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Date finally announced for official downtown plaza opening

Contrary to a published report, it won’t be this weekend

Sault Ste. Marie's $11.6-million downtown plaza will officially open three days before Halloween, but there's a good chance members of the public will be allowed on the site before then.

"We are now planning plaza programming to begin on Oct. 28," Tom Vair, the city's deputy CAO, tells SooToday.

"That'll be in conjunction with other events that are happening in the downtown with the Downtown Association that weekend," Vair said.

Saturday, Oct. 28 is the same day the Downtown Association is planning its popular Halloween on Queen event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A local media report published last month claimed the plaza would open this weekend, but Vair says that's not the case.

"The event this Saturday is the opening of the Mill Market building [now renamed as Soo Market] only. So the market will be operational this Saturday at the new location at 73 Brock St."

Opening of the controversial downtown plaza has been delayed by supply-chain issues related to installation of a stage, but Vair tells us that's now expected to happen before the end of this month.

"The stage structure is looking to be installed by Sept. 29. And then there's a couple of weeks for the wiring and the audio-visual installation after that. So we're on track for our mid-October completion."

Vair says he expects members of the public will be able to check out the new plaza well in advance of the Oct. 28 official opening.

"The fences will be down in advance of the 28th. We'll be doing some testing with the equipment and speakers and screen, etc. But the public will be able to walk through the site."

City officials are planning an official opening ceremony for Oct. 28.

"More details to come. We're just finalizing that, but it will be around that same time," Vair said.

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

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