Tourism development is recognized as a growth engine for Sault Ste. Marie and its surrounding area. Strategic tourism development goals include increasing the numbers, length of stay, occupancy levels, and expenditures of visitors.
Sault Ste. Marie and the adjacent Algoma area have internationally recognized tourism attractions. Our strategic advantages include being within a day’s travel to large population markets, having globally significant and distinct natural, cultural and recreational heritage values, and being able to offer a wide range of accommodation, restaurant, outfitting and retail outlets.
The Community Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie & Area partners include private businesses, non-profit organizations, municipalities, First Nation communities and government agencies with interests in tourism generation. Our key partners, from time to time, include the following:
Tourism Sault Ste. Marie
Tourism Sault Ste. Marie
is a partnership with over 40 private sector stakeholders that have developed a 3-year Business/Marketing plan, with the focus on three main product segments; Attraction Packaging; Meetings/Conventions/Sports Tourism; and Outdoor Tourism (Linkages with the Region). With financial contributions from the private sector, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie combines these funds with EDC and municipal funds to undertake developments and implement the annual strategic marketing programs, geared towards positioning Sault Ste. Marie as a four-season vacation destination.
Algoma Kinniwabi Travel Association
Algoma Kinniwabi Travel Association
is the tourism marketing organization for the District of Algoma. With an area of 22,000 square miles, the Association is the regional link, representing 240 private operators, 18 municipalities, 9 chambers of commerce and 3 tourist associations.
The objective of the Association is to encourage the effective operation and development of the tourism industry throughout the area, for the economic benefit of the communities, business enterprises and residents, and for the recreation enrichment of tourist visitors and residents.
The Association is operated in a manner so as to achieve its objective through a planned program of both tourist promotion activities, within and outside the Algoma area, and tourism development projects in concert with Provincial and Federal ministries and other tourism marketing organizations.
Sault Ste. Marie and the adjacent Algoma area have internationally significant tourism attractions. These strategic advantages include:
• Adjacent to and within a days travel to the population centres within the American Mid-West and Southern Ontario (primary target markets);
• Safe with low/no risks for visitors;
• Excellent transportation links;
• Distinctively different in terms of landscape/topographic expression, geology, vegetation, wildlife, recreation, historical and cultural values than the locations of target market clients;
• As compared to other Northern Ontario destinations, unique attractions that include:
• Rugged north and east shores of Lake Superior – designated as part of the Great Lakes Heritage Coast Signature Site, the premier of nine regions designated by the province for their special outdoor recreation ands tourism attractions;
• Site of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and the impetus for Gordon Lightfoot’s “Gales of November” lament;
• Culturally and spiritually significant First Nation values including the internationally significant Pictographs at Agawa Rock and Bawating on the St. Marys River, the legends of Gitchee Manitou, Misshepezhieu, Nanabajou, Gitchee Gumee; the basis for Longfellow’s poem “Song of Hiawatha”; home of Chief Shingwauk, spokesperson for his people and instrumental in having the Robinson-Huron and Robinson-Superior Indian Treaties created;
• Historic and strategic St. Marys River – designated as a Canadian Heritage Waterway, one of 11 in Ontario and 40 in Canada – considered one of the best 10 trout/salmon fishing rivers in Ontario;
• Algoma Central Railway and its internationally popular multi-season Agawa Canyon Train Tour which has been featured on Canadian postage stamps that celebrate Canadian tourism;
• Searchmont Ski Resort known for having the highest vertical ski elevation in the mid-west;
• King Mountain, considered one of the best 10 cross-country ski locations in North America and home of Stokely Creek Cross Country Ski Lodge and the Buttermilk Downhill Ski facility;
• The North of Superior Climbing Company, located in the Batchawna Bay area, considered one of the six bestclimbing companies in North America;
• Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre which in 2001 was nationally recognized for being the best of its kind;
• Internationally significant sport fisheries and wetland wildlife habitats;
• Artistically important as a destination for Canada’s Group of Seven landscape artists including A. Y. Jackson, Lawren Harris and J. E. H. MacDonald as well as other artists such as Zoltan Szabo, Doug Hook, Robert Carmichael; film artists: including Yousef Karsh, Gary McGuffin, Bill Mason, Bruce Litteljohn; musicians including: Glenn Gould and Ian Tamblyn; and, writers including Morley Torgov and Wayland Drew;
• Other attractions offering high quality tourism experiences that include:
• National Historic Sites – including the SSM Canal National Historic Site which was the first in the world to use hydro-electricity to power its locks and to incorporate an emergency swing dam in its design – Fort St. Joseph National Historic Site which played a strategic role for the British during the War of 1812;
• Natural environment, recreation, waterway and historic class Provincial parks – including Lake Superior Provincial Park which is considered to be one of the “jewels” of the Provincial Park system;
• Provincial Crown lands with heritage values defined within Provincially significant Signature Sites (both the Great Lakes Heritage Coast and the Algoma Headwaters), Conservation Reserves and Enhanced Management Areas;
• Remote tourism lodges offering specialized fishing and hunting opportunities;
• Trails including hiking – with the Voyageur Trail Associations 380 kms in Algoma being designated as part of the Trans Canada Trail system; snowmobiling with over 1500 kms in the Algoma District, cross-country skiing including Stokely Creek, Hiawatha, and Searchmont; ATVing, mountain and road biking; and,
• A wide range of accommodation, restaurant, outfitting and retail outlets.
CDC Initiated Projects
The Community Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie & Area contributes to tourism related projects through its advisory and financial support resources. The following projects have been undertaken with the Community Development Corporation as an active partner.
is one of the primary winter resort attractions for Sault Ste. Marie and area. It’s presence results in a significant annual economic impact on the local economy. Because of its importance, the Community Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie & Area is one of the key partners (along with Searchmont Resort, FedNor, Sault Ste. Marie EDC and the City of Sault Ste. Marie) in helping to support a viable Searchmont Resort and community of Searchmont. In one support role, it serves as the non-profit entity responsible for coordinating the development of a project called the “Evaluation and Master Plan Development of Water & Sewer Infrastructure for Searchmont Resort and the Searchmont Area”.
The Community Development Corporation was also involved with its partners in the creation of a not for profit organization, Searchmont Ski Association Inc., that ensured the continued operation of the Searchmont Resort during the 2001/2002 ski season when there was no owner of the Resort. The organization’s involvement ensured that there was no lapse in operation that could have caused equipment and facility deterioration, loss of traditional customers and was instrumental in initiating activities that assisted in the development of tools and information required by potential private sector buyers. This successful not for profit partnership was provincially recognized in 2002 for its contribution and won the prestigious Ontario Association of Community Futures Development Corporations Project of the Year Award.
The Community Development of Sault Ste Marie & Area will continue to support the community in future projects as may be required.
Algoma and Area Regional Trails
The Algoma and Area Regional Trails Council became incorporated in October 2001. The area involved extends from Spanish and Elliot Lake in the east, then westerly to White River and Wawa with an easterly extension to include the Chapleau area. Interest in creating a regional trails council came from a variety of sources. The Ontario Trails Council wanted additional regional trail representation from Northern Ontario. Government funding and regulatory agencies wanted a regional coordination of multi-user trail interests so that a regional trails strategies and priorities could be determined. Local activity groups and communities wanted a regional trails organization that could be a support group and help facilitate common objectives.
Since becoming incorporated, the Regional Trails Council with its Community Futures Development Corporation sponsors (East Algoma, Superior East and Sault Ste. Marie & Area) was able to have a Business Case Study undertaken for Trail Development and Use for the Algoma and Area Region. Funding assistance for this strategic plan came from FedNor
and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund
. The Business Case project was undertaken by a consulting team involving Quadra Consulting Group, EDA Collaborative and The Economic Planning Group. Input was requested through both public and individual meetings with trail community representatives. Draft reports were prepared and reviewed by trail representatives before producing a final document.
(Some of these PDF's are quite large and may take a few moments to download)
• Algoma Trails Business Case Study
• Algoma Trails Business Case (All Appendices)
• Trail Guidelines & Standards
• Algoma Trails User Survey
• Executive Summary
Maps of Study Areas
• Existing & Proposed Trails
• St. Joseph Island & Northshore Trails
• Chapleau & Area Trails
• Elliot Lake & Area Trails
• Sault Ste. Marie & Area Trails
• Wawa & Area Trails
Electronic copies of the Business Case text and maps are available for viewing in each of the three Community Development Corporation offices.