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Councillors decide what to do with embarrassing ton of granite (4 photos)

Walk of Fame 'stars' turned out to be no match for Northern Ontario winters, quickly cracking and deteriorating into embarrassing political millstones
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Ward 2 councillor Susan Myers did most of the heavy lifting last night as City Council pondered the future of 40 chunks of granite.
 
The maple leaf-shaped 50-pound slabs commemorating outstanding Saultites were originally commissioned for a downtown Walk of Fame similar to sidewalk installations in Hollywood and Toronto's theatre district.
 
But the granite 'stars' turned out to be no match for Northern Ontario winters, quickly cracking and deteriorating into embarrassing political millstones.
 
No one has been inducted into the Sault Walk of Fame since 2015.
 
The hefty rocks were pulled out as part of that year's downtown streetscaping and ever since, city officials have wrestled with alternative ways to display them.
 
In this year's municipal budget, $20,605 was allocated to place the granite albatrosses on pedestals in downtown flower beds.
 
Half the money has already been spent cutting the leaves from surrounding concrete, cleaning and buffing them, but public works staff determined there were problems with the planned display:
  • the leaves are considered too heavy to be mounted on pedestals
  • they wouldn't be visible in winter
  • in summer they could be obscured by flower beds 
  • the leaves have sharp edges that could pose dangers to the public
So public works staff worked up yet another display concept: placing the maple leaves in double-sided cabinets made of steel with a concrete base and Lexan (thermoplastic polymer) protective cover.
 
Two cabinets were recommended to display the 40 existing Walk of Fame inductees: one near the Essar Centre and the other in the vicinity of Centennial Library.
 
The two cabinets could be constructed with the project's existing budget, staff said.
 
Councillor Myers had reservations last night, pointing our that the original concept for the Walk of Fame involved granite stones "sprinkled throughout the downtown" as part of a walk, not a static display.
 
Myers also expressed accessibility concerns for those viewing the displays from wheelchairs or as youngsters.
 
"The height of any cabinets, if that's the route we go, ought to consider viewing to accommodate our younger folks, the part of the population whom we want to see inspired by these accomplished Saultites," the councillor said.
 
Myers also pointed out the city's intention to resume accepting nominations for induction into the Walk of Fame.
 
"When we think about how we're going to display them going forward, we need to think about the future of the program."
 
Councillors voted in favour of a proposal from Myers to establish a committee to make recommendations for the Walk of Fame.
 
Councillors Myers, Butland and Shoemaker will be members of the new committee, as well as appropriate city staffers and a representative of the Downtown Association.
 
As she spoke at last night's City Council meeting, Councillor Myers had one of the 50-pound granite slabs on her desk, commemorating the 2011 induction of Tanya Kim.
 
"Mr. Butland offered to help me lift it up here but I managed to do it myself," Myers grunted.
 
Sault Ste. Marie Walk of Fame inductees

2006
Roberta Bondar
neurologist, astronaut, first Canadian woman in space

2006   
Francis H. Clergue            
industrialist and visionary

2006   
Ken Danby     
artist

2006   
Ron Francis    
NHL player

2006   
Joanie and Gary McGuffin    
adventurers, conservationists, authors

2006   
Ted Nolan      
NHL- and junior-level hockey coach

2006   
Kevin Scott    
world-record-setting speed skater

2006   
Morley Torgov           
author and humourist

2006   
Treble Charger           
recording artists

2006   
Jessica Tuomela          
Paralympic swimmer

2007   
Phil Esposito  
NHL player, executive, Team Canada 1972 alumnus

2007   
Tony Esposito            
NHL player, executive and Team Canada 1972 alumnus

2007
Harry Graham       
forester and academic

2007 
John Rhodes          
broadcaster and politician

2007   
Darren Zack   
softball pitcher

2008 
John Barker           
union leader and driving force behind Group Health Centre

2008   
Angelo Bumbacco     
junior hockey executive and co-founder of Soo Greyhounds

2008   
Joni Henson   
lyric spinto soprano

2008   
Dr. David Walde       
oncologist, cancer treatment pioneer, hospital fundraiser

2009   
Doreen Hume
coloratura soprano soloist

2009   
Edie Kerr   
organizer of many curling events including the 1978 Macdonald Lassies Tournament and 1990 Labatt Brier

2009   
Russ Ramsay         
broadcasting executive and MPP for Sault Ste. Marie

2009   
MCpl Scott Vernelli          
served in Afghanistan with Royal Canadian Regiment

2010   
Eric Alessandrini        
fundraiser and volunteer

2010   
Dr. Peter Black          
neurosurgeon

2010   
Douglas Bradford      
artist

2010   
Jo Forman  
advocate of secondary school athletics

2011   
Trixie Hardy   
dance instructor and theatrical producer

2011   
Tanya Kim     
television personality (eTalk) and philanthropist

2011   
Walter Wallace      
educator, member of the Canadian Forces (49th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA), humanitarian

2012   
Ross Mervyn  
retired steelworker, promoter of anti-drug education and causes

2012   
Walter Newman    
Founder of the Boys Naval Brigade

2012   
Brian Vallee
Journalist (Sault Star, Toronto Sun, Toronto Star, The Fifth Estate) and author (Life with Billy)

2012   
Tony Van Den Bosch            
social worker and pioneer in addiction treatment

2013   
Sir William Hearst
attorney, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, premier of Ontario (1914-1919)

2013   
Team Jacobs (Brad Jacobs, Ryan Fry, E. J. Harnden, Ryan Harnden) 
Competitive curlers

2014   
Mac and B.J. Marcoux
paralympian alpine skiers

2014   
Lester Pyette  
journalist/editor (Sault Daily Star, Calgary Sun, Toronto Sun, The London Free Press) and publishing executive (Sun Media)

2015   
Helen Arvonen      
author

2015   
James W Curran
Publisher of Sault Star and founder of Sault Rotary Community Day Parade



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