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Overview

Commonly known as The Soo, Sault Ste. Marie sits on the 112-km- (70-mile) long St Mary’s River, which links two of the Great Lakes, Lake Huron and Lake Superior. The river’s turbulent rapids separate the Canadian city and the US city of the same name. First settled by Ojibwa fishing parties, The Soo was named by Jesuit missionaries who founded a mission here in 1668. The 19th-century construction of the Sault Locks (four on the American side, one on the Canadian side) and canal ensured the city’s place as an important Great Lakes port and industrial center. Boat tours through the locks (now only available from the American side) are popular. ...

Commonly known as The Soo, Sault Ste. Marie sits on the 112-km- (70-mile) long St Mary’s River, which links two of the Great Lakes, Lake Huron and Lake Superior. The river’s turbulent rapids separate the Canadian city and the US city of the same name. First settled by Ojibwa fishing parties, The Soo was named by Jesuit missionaries who founded a mission here in 1668. The 19th-century construction of the Sault Locks (four on the American side, one on the Canadian side) and canal ensured the city’s place as an important Great Lakes port and industrial center. Boat tours through the locks (now only available from the American side) are popular. Attractions reflecting the history and way of life of Northern Ontario include the popular waterfront Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, with its flight simulator and hands-on children’s flight center, and the Ermatinger Old Stone House. The Soo is also the departure point for Algoma Central Railway’s famous Agawa Canyon Train Tour, and other wilderness adventures by rail.

Joanna Ebbutt
About the Expert

Joanna Ebbutt is the author or editor of three Insight Guides to Toronto and Canada, and coauthor of Off the Beaten Track: Western Canada. She has been writing about travel for three decades, including chasing the aurora borealis in Northern Ontario.

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Joanna Ebbutt for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Sault Ste. Marie is located in eastern Canada, in northern Ontario, approximately 68 miles from Toronto.
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Canadian Dollar
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Summer, late spring, early fall, winter