FUTURE: Sault Ste. Marie

Economic Growth and Diversity Action Team


Sault Ste. Marie will be recognized as a smart, growing, high quality-of-life community that is the home of dynamic industrial sectors, life-enhancing  research and progressive post-secondary institutions. As a result, our community will attract talent and capital, and will support a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem.


The committee will function as a study/recommend team that will engage with residents, sector professionals and related stakeholders to recommend to the Community Development Roundtable areas of opportunity to grow our economy and achieve sustainable prosperity for citizens.


Initial questions for the Economic Growth and Diversity working committee to consider include:

  • What are the key components of a community framework to ensure to establish economic prosperity?
  • What are the priority actions to address gaps in our community that are preventing economic prosperity?
  • What will our community look like when we are successful by 2037?  How will our community have to be developed to achieve what’s required for success?  
  • What are the core focused and specific ideas that will generate lasting economic diversification and growth which will in turn grow our population?
  • How do we effectively engage our private sector community in this initiative to build momentum?


1. Grow From Within

  • Establish a concierge service for commercial economic development. This service would provide support to business owners, developers and builders as they proceed through the development or building. 
  • Establish an Indigenous liaison at the City- Indigenous enterpreneurs and business owners are not aware that services (not specific to Indigenous people - Waubetek as an example) are also available to them. 
  • Create a database of recent grads (their education and training) and connect them with local employers who are looking for skilled labour. 
  • Promote opportunities more aggressively with investors aware of opportunities that exist.
  • Improve industrial park so that it is more attractive for millennials (restaurants, green spaces, etc.)
  • Work with DTA, downtown building owners adn others to develop "win this space" contest with emphasis on young entrepreneurs and other groups that may lack initial resources to get business started.
  • Look into investing into a trolley downtown and between attractions - free, guided, tie to cruise ship passengers and other attractions
  • Free wifi in the downtown
  • Create tourism app and kiosks with information (ex. walking tours)

2. Business Development

  • Focus on improving infrastructure - IT, phycial, water, etc.
  • Develop a planning check-list - similar to concierge service (ex. new building construction)
  • Need to establish and foster an entrepreneurial mindset among City staff - "getting to yes

3. Grow Post-Secondary Institutions (PSI)

  • Need to make SSM a place for students - incorporate into City planning: becoming more student-centric, create a vibe in the city (bars, patios, live music, public art, free wifi downtown)
  • 3Rs (Retain. Recruit. Repatriate.) - in order to repatriate recent grads who have left SSM to go to school, we need to provide more co-op opportunities and work with local employers to do this. 
  • Work with PSIs, to improve transit usage for students (free passes, confirm routes are effective)

4. Information Technology (IT)

  • support clustering by workign with PSIs, local businesses and new business to establish clustering

5. Global Tourism

  • Work with partner countries to market Sault Ste. Marie as a tourism destination; swap translation services, utilize data for countries represented in SSM and target activities accordingly. 
  • Encourage partnerships with Indigenous tourism
  • Encourage the development of more outdoor outfitters & tour companies (snowmachine, ATVs, canoe/kayak trips, recreation boating)
  • Look for opportunities to enhance world-class amenities in and around Sault Ste. Marie; Stokely Creek Lodge, Hiawatha Highlands, Lake Superior Provincial Park, etc. How do we increase visitors to these places?

Lead: Susan George
Matt Shoemaker
Kevin Wyer
Karen Bird
Dan Hollingsworth
Pete Bruijins
Jonathon Coulman
Ashlee Gerard
Francine Floreani
Tim Lavoie
Jeff Elgie
Jennifer Johnson
Ralph Barker


What are your thoughts? Let us know by commenting below