- The Water Tower Inn
- 360 Great Northern Road - Sault Ste. Marie
- Ontario P6B 4Z7 - Canada
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Sault Ste. Marie is a city located in Ontario, Canada, at the northeastern end of Lake Superior. It is the third-largest city in Northern Ontario and has a rich history that spans thousands of years.
Indigenous peoples, including the Ojibwe (also known as Chippewa), Odawa, and Potawatomi, have inhabited the Sault Ste. Marie area for centuries. They used the area as a gathering place, trading hub, and transportation route due to its strategic location between the Great Lakes and the interior of North America.
European exploration and fur trade in the region began in the 17th century. In 1668, French Jesuit missionaries established a mission near the rapids of the St. Marys River, which is now known as the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge. This area became a key trading post and transportation route connecting the Great Lakes to the western interior of the continent.
The British gained control of the area after the French and Indian War in 1763. The North West Company and the Hudson's Bay Company were among the prominent fur trading companies operating in the region. Sault Ste. Marie played a crucial role in the fur trade, serving as a major supply and distribution center.
In the early 19th century, the area became a battleground between British and American forces during the War of 1812. The Americans attempted to capture the British fort located at Sault Ste. Marie but were unsuccessful. The conflict resulted in the construction of Fort Brady, a U.S. military outpost, in 1822.
The settlement of Sault Ste. Marie officially began to develop in the mid-19th century. The first significant wave of European settlers arrived with the construction of the Soo Locks in 1855. The locks enabled ships to bypass the rapids and navigate between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes, fostering trade and economic growth in the region. Sault Ste. Marie quickly became an important industrial center, with industries such as lumbering, shipping, and mining contributing to its prosperity.
The city grew rapidly throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1912, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and its American counterpart, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, were officially incorporated as separate cities. The two cities remain closely linked due to their shared history and their joint management of the international bridge and the St. Marys River.
Over the years, Sault Ste. Marie has seen shifts in its economic focus. While the industrial sector played a significant role in the city's development, there has been a transition to a more diverse economy. Sault Ste. Marie now encompasses sectors such as healthcare, education, government services, tourism, and renewable energy. Today, Sault Ste. Marie is known for its scenic beauty, including the nearby Agawa Canyon and the Algoma Highlands. It continues to be an important transportation hub and a vibrant cultural center, preserving its historical roots while embracing modern developments.
Top Tourist Attractions
Sault Ste. Marie offers a variety of attractions that appeal to tourists. Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Sault Ste. Marie:
- Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site: This site is home to the Sault Ste. Marie Canal, which was built in the 19th century to bypass the rapids of the St. Marys River. Visitors can explore the historic lock system, take a guided tour, and learn about the canal's significance in shaping the city's development.
- Agawa Canyon Tour Train: This scenic train journey takes visitors through the breathtaking Algoma region. The route offers stunning views of forests, lakes, and the Agawa Canyon, allowing passengers to experience the natural beauty of the area.
- Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre: Located in the historic waterfront area, this museum showcases the history of bush flying and forest fire management in Canada. Visitors can explore vintage aircraft, interactive exhibits, and learn about the role of aviation in northern Ontario.
- Art Gallery of Algoma: This art gallery features a diverse collection of contemporary and historical artwork from local and international artists. The gallery hosts rotating exhibits, art workshops, and educational programs.
- Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site: Step back in time at this living history site, which consists of two 19th-century houses. Visitors can explore the restored buildings and learn about the fur trade era, early settlement, and the lives of the people who lived there.
- Bellevue Park: This waterfront park offers scenic views of the St. Marys River and is a popular spot for picnicking, walking, and relaxing. It features walking trails, a beach, playgrounds, and beautiful gardens.
- Hiawatha Highlands: Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the Hiawatha Highlands, a vast area of natural beauty. It offers a range of recreational activities, including hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.
- Sault Ste. Marie Museum: Located in the historic old Post Office building, the museum showcases the history and heritage of Sault Ste. Marie. It exhibits artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays that highlight the city's past.
- Clergue Park and Boardwalk: This waterfront park features a scenic boardwalk along the St. Marys River. It offers picturesque views, benches to relax on, and is a popular spot for walking, jogging, and photography.
- Roberta Bondar Park and Tent Pavilion: Named after Canada's first female astronaut, this park features beautiful gardens, a waterfront boardwalk, and a tent pavilion that hosts various events and festivals throughout the year.
These attractions provide visitors with a mix of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and historical insights, making Sault Ste. Marie an appealing destination for tourists.
Sault Ste. Marie experiences a humid continental climate, characterized by four distinct seasons. Here's an overview of the climate in Sault Ste. Marie:
- Spring (March to May): Spring in Sault Ste. Marie is generally mild and transitional. Temperatures start to rise, with daytime highs ranging from around 5°C (41°F) in March to 15°C (59°F) in May. However, it can still be chilly, especially during the early months, with occasional snowfall.
- Summer (June to August): Summers in Sault Ste. Marie are warm and relatively humid. Average daytime temperatures range from 20°C (68°F) to 25°C (77°F), although temperatures can occasionally reach the high 20s to low 30s Celsius (80s to 90s Fahrenheit). The region experiences longer daylight hours during this season, providing ample opportunity for outdoor activities. Thunderstorms are also common during the summer months.
- Autumn (September to November): Autumn in Sault Ste. Marie is characterized by mild and crisp weather, with beautiful fall foliage. September is generally pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 15°C (59°F) to 20°C (68°F). As the season progresses, temperatures gradually cool down, with daytime highs dropping to around 5°C (41°F) in November. It's a great time to enjoy the colorful scenery and participate in fall activities.
- Winter (December to February): Winters in Sault Ste. Marie are cold and snowy. Average daytime temperatures range from -5°C (23°F) to -10°C (14°F), but it's not uncommon for temperatures to drop well below freezing. The city receives a significant amount of snowfall, creating opportunities for winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. It's important to note that wind chills can make the temperatures feel even colder.
The city's proximity to the Great Lakes can influence its climate, with lake-effect snowfall occurring at times during the winter months. The St. Marys River, which flows through the city, also has an impact on local weather patterns. It's always advisable to check the local weather forecast before visiting Sault Ste. Marie to be prepared for the specific conditions during your visit.
Sault Ste. Marie is located in the province of Ontario, Canada, at the northeastern end of Lake Superior. Here's an overview of the geography of Sault Ste. Marie:
- Location: Sault Ste. Marie is situated on the St. Marys River, which serves as the border between Ontario, Canada, and Michigan, United States. It is approximately 705 kilometers (438 miles) northwest of Toronto, the capital of Ontario.
- Waterways: The city is located at the meeting point of Lake Superior and Lake Huron, two of the Great Lakes. The St. Marys River flows through the city, connecting Lake Superior to Lake Huron. The Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge crosses the St. Marys River, connecting the Canadian and American sections of the city.
- Topography: Sault Ste. Marie is characterized by a varied topography. The city is surrounded by rugged landscapes, including rocky outcrops, forests, and rolling hills. The area features numerous rivers, streams, and inland lakes, contributing to its natural beauty.
- Algoma Highlands: To the east of Sault Ste. Marie lies the Algoma Highlands, a region known for its stunning natural landscapes. This area features forests, lakes, and scenic hiking trails, attracting outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
- Climate: Sault Ste. Marie experiences a humid continental climate influenced by its proximity to the Great Lakes. The region has four distinct seasons, with relatively warm summers and cold winters. The city receives a significant amount of snowfall during the winter months.
- International Border: The St. Marys River serves as an international border between Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The two cities are closely connected and work cooperatively on various issues, including transportation, trade, and tourism.
- Soo Locks: The Sault Ste. Marie Canal, also known as the Soo Locks, is an essential feature of the city's geography. The locks enable ships to bypass the rapids of the St. Marys River and navigate between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes. The canal played a significant role in the development of the city and its importance as a transportation hub.
The geography of Sault Ste. Marie offers a diverse and picturesque environment, with its location on the Great Lakes and its surrounding natural landscapes. It provides opportunities for outdoor activities, scenic beauty, and a connection to the rich history and culture of the region.