Community Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie & Area

Sault Ste. Marie

General Information

  • Location - Junction of Highway 17 East and North
  • Population in 2011 - 75,141
  • Access - Land, air, rail and water
  • Official website:


The City of Sault Ste. Marie is located on the north shore of the St. Marys River in an area that was known as Bawating, or where fast water flows over rocks. This location shared with its sister city, Sault Ste. Marie Michigan, was known as a meeting place where native peoples over 2,000 years before gathered annually to catch the whitefish that spawned at the rapids of the river. Here too, the native people traded, socialized and formed alliances during their stay. The first white person to visit the area was Etienne Brule in 1623. Others who followed renamed the mile-wide and mile-long rapids, as the rapids of Saint Mary or Sault Ste. Marie.

Since these early times, Sault Ste. Marie’s growth has been influenced by its strategic importance, not only because of its location on the upper Great Lakes but also because of the important natural heritage values that are available in close proximity. Entrepreneurs such as Francis Hector Clergue, who recognized the opportunities, have played pivotal roles in the growth of the community and particularly its industrial development. Clergue’s legacy includes Algoma Steel Inc., St. Mary’s Paper Ltd., Algoma Central Railway and Great Lakes Power Ltd. Other visionaries have initiated the development of key commercial properties, health institutions and educational centres, including Sault College and Algoma University College.

Today the City of Sault Ste. Marie is a robust community of approximately 75,000 people whose employment base continues to become more diversified with primary and secondary industries, retail, transportation and commercial businesses, education, health and government institutions all contributing to this diversity. The City’s strategic location compliments its “Naturally Gifted” slogan. Residents and visitors alike participate in recreational activities that are tied in large measure to its nature base hinterland.