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City to revive Walk of Fame

The money to refurbish the stone maple leaves will be taken from a city account for unforeseen expenses. Chief financial officer Shelley Schell cautions that the city is in a deficit position and any money taken from that account will increase the year-end deficit.

City officials are planning to spend $20,080 to repair or replace the 38 granite maple leaves that comprise the Sault's Walk of Fame.

Thirty-three of the stone leaves are considered salvageable.

The remaining five have been badly cracked by local winters and will be replaced for about $620 each.

The Walk of Fame revival was approved by Sault Ste. Marie City Council last week.

During their upcoming budget deliberations, councillors will be asked to approve $2,000 a year for ongoing maintenance of the granite leaves.

The cost of future inductions will be $1,085 each.

The salvageable stones are to be cleaned and buffed at a cost of $185 each and will then be mounted on $300 pedestals in flower beds throughout the downtown.

The Walk of Fame was created in 2002 as a joint initiative of the city and what's now the Queenstown Business Improvement Area.

Each inductee was honoured with a granite maple leaf embedded in a sidewalk adjacent to the Essar Centre.

However, the stone leaves fared poorly in the Sault's winter climate and the stones, still surrounded by sidewalk concrete, were removed during last year's Queen Street streetscaping.

They are currently stored at the city's public works building.

In 2014, City Council approved spending as much as $175,000 to mount the stones in the Essar Centre facade but the cash was conditional on budget approval, which was not forthcoming.

Last week, City Council and staff rejected a number of alternative concepts:

  • Mounting $1,000 six-inch-square aluminum leaves on the exterior wall of the Essar Centre
  • Placing $1,000 illuminated pillars around the downtown
  • One-foot-square vinyl floor graphics

"There are other alternatives but it is a Walk of Fame, not a Wall of Fame," said Ward 1 Councillor Steve Butland.

"We need to get the stones back out and we'd like very much to move forward on this as soon as possible," said Ward 2 Councillor Susan Myers.

Only one of the stones is currently fit to be displayed, Councillor Myers said.

"They're in  very bad condition....The others are absolutely not displayable."

The money to refurbish the maple leaves will be taken from a city account used for unforeseen expenses. 

Treasurer and chief financial officer Shelley Schell cautioned that the city is in a deficit position and any money taken from that account will increase the year-end deficit.

The following are past inductees of the Sault Ste. Marie Walk of Fame. No one was inducted this year and there are no plans so far for inductions in 2017.

2006 inductees

  • Roberta Bondar
  • Francis H. Clergue
  • Ken Danby
  • Ron Francis
  • Joanie and Gary McGuffin
  • Ted Nolan
  • Kevin Scott
  • Morley Torgov
  • Treble Charger
  • Jessica Tuomela

2007 inductees

  • Phil Esposito
  • Tony Esposito
  • Harry Graham
  • John Rhodes
  • Darren Zacks

2008 inductees

  • John Barker
  • Angelo Bumbacco
  • Joni Henson
  • Dr. David Walde

2009 inductees

  • Doreen Hume
  • Edie Kerr
  • Russ Ramsay
  • MCpl Scott Vernelli

2010 inductees

  • Eric Alessandrini
  • Dr. Peter Black
  • Douglas Bradford
  • Jo Forman

2011 inductees

  • Trixie Hardy
  • Tanya Kim
  • Walter Wallace

2012 inductees

  • Ross Mervyn
  • Walter Newman
  • Brian Vallee
  • Tony Van Den Bosch

2013 inductees

  • Sir William Hearst
  • Team Jacobs (Brad Jacobs, Ryan Fry, E. J. Harnden, Ryan Harnden)

2014 Inductees

  • Mac and BJ Marcoux
  • Lester Pyette

2015 Inductees

  • Helen Arvonen
  • James W Curran


David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans six decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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