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What's to be done with this big old canal?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014   by: Staff



City seeks public input for canal district master plan

As part of the ongoing Downtown revitalization efforts, the City of Sault Ste. Marie has commenced a Canal District Master Plan.

The Plan outlines a number of pedestrian and streetscape linkages which may be implemented in an area ranging from the Sault Locks Historic Site to the Gore Street commercial corridor.

The projects proposed may be implemented through the City’s capital works program, or through specific construction projects, depending on Council approval and future funding.

Input on the proposed Canal District Master Plan from area residents, businesses, property owners and the community is welcome and encouraged.

Have Your Say...

February 19, 2014 – 7 to 9 p.m.

Etienne Brule School – 241 Albert St West

You can provide input by speaking at the public meeting or by making a written submission to City Planner Steve Turco via email at

Further information on the proposed Canal District Master Plan or the public meeting can be obtained during regular office hours in the Planning Division, Level 5, Civic Centre or from the City website – City Hall Bulletins.

Written comments or inquiries should be directed to Steve Turco, Planner, Planning Division, at 705-759-5279 or email 


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Wicket 2/12/2014 3:02:41 PM Report

Why do you have a picture of the American locks, is this their project or ours?
chichimawn 2/12/2014 3:07:50 PM Report

Right on Wicket! :D
itsme29 2/12/2014 3:14:46 PM Report

geography 101 cmon sootoday get on the ball
bounder 2/12/2014 3:17:40 PM Report

Oh oh
what's up with that for sure.
Wicket another thing if you breakdown on the bridge, the phone number to call is American with Canada running a close second underneath.
I would think once your past the border on the Canadian side it would be the other way around.
MaximusPrime 2/12/2014 3:26:03 PM Report

If it's THIS canal as shown in the picture, I'd direct your comments to the appropriate American authority rather the a Sault Ste. Marie Ontario planner. I doubt Steve Turco has much influence outside of the Sault Ste. Marie Ontario.
Riverpilot 2/12/2014 3:47:11 PM Report

Obviously, this project outline does not include the needed upgrades to the historic property itself. The upper and lower approaches to the lock(sandstone walls lining the canal) are in such disrepair that they have been marked as hazards to navigation for over two decades. The roadway access especially to the west end along the canal is deplorable. The buildings that are supposed to be part of Canada's Heritage sites are also in need of major rehablitation. The best thing that ever happened was the construction of the paths and boardwalk which makes the island unique. As for the section between the locks and Gore Street, I thought that was going to be part of a major tourist attraction! It's a shame that the old municipal fish hatchery sits vacant along with the Federal complex on the lower approaches to the lock. The canal area should be show- cased as a pinacle attraction on our waterfront and instead it has become very neglected over the years. Our city needs to partner with the Federal Government to develop a solid long term plan for this area not just plant a few trees and flowers and to have it all torn up in five years for another project. It's time to pressure the Federal Historic Sites Board for much needed help!
Just Curious 2/12/2014 3:54:01 PM Report

And Gore street desperately need to be put back to a two way street, otherwise it's just an escape route..
Daiv 2/12/2014 4:16:45 PM Report

I've always wondered why they can't make the canal a skating Rink in the winter. I'm assuming it would freeze solid?
If it's a worry about somebody falling through, couldn't they put a cage just under the water as a precaution and remove it in the summer?
I've always wondered that.
Sam C 2/12/2014 5:09:07 PM Report

Daiv... the problem is who "they" is. The property belongs to Parks Canada, not the City.

To my knowledge, Parks Canada doesn't employ more than a skeleton staff in the winter.

Certainly it would be possible to create a skating rink, but if you check out how much work is involved in creating and maintaining and supervising the "worlds longest skating rink" -- the Rideau Canal -- in Ottawa, it's a fairly extensive and expensive proposition.

As for a safety cage, it would have to be a couple of hundred metres long, by about 10 metres wide.
Just Curious 2/12/2014 5:18:15 PM Report

The canal in Our nations head sewage plant gets drained down to about 3 ft and then allowed to freeze solid. The same would have to be done here before you could freeze it to let people skate on it..:)
lennom 2/12/2014 7:24:18 PM Report

How is this the american lock canal? Look at the bridge in the back left looking over the island.
macgyvr 2/12/2014 7:31:13 PM Report

Wicket 2/12/2014 8:49:31 PM Report

The picture has BEEN CHANGED, it is not the one that was there when I made the first comment!!!!! The picture posted was two Soo, Mi locks along with the double arches of the bridge.

As far as the mess on the property on our side, I tried a few years ago to get something done, it is called "pass the buck". It took Parks Canada supervisor three weeks to return my call. The city had no answers and cannot even repair the roads without Cdn govt permission. I was hoping to get interested businesses and free manual labour by volunteers to kinda "pay it forward" by fixing it up for the locals (not tourists) to enjoy it.
I am very pleased to see what a wonderful job that Batchewana First Nation are doing on the island - establishing walkable foot trails, gazebos with seating and now a couple of buildings to eventually reflect their heritage.
mellow 2/12/2014 11:52:45 PM Report

I believe they should build a recreation complex and indoor restaurant for year round activities. Seniors kids tourists and families would enjoy. We absolutely need an indoor safe haven pool and indoor walking track for our community. The YMCA and John Rhodes get crowded.. The central community and west end citizens could benefit from this. A building for mentoring young and old would be key. A nice restaurant to view whitefish Island may be nice in this building. I think it would tie in beautifully to the boardwalk and heritage.
mellow 2/12/2014 11:55:02 PM Report

Keep seniors and kids safe. Takes a village.. Advocate for health and caring by pushing for a complex where everyone belongs. Use the canal site as a base for this.
mellow 2/12/2014 11:58:51 PM Report

Thus be accountable with tax payers a complex for young and old.. we are not endangered species.. We need a community with integrity and safety. Health happiness.
mellow 2/13/2014 1:58:59 PM Report

Japan made a pool with an old canal.. so we can do the same but make it indoors and a rec centre... Do the research..
crashed13 2/14/2014 10:47:21 AM Report

Did they change the Photo? That is the Canadian lock.
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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