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Sault Ste. Marie coat of arms artwork unveiled (2 photos)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

City Council has approved preliminary artwork for an official, accredited municipal coat of arms for the City of Sault Ste. Marie (pictured).

The shield featured on the City’s coat of arms will also form part of the coat of arms for the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service, topped by the royal crown, surrounded by a wreath of maple leaves, and the provincial flower at the bottom.

What may be surprising to some is that the familiar City crest, which has been used since about 1912 (when Sault Ste. Marie was incorporated as a city), is not an official coat of arms.

The artwork for official coats of arms must conform to guidelines set out by the Canadian Heraldic Authority and be ultimately approved by the Governor General.

Sault Ste. Marie City Clerk Malcolm White told that some modifications to the Coat of Arms artwork may be required by the Heraldic Authority, but that the preliminary artwork approved by Council contains all of the required elements.

The artwork was done by local artist Eva Pilar-Cass, contracted by the Heraldic Authority, at a cost of $595.

On official coats of arms for municipalities, the royal crown is not displayed (it does, however, appear on Police coats of arms), and animals (not human figures) are recommended on both sides of the shield.

Topped by the Clergue Block House (acknowledging the Sault’s industrial roots), the blue and gold shield contains a whitefish (common to the Sault rapids), two white chevrons and a white lily flower (a reference to St. Mary).

The shield is supported by two Eastern wolves (timber wolves), each holding the shaft of a hand crucible, to represent tools used by steelworkers.

Autumn leaves and the waves from the rapids are at the bottom, along with the Ojibway phrase “Ojibwe Gchi Gami Odena” (“Settlement near the Ojibwe’s big lake”).

The City has discussed an official coat of arms for Sault Ste. Marie on and off throughout the years, but a Coat of Arms committee was formed in 2012, out of an urge by municipal officials to create something new and memorable in light of the community’s Celebrate 100! festivities.

The committee includes City Clerk Malcolm White, Deputy City Clerk Rachel Tyczinski, Celebrate 100! Project Coordinator Donna Irving, Sault Ste. Marie Museum Director and Curator Kim Forbes, City Councillors Susan Myers and Terry Sheehan, and City Police Service Sergeant Ray Magnan.

Council, in July of 2013, approved recommended elements to be included in the coat of arms.

It is anticipated the entire coat of arms will be used on official City documents, while only the shield portion will be used for such things as decals on City vehicles.

Once officially approved, electronic images on City letterhead can be easily changed to show the new coat of arms, and the image will be phased in gradually as new signage is required on, for example, City vehicles and buildings.

City Clerk Malcolm White, speaking to last summer, said he estimated the coat of arms project, with the artist’s fee included, would cost the City between $5,000 to $7,500 to implement.      



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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.
Brietsy 3/25/2014 5:07:58 PM Report

the police one looks good.
itsme29 3/25/2014 5:16:10 PM Report

wow dogs with great big crack tax dollar at work I guess..
Brietsy 3/25/2014 5:17:42 PM Report

uh... that's what hand crucibles look like. you know, for making steel?
Tills 3/25/2014 5:32:42 PM Report

Both a waste of tax dollars.. Police crest is nice the other is just plain ugly!
Wicket 3/25/2014 5:36:51 PM Report

Ugly... the block house sitting on top looks if that is what we are known for.... how about the rapids, native settlement, the locks...IMAGINATION based on our actual history, no one seems to have one any more.
diggie 3/25/2014 5:47:30 PM Report

I think this is very classy and in good taste. It is unique to SSM and is a great symbol of our city. Well done!
CB4 3/25/2014 5:51:47 PM Report

diggie, you are a troll
sportsfan17 3/25/2014 5:54:46 PM Report

Looks fine me. Only thing I agree is missing is a reference to the locks.

And you're right Brietsy, those are what hand crucibles look like. You've just got to remind yourself of the lack of knowledge/education some of the posters on here have.
mallet 3/25/2014 5:56:32 PM Report

Looks to me as though some kid just added the blockhouse on top because it looked empty up there. That stands out like a sore thumb, couldn't think of anything else I suppose, no steel plant, no paper mill, I don't know, the old one worked for me!!
itsme29 3/25/2014 6:04:33 PM Report

looks like shit and we all know it! hand crucibles eh? is it 1940 again and no one told me? come on people its 2014. im sure anyone under 80 has never seen one of those in use! as far as uneducated? think again
MoesTavern 3/25/2014 6:10:35 PM Report

It's okay, but really, shouldn't be used as a logo on trucks, buses, etc.. around town. Keep it for letterhead if you wish, however it's time to modernize and use a real logo like the Naturally Gifted for our everyday use. What other city can you name that uses a crest on everything instead of a logo these days?!?!?!?!
Brietsy 3/25/2014 6:10:45 PM Report

I agree that the Blockhouse looks... off. and the blue section in the shield itself is supposed to represent the rapids/locks. it's just really stylised. as heraldry usually is.

Perhaps if the blockhouse had not been angled. the rest of the crest is in 2 dimensions, in a traditional style, except for the blockhouse.

and about the crucible thing, we needed to show some connection to our steelmaking past, and future.

OH IT'S ME AGAIN 3/25/2014 6:29:09 PM Report

Please get rid of the old shack on top of, I am not sure what, but get rid of it before it falls off
ThinkAgain 3/25/2014 6:33:32 PM Report

Thats the 2 dogs the MNR want to shoot.

It takes years to embed the image into someones brain, why throw away the naturally gifted logo? Foolish decision, looks like dog doddo and waste of tax money.
Ski-Dude 3/25/2014 6:41:08 PM Report

Where do we vote on this?
happy camper 3/25/2014 6:43:54 PM Report

I like it
rockbanger 3/25/2014 6:51:19 PM Report

Would someone advise about the owner of the blockhouse and who resided there?

The reality may be uncomfortable to some.

Bach 3/25/2014 7:03:44 PM Report

little conspiracy here... the pyramid roof is like the pyramid symbol on the US dollar bill... oooo spookkkyyy

Boomboom 3/25/2014 7:04:45 PM Report

I seriously laughed out loud when I clicked on this link. These people serious? That is just is with the little house in the middle? Real classy...
Beej 3/25/2014 7:06:30 PM Report

Is it possible that whoever drew this was really stoned,
and just thought it was good?
Prrrrrrr 3/25/2014 7:13:14 PM Report

It looks like a grade six art/history project...
steelworker 3/25/2014 7:15:08 PM Report

...a taxpayer grabbing his ankles amidst a field of potholes and broken water pipes spewing brown water would be quite apt in my opinion.
Pakadeva 3/25/2014 7:23:12 PM Report

The city one, the white flower should be a Trillium! They are pictured all over the city. If they put the gold maple leaf design in an arch over the top & mention Algoma's Friendliest City. Guess we're all trying to enhance what is there, some of it very good. The Police one is beautiful!
Prrrrrrr 3/25/2014 7:27:12 PM Report

@ steelworker and maybe ad city council all sitting around a cozy fire fueled by burning taxpayers cash.
Prrrrrrr 3/25/2014 7:30:42 PM Report

lmao It is a trillium...I think:) That's a really BAD drawing!!! Seriously this needs to go back and be's terrible!!!!
Prrrrrrr 3/25/2014 7:31:43 PM Report

I know a local artist that will do this for free and it will be LOVED by ALL!!!
face 3/25/2014 7:34:59 PM Report

I can't wait to leave this city.....dafuq.
jojoe71 3/25/2014 7:37:03 PM Report

is that a brown door or a glass of brown water? :))
guard1 3/25/2014 7:37:04 PM Report

Does anyone know how much city council spent on this thing. This is an awful design dogs, wood house thing. Theres is some talented artists in this town that would of been honoured to design a new coat of arms and probably a lot cheaper.. Another poor dicision by council. Ah maybe not they will probably approve this design and that will be even worse.
Pakadeva 3/25/2014 7:38:42 PM Report

The writeup called it a white lily, IF it's supposed to be a trillium, then I'm a little happier haha
pastoutla 3/25/2014 7:50:22 PM Report

Years ago I had sex in that block house!!
It's kind of neat to be reminded.
I like it.
R0FL0L 3/25/2014 7:56:20 PM Report

The Clergue Block House on Top just does not fit.
Eva Pilar-Cass also drew the Winged sea caribou.
The "Coat of Arms" have to follow certain rules? But the Block House looks off. Something else on Top that could stand for the Steel town History, so that the wolves don't have to smoke a pipe (yes it is supposed to be a tool from bygone steel making)
It does not need 2 Timber Wolves, there could be 1 Wolf and 1 Moose.
A golden Maple Leaf could sit on top?
The mentioned Lily should be a Trillium?
Were other artist asked to bring an idea forward?
guard1 $595

lus777 3/25/2014 7:58:06 PM Report

The block house on top looks out of place, and the crucibles look ok, but anyone not knowing what they are may think they are some form of drug pipe as I did when I first looked at them. The police coats of arms is very nicely done.
lus777 3/25/2014 8:02:22 PM Report

R0FL0L..... I agree with your comment about having a moose on it too.
SaultRentals 3/25/2014 8:04:11 PM Report

The police one looks good. The other one, in my personal opinion, needs to start over completely. The lyons are irrelevant and dated and the block house looks out of place. I would like to see a nature themed design. Hopefully citizens will get to vote on the final one. We need to move ahead, into the future. This design says we are still stuck in the past. Please consider reworking. The artist is talented, it is just not the right focus, at least in my own personal opinion.
SammH 3/25/2014 8:09:01 PM Report

The only thing I really don't like is the block house.
s.m.k. 3/25/2014 8:29:59 PM Report

Everyone complaining about "wheres the steel plant"... I work there, and there is not really anything relatively classy or attractive you can put on a coat of arms to relate to the plant. As for anything to do with natives of the area, its hard to also do that without doing something some may consider racist.. for ex. the Bawating Braves logo. And finally, anyone complaining about the block house really has no idea about the history of our city and what a key role it played in our development. Do some research before you throw out facts.. and its not a hockey team logo, its a coat of arms. You wont be seeing it on the local hockey team jersey... Its not suppose to be flashy.
s.m.k. 3/25/2014 8:29:59 PM Report

Everyone complaining about "wheres the steel plant"... I work there, and there is not really anything relatively classy or attractive you can put on a coat of arms to relate to the plant. As for anything to do with natives of the area, its hard to also do that without doing something some may consider racist.. for ex. the Bawating Braves logo. And finally, anyone complaining about the block house really has no idea about the history of our city and what a key role it played in our development. Do some research before you throw out facts.. and its not a hockey team logo, its a coat of arms. You wont be seeing it on the local hockey team jersey... Its not suppose to be flashy.
inferno 3/25/2014 8:32:13 PM Report

Prrrrrrr 3/25/2014 8:38:36 PM Report

SaultRentals those Lions are suppose to be wolves...

This city is Naturally Gifted...that to me would mean streams, wildlife, mountains, flowers, the bridge, Lake Superior. That could have been blended in...if you have to ad wolves, log houses, fine...Shouldn't it say Sault Ste. Marie on it?
R0FL0L 3/25/2014 8:46:35 PM Report

s.m.k. nothing against the Old Stone House and the Blockhouse or any other History from Ermatinger time. I just feel the Blockhouse is misplaced on the TOP of this coat of arms.
The logo of the Corporation of the City of Sault Ste. Marie has it all no? The Canal, the Beaver, the trees, the working man for the Steel Town etc. ??Can we use the same top maybe?
BrianTheDog 3/25/2014 8:50:17 PM Report

How about a squirrel trying to get a nut?


perhaps a beaver trying to get a beaver?

H.E.T. 3/25/2014 8:52:10 PM Report

WTF !! The only thing this town is naturally gifted with is idiots in a gold building that go to great lengths to prove how they can waste tax dollars. Looks like shit. Good going to the person that suckered those idiots into PAYING for that. Proves the saying that "theres a sucker born every day".
Sam C 3/25/2014 9:04:20 PM Report

Did you people READ the article, and the description?

The drawing cost $595.

The lily is there because it is one of the symbols of St Mary.

The trillium appears only on the Police version.

As the article explained, Heraldry has some specific rules to be followed. Certain images are favoured, and are to be depicted in a prescribed manner.

as a coat of arms, I think it is nice. Not great, but nice. I agree, the blockhouse looks a bit out of place, but as a symbol it works.

Personally, although I do appreciate Heraldry, I would have prefered the City have gone with a simple logo, rather than a full-out coat of arms. But, since they have chosen to go that route, this works for me.
B Boy 3/25/2014 9:05:33 PM Report

The police crest looks like it was ripped off from the Niagara police:

itsme29 3/25/2014 9:30:20 PM Report

carpets they still owe on more then likely
R0FL0L 3/25/2014 9:35:41 PM Report

you are right B Boy very similar :)
carol11 3/25/2014 9:55:19 PM Report

Personally , I was very disappointed when the logo "NATURALLY GIFTED" started disappearing from the signs at our city limits and other areas around the city.
We have many talented artists and artisans in this town, many who draw on the natural gifts of this areas beauty and reflect it in their works of art.
I know this town has a history to reflect but it also has a future to reflect.
There was a sense of pride in seeing the NATURALLY GIFTED sign that I believe many people felt. A sense of being part of a statement that reflected our pride in our city and in ourselves.
Please reconsider the coat of arms as it just does not inspire those types of emotions and pride.
Berty 3/26/2014 12:31:21 AM Report

Very disappointed in this. Not professional looking at all. I would rather keep the old one. My opinion.
eadiecougs 3/26/2014 12:38:28 AM Report

should have every nationality that built this city along with the natives not two dogs and a old house put a pic of the new PUC building on top with a couple of screws and finish it off with a crack pipe for all the druggies here
sootodayreader 3/26/2014 12:38:59 AM Report

Our a very very small house
Pakadeva 3/26/2014 1:34:22 AM Report

@B Boy
You are right! SSM one is actually a little nicer, the difference is only in that centre section & the name.
Let's see:
Download photo, go to photoshop & make a few changes, print, trace it off, colour it, voila!
I still like it though! haha
SooBuddy 3/26/2014 7:04:20 AM Report

What a waste of money, Now they have to change all the city vehicles crests, letter heads, stamps, ticket books, etc…
And that stone house is just plan old stupid looking also who the H**l uses wolves in a crest? What a minute I get it!!! The wolves are there because the Mayor and friends are huge Twilight fans and side with Jacob and Team Jacob won the gold so the two dogs represent Team Jacobs! Good Job team Jacob!!! Lazy job City council.
LAWL 3/26/2014 7:47:31 AM Report

Looks great, other than the house on top.
Why not put the Temple on it. People in that group built this city.
LAWL 3/26/2014 7:50:01 AM Report

Beautiful police design.
whatstheproblemhere 3/26/2014 8:23:58 AM Report

I guess it's OK but the block house looks awkward up on top... it would have been nice to have the locks, rapids or the Old Stone House portrayed instead. The rest of it looks kinda cool though and the police got a nice design.
Eagles Fan. 3/26/2014 9:08:37 AM Report

That's the problem with hiring an "artist" to design this!! Anyone can splat paint against a canvass and call themselves an "artist"

There are a lot of people in this town who can draw or sketch (who aren't called artists) why not open it up to everyone, and make it a competition with the winner getting free parking at the Hospital for one day!! Then let the citizens of Sault Ste Marie decide which one is right, not a select few of morons who sit around a room once a month making moronic decisions

This design is terrible (although I will agree that the Police one is nice) but the city one really does look like a grade 6 student drew it

If city council thinks this work is well worth the $595 it cost, then we really are in trouble with the people we have running this city!!

If they promoted it right, they could have had hundreds of submissions from talented citizens (Not Artists) and all done for free!!!

I also agree, it does look like the wolves are smoking crack lol. Someone should send this to Rob Ford, I bet he would love it
joca 3/26/2014 9:12:19 AM Report

Right on Wicket. Looks ridiculous perched up there.
bill-m 3/26/2014 9:12:52 AM Report

May i ask what is wrong with the old one we have had it for over 100 years and it looks quite fine to me . This is the symbol of our city and know one has ever had a problem withit until now . Do we have people in our city hall who just want to leave a legacy,Look oh look what i did ! If that`s the just of it, shame shame on you who ever you are . Leave things alone . Like the old stone house LEAVE OUR HERITAGE ALONE!!!
MissKika 3/26/2014 9:25:12 AM Report

B Boy 3/26/2014 10:07:07 AM Report

Imagine the pride and options for crests if this was opened up to the public as a contest. This should have been done in conjunction with the city's birthday.

The person who created this proposed coat is talented, but there are so many great perspectives in this city. There would have been so many options. The Soo likes to brag and it would be a great thing if we could say our coat was created by the people of this city in a combined effort.

Prrrrrrr 3/26/2014 10:19:31 AM Report

eadiecougs 3/26/2014 12:38:28 AM

I laughed so hard I was actually in pain...well done!!!
If SooToday gave awards for the funniest comment you would win:)
eadiecougs 3/26/2014 11:02:15 AM Report

thanks purrrr I am a comedian
J.M. 3/26/2014 11:32:44 AM Report

I have never added comments before but I could write a book on this subject. We do have very talented local artists who would willingly help if the city actually needed a new coat of arms. This drawing is an embarrassment....please don't tell me you actually paid for it!!! Why can't our existing Coat Of Arms be adjusted to make it "politically correct" if you feel the need. I suppose this means that all of the SSM official uniforms will have to be replaced.....more tax dollars gone. Fix all the potholes with this money instead.

Beej 3/26/2014 12:04:33 PM Report

The police one is quite acceptable, but the city one is a train wreck.
I hope this is not the final version.
R0FL0L 3/26/2014 12:17:33 PM Report

Just wait a day or two and look at it a few times while awake
It grows on you :)
eadiecougs 3/26/2014 1:02:15 PM Report

ya like fungus
macgyvr 3/26/2014 6:57:21 PM Report

macgyvr 3/26/2014 7:03:43 PM Report

macgyvr 3/26/2014 7:05:10 PM Report

macgyvr 3/26/2014 7:08:21 PM Report

macgyvr 3/26/2014 7:13:15 PM Report

ButwhatdoIknow 3/26/2014 7:22:38 PM Report

I don't mean to offend the artist, but as the comments above suggest, this crest just doesn't look good. I am not even very artistically inclined, or political, but when I looked at this, I actually made an account here to comment on it. That took a day to process and by the time I could express myself, there were 72 comments posted! I agree with most of them: the wolves looked like lions to me and are a major focus. I've lived here all my life and have never seen a wolf. The locks, the International bridge, trees..yes. I also did not recognize the steel makers tool, but I would recognize the smoke stack. They looked a bit like hockey sticks which might be preferable. My biggest objection though is the Block house, as most others seem to agree. Sorry, but it looks ridiculous at the top there, out of proper scale.If we want to depict early settlers, how about a symbol of First Nations people rather than an early settler's home. I knw its historical but as a tourist attraction I find it stale, boring.

thomas 3/27/2014 8:08:57 AM Report

That is just gawd awful! As someone else said, it looks like a grade 6 art assignment. The block house looks ridiculous on top and the dogs are smoking long crack pipes, Gah! Also, what's with the writing on the scroll? what's that mean? Pitiful that most citizens can't even read/understand it.
Trilliums have 3 petals. That ? flower has 4.

PLEASE don't pass this as our city coat of arms!

crashed13 3/27/2014 8:45:32 AM Report

They better look down the road when no one is smoking in the future and do not get the two smoking dogs part.
AndyCap 3/27/2014 7:37:49 PM Report

It might have already been suggested but they should have had an open contest to design this.
EmeraldTreasure 3/27/2014 8:44:06 PM Report

The police one looks great - very nice but the Soo one needs some serious tweeking - not professional looking at all and "Sault Ste. Marie ON" should be included on it - looks more like a grade school project.
sharona 3/27/2014 9:05:55 PM Report

I hope there will be a vote on it cause it is awful!!! What are they thinking?!! It's horrid!! The Police one is nice but the coat of arms for the Sault YUK
Who was behind this anyway? Was there a committee? If there was I have a good feeling that it was the councillor from ward 2 that had something to do with this.
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