Big Nickel

Posted by Jessica Sawicz

July 27th 2012

The world’s largest coin, The Big Nickel, proudly stands atop a hill overlooking the Greater City of Sudbury. Located at the grounds of Dynamic Earth, this 30-foot in diameter and two-foot thick nickel has provided Sudbury with international attention.

The term “big” does not even begin to describe the size of this amazing landmark. It is approximately 64 million times the size of a typical Canadian nickel. It truly is a site worth seeing.

The image chosen for this project is the 1951 commemorative coin designed for the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Nickel. It was chosen due to the metal’s large role in the development of the city.

Ted Szilva, then a 28 year-old fireman, devised the idea of 13-ton coin in 1964 for a contest he read about in the Sudbury Star, which was sponsored by the Sudbury Canada Centennial Committee. The contest asked citizens to propose ideas about how Sudbury should celebrate the Canadian Centennial.

In hindsight, you would think that his idea would have been received with a great deal of enthusiasm however this is not the case.

Despite resistance from city council, Szilva continued to pursue the project alone. After being refused for a building permit, he acquired property in Copper Cliff from INCO where a building permit would not be needed.

Since its completion, The Big Nickel has been received with open arms and has become a well-known landmark, receiving international acclaim.

Tip: Be sure to take a photo in front of the landmark in order to provide perspective of the true size of this gigantic coin.

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