FUTURE: Sault Ste. Marie

Downtown Development Action Team


A vibrant downtown symbolizes a healthy community. High quality places retain and attract skilled people. For Sault Ste. Marie to diversify its economy and attract newcomers it is imperative to invest in the downtown. Concentrating development in the city core will create synergies, enhance mobility, and increase community pride.


Engage with residents, business owners, entrepreneurs, developers, cultural organizations and related stakeholders and recommend to the CDR areas of opportunity to advance the development of the Downtown.


  • What are the priority action items from the City and Downtown Association strategies for revitalizing downtown?
  • What principles of design and aesthetics should be created and in place to guide the future look of SSM?
  • A successful and vibrant downtown has events on a weekly basis or as many as 250 a year!  How do we make this happen?
  • How do we address the poverty rate in our downtown core?
  • How do we build better connectivity to all the ‘anchors’ throughout downtown?
  • Are there better public/private partnerships we can be making?
  • How much residential space should be available downtown?
  • What are best practices in regards to population, business, as well as residential growth and stability for North American downtowns?


The Downtown Action Team has identified 14 short-term, medium-term and long-term priority items to tackle. This team started with a list of 43 and through a set criteria process, discussion, feedback and alignment with the CAC recommendations, reduced it to 14. 


1. Beautification initiatives 
2. Infrastructure (including public furniture, multiuse four season event space, better connectivity with water front, etc.)
3. Review and revise internal city processes that create barriers for businesses looking to improve or operate downtown
4. Additional programming
5. Downtown branding & digital marketing strategy


6. Address parking rental issues for residents and businesses
7. Economic development
8. Free Wi-Fi downtown
9. Re-green & rehabilitate brown lands and link them to boardwalk and/or hub trail


10. Improve wayfinding & signage
11. 2-way traffic - how do we move ahead?
12. Identify potential sites for redevelopment along the waterfront
13. Unique identity district branding (by block/group business type)
14. Creation of a Sault Ste. Marie 'Main St. Class' of businesses as well as a Main Street strategy/policy


  • Lead: Josh Ingram
  • Ashleigh Sauve
  • Graham Atkinson
  • Kristi Cistaro
  • Franco Pastore
  • Jake Cormier
  • Adrian DeVuono
  • Rory Ring
  • Sandra Hollingsworth


What are your thoughts? Let us know by commenting below