was painted by Sudbury artist Bob Hastings.

The nightclub, which also opened in the 1980s, proved popular with both guests and locals, with its two dance floors, three full service bars and up to four DJ’s. It operated under various names over the years, including Big Al’s, Faces, Norma Jeans, Yesterdaze Lounge and Ten Lounge and Nightclub for the its last decade of operation.

As Big Al’s in the 1980s, it was a popular venue for rock-and-roll bands such as Lee Aaron, Killer Dwarfs, Helix, and Kickaxe.

The Ambassador remained a popular place to stay, eat, dance the night away, celebrate special events and for businesses meetings and political campaign events for 51 years, but that’s all in the past now.

On 26 August 2019, the Ambassador Hotel closed its doors for the last time. Unlike a lot of older hotels that face financial challenges from declining business and the high cost of updating and modernizing, owner Michael Clement stated that a Canadian development group had approached him about buying the property, and he felt it was time to retire from the hotel business and move on to other ventures.

The hotel sat abandoned for the next two years, as the new owners, revealed to be Sandman Hotel Group, planned to build a new structure. It was finally demolished in July 2021, leaving only memories.

Sandman haven’t yet announced their exact plans for the property, but we will likely include a new hotel.

Sources: The Ambassador Hotel and Ten Lounge in Sudbury – Ontario Abandoned Places (talkingwallsphoto.com), Sudbury landmark changes hands | Sudbury Star (thesudburystar.com), Sandman Hotel Group buys Ambassador; Hilton building just up the road – Sudbury News, .

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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