Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Canada

Discover Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario: A Blend of History and Tourism

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, is a city that beautifully blends history and tourism. As the third-largest city in Northern Ontario, it is located on the St. Mary's River on the Canada-US border. The city is known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty.

The Historical Significance of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

The indigenous Anishinaabe people, the Ojibwe, originally named this area Baawitigong, meaning "place of the rapids." They used this as a regional meeting place during the whitefish season in the St. Mary's Rapids. French settlers referred to the rapids on the river as Les Saults de Ste-Marie, from which the village name was derived. The rapids and cascades of the St. Mary's River descend more than 6 m (20 ft) from the level of Lake Superior to the level of the lower lakes.

Native American settlements, mostly of Ojibwe-speaking peoples, have existed here for more than 500 years. In the late 17th century, French Jesuit missionaries established a mission at the First Nations village. This was followed by the development of a fur trading post and larger settlement, as traders, trappers, and Native Americans were attracted to the community.

The Early History of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

After the visit of Étienne Brûlé in 1623, the French named this area of rapids as Sault de Gaston in honour of Gaston, Duke of Orléans, the brother of King Louis XIII of France. In 1668, French Jesuit missionaries renamed it as Sault Sainte-Marie and established a mission settlement on the river's south bank. Sault Ste. Marie is one of the oldest French settlements in North America. It was at the crossroads of the 5,000 km (3,000 mi) fur trade route, which stretched from Montreal to Sault Ste. Marie and to the North country above Lake Superior.

The War of 1812 and Its Aftermath in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

The War of 1812 between Great Britain and the United States had a significant impact on Sault Ste. Marie. After the war, the border between Canada and the US was finally settled at the St. Mary's River. The areas separated by the river began to develop as two communities, both named Sault Ste. Marie.

The Canadian Pacific Railway and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Sault Ste. Marie had been a planned destination for railway expansion since the early 1880s. The symbolic "first spike" of the railway had been driven at Bonfield, Ontario in Nipissing District in 1881, and construction had been proceeding westward. The American railway magnate James J. Hill, nicknamed the "Empire Builder", supported a route through Sault Ste. Marie, which would allow for both a "water bridge" to the head of Lake Superior at Thunder Bay and an all-rail connection to the west via American railways in the Midwest.

The 20th Century in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

The town gained brief international notoriety in 1911 in the trial of Angelina Napolitano, the first person in Canada to use the battered woman defence for murder. It was incorporated as a city the following year in 1912. During World War II, a substantial military presence was established to protect the locks from a possible attack by Nazi German aircraft from the north.

The Climate of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Sault Ste. Marie has a humid continental climate with cold, snowy winters and warm humid summers that are moderated to some extent by Lake Superior. Winters are cold and very snowy, usually beginning in mid-late November and lasting until early April. Summers are warm and humid with mild nights.

Alternative Energy in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

The Sault Ste. Marie Solar Park, co-generation plant, F. H. Clergue Hydroelectric Generating Station, nearby Prince Township Wind Farm, and several nearby hydroelectric dams, form part of the city's push to develop alternative forms of energy and gain the title of 'Alternative Energy Capital of North America'.

Transportation in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Sault Ste. Marie is served by Highway 17, designated as a segment of the Trans-Canada Highway in the region. The International Bridge connects downtown Sault Ste. Marie to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, becoming Interstate 75 on the American side.

Tourism in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Local area attractions include the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, Entomica Insectarium, the Sault Ste. Marie Museum, the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site, boat tours of the Sault locks, Whitefish Island, the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site, Casino Sault Ste. Marie, the Art Gallery of Algoma and the Algoma Central Railway's popular Agawa Canyon Tour Train.

Demographics of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Sault Ste. Marie had a population of 72,051 living in 32,530 of its 34,818 total private dwellings. The city's census agglomeration had a total population of 76,731.

The Walk of Fame in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

The Walk of Fame was created in 2006 as a joint project between the city of Sault Ste. Marie and its Downtown Association, and honours those from the city or the Algoma District who have made outstanding contributions to the community or significant contributions in their chosen field of work.

The Culture of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Sault Ste. Marie is home to the Bon Soo winter carnival, held every February. The city also hosts the annual Algoma Fall Festival which draws local and international performing artists. The Kiwanis Community Theatre and the landmark Central United Church are used for the performances.

Sister Cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, has several sister cities, including County Louth, Ireland; Forssa, Finland; Maia, Portugal; and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, United States.