Greater Sudbury is a city in Ontario, Canada, which was founded following the discovery of nickel ore by Tom Flanagan, a Canadian Pacific Railway blacksmith in 1883, when the transcontinental railway was near completion. Greater Sudbury was formed in 2001 by merging the cities and towns of the former Regional Municipality of Sudbury with several previously unincorporated geographic townships. It is the largest city in Northern Ontario by population and the 24th largest metropolitan area in Canada. By land area, it is the largest city in Ontario and the seventh largest municipality by area in Canada. Sudbury, as it is commonly known, is administratively separate and thus not part of any district, county, or regional municipality.Sudbury has a humid continental climate with warm and often hot summers and long, cold, snowy winters. The population resides in an urban core and many smaller communities scattered around 300 lakes and among hills of rock blackened by historical smelting activity. Sudbury was once a major lumber centre and a world leader in nickel mining. Mining and related industries dominated the economy for much of the 20th century. The two major mining companies which shaped the history of Sudbury were Inco, now Vale, which employed more than 25% of the population by the 1970s, and Falconbridge, now Glencore Xstrata. Sudbury has since expanded from its resource-based economy to emerge as the major retail, economic, health and educational centre for Northeastern Ontario. Sudbury is also home to a large Franco-Ontarian population that influences its arts and culture.