Want to see and experience what the community looked like decades or even a century ago? The Sault Downtown Association, Sault Ste. Marie Museum and the City’s Tourism Sault Ste. Marie are excited to announce the local launch of On This Spot, an interactive history app.
Users of the app can view more than 100 historical photos of the community and compare them to mapped-out and restaged pictures from the same perspective today. The app’s photographs and paintings, which come from the collections of the Sault Ste Marie Museum, date from the early-1800s to the 1950s. The app is free to use and can be downloaded on Android and Apple devices. Download links can be found at onthisspot.ca.
"On behalf of the Sault Ste. Marie Museum, I am extremely excited and pleased to be part of the On This Spot app,” said Executive Director and Chief Curator William Hollingshead. “This opportunity to share, expand, and make our history more readily available and accessible is a significant moment for Sault Ste Marie and its vast history spanning back thousands of years. We have partnered with some great community organizations to make this happen, and we can't wait for users to engage with the platform.”
The app includes four walking tours that gives access to a vast array of local history, public art and attractions. Two tours focus on the town's history with the first highlighting the St. Mary’s River rapids and the area around the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site. It starts with the history of the Indigenous peoples and the fur trade, and then moves to Francis Clergue's industrial empire and the building of the canal. The second walking tour explores Queen Street and shows what life was like over a century ago.
“Our Board and staff recognize the incredible value of this new initiative and offered support with our partners,” said Ashlyn McMillan, Manager of the Sault Downtown Association. “Preserving and promoting local history, especially in our downtown core, is of the utmost importance. The interactive design of the tours on the app make for an interesting and convenient way for locals and visitors alike to learn about our history and other fun facts.”
There is also a public art walking tour, which displays the work of artists featured in the Downtown Mural Project. As well, there is a tour along the waterfront highlighting various historical, cultural and recreational attractions.
“We wanted to provide a unique experience for visitors and area residents, and we’re proud to have worked with our partners to develop this initiative,” said Travis Anderson, Director of Tourism & Community Development for the City of Sault Ste. Marie.
Sault Ste. Marie joins other cities across Canada to be featured in On This Spot app, including Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.