Why Sault Ste. Marie?

A white wavy line for decoration.

We are the Heart of Canada’s Freshwater

Nestled in the Hub of the Great Lakes Region, Sault Ste. Marie is located mid-way across Canada and next to one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, Lake Superior.

Within city limits are a variety of bodies of water and landforms including forests, cliffs, fast moving waters, swamps, wetlands, and the St. Mary’s River. Sault Ste. Marie boasts habitat diversity, and the biological diversity associated with it. 

Indigenous Partnership

Named after it’s freshwater, Baawaating, meaning “Place of the Rapids” is centrally located in the traditional Ojibwe territory. 

The City has engaged with our indigenous communities and partners to build support and bring indigenous voice to our proposal development.

City Leadership

The City of Sault Ste. Marie is committed to supporting freshwater research and conservation. 

Sault Ste. Marie has completed a GHG Emissions Reduction Plan and is continuing its commitment to climate action through the implementation of the plan!

A Centre for Innovative Clean Economic Growth

Sault Ste. Marie’s business community has been a leader in clean economic growth. The region features over 272 MW of wind generation, 68 MW of solar generation and 203 MW hydroelectric generation. Our local utility will switch on the first community-wide smart grid in Canada in 2023.

Heliene, a solar panel manufacturing company headquartered in Sault Ste. Marie, can produce 950MW per year at its facilities in SSM and the U.S. Earlier this year, Algoma Steel announced its new electric arc project that will enable the company to create the greenest steel in Canada. 

Truth and Reconciliation 

The City of Sault Ste. Marie has been active and engaged in responding to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The Mayor leads the Bawaating Advisory circle. The Bawaating Advisory Circle was established as a way for engagement and dialogue to take place between Sault Ste. Marie leadership and our Indigenous communities. The advisory circle is another positive step forward on the path to local reconciliation.

Algoma University is developing Canada’s first Truth and Reconciliation hub. Mukqua Waakaa’igan, the Anishinaabemowin name endowed to the new cultural facility. The facility will promote the Calls To Action and provide a space to showcase indigenous cultures in Canada.

Community Support and Engagement 

Water is a way of life in Sault Ste. Marie. Our beautiful region offers endless beauty and activities centred around our freshwater. 

The City of Sault Ste. Marie partnered with Lake Huron North to bring community voices representing industry, non-profit organizations, youth, and Indigenous persons to the table to explore our vision for a water-secure future. Our What We Heard report summarizes those community voices. 

Learn more about the contributions of community members, and more specifically discussions with ADSB (the Algoma District School Board).  

An Ecosystem of Freshwater Research

Sault Ste. Marie is home to a cluster of innovative and leading freshwater and natural resource research and expertise, including:

  • Sault College’s School of Natural Environment 
  • Algoma University’s School of Life Science and the Environment
  • Turkey Lakes Watershed Study
  • The Sea Lamprey Control Centre
  • The Great Lakes Forestry Centre, part of Natural Resources Canada
  • The Ontario Forest Research Institute, part of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
  • The Invasive Species Centre
  • The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority
  • NORDIK Institute
  • Lake Superior State University Center for Freshwater Resources and Education

International and Regional Collaboration

Being a border City, Sault Ste. Marie freshwater researchers collaborate internationally with ease. Algoma University faculty have partnered and collaborate regularly with Lake Superior State University’s faculty at the Center for Freshwater Resources and Education.

Algoma University and other community stakeholders are a part of the Lake Superior Living Labs Network (LSLLN), a regional network. The LSLLN works collaboratively to co-create innovative solutions to sustainability challenges in the Lake Superior Watershed.

Plus, Sault Ste. Marie has collaboratively monitored and managed the St. Mary’s River – for example, through the Bi-national Public Advisory Committee (BPAC).

An aerial photo showing the International Bridge in Sault Ste. Marie, towering over the canal.