By Conor Mihell

A Marathon for all levels of skiers, fatbikers and trail runners blazes new trails to celebrate Sault Ste. Marie’s rich winter sports tradition

The history of nordic skiing in Sault Ste. Marie is long, colourful and defined by a profound sense of community. More than half a century ago, winter enthusiasts from the upstart Soo Finnish Ski Club blazed their own cross-country ski trails through the snowy woods and rugged hills of what’s now known as the Hiawatha Highlands, located just north of the city centre. Early skiers didn’t know the pleasure of machine-groomed trails. Frontrunners in the club’s recreational races not only set the pace, they also had the challenge of making tracks through the soft powder while keeping ahead of pursuing skiers. Such legendary beginnings kindled one of Ontario’s most vibrant cross-country ski scenes and blazed the way for the development of some of the province’s finest networks of trails.

a fun and adventurous recreational race

Fast-forward to 2022, and local event organizer Lawrence Foster was looking to celebrate Sault Ste. Marie’s snowy winters and exceptional skiing terrain. He conceived the inaugural Beaver Freezer Marathon as a fun and adventurous recreational race to wrap up the season at the Hiawatha Highlands. Multiple race options catered to all levels of skiers, fat-bikers and trail-runners, including families, beginners and elite athletes alike, with distances of up to 42 km. Scheduled for mid-March, the event would link existing Hiawatha Highlands nordic ski and fat-bike trails with frozen lakes and wetlands, showcasing the rugged, snow-covered landscape. All proceeds from the volunteer-run event would go towards supporting future trail development to support Sault Ste. Marie’s ongoing efforts to become a hub of outdoor recreation.

“We wanted to make it fun and inclusive,” says Foster, a Sault College professor and former world-class adventure racer. “We had team options. You could race it as a relay or do it as a group. Your kid could ride or ski beside you in the relay. We wanted to have a community event with a friendly vibe, all supporting a good cause.” 

Upwards of 300 Competitors

First-year registrations far exceeded Foster’s expectations. Upwards of 300 competitors signed up for the event, the majority locals but also approximately 40 registrants from Sudbury, Toronto, Ottawa and Michigan. “It seemed like a great way to ski in places you wouldn’t get to experience otherwise,” says participant Paul Kyostia. “I was looking forward to skiing across the lakes with the benefit of packed trails in between.”

With Foster in charge of mapping a course, participants were sure to get a premium slice of Algoma backcountry. Starting and finishing at the Hiawatha Highlands headquarters at Kinsmen Park, the Beaver Freezer route wound through nearly a dozen frozen lakes and waterways, including Trout and Lower Island and Finn, just north of city limits. Groomers marked and packed the trails for easy skiing, cycling and running. Sault College was the inaugural event’s title sponsor and the college’s Natural Environment students volunteered to assist with race day details, including safety checkpoints and aid stations. 

abundant snowfall and perfect lake ice

With abundant snowfall throughout the winter and perfect lake ice, the plan seemed bulletproof until a deluge of freezing rain forced Foster to postpone the Sunday race until the following weekend. Foster was deflated, but at the same time he knew that so many dedicated enthusiasts would do far more than salvage the event. Participants and volunteers shuffled their plans and held onto their enthusiasm, and with improved weather conditions Foster says the rescheduled race day was all he ever hoped for. “Countless people lined up to volunteer to make it a great event,” he notes. “I’ve received so many messages of support from people looking forward to next year’s Beaver Freezer. It feels good to be contributing to the momentum of trail development with the Kinsmen Club, the Sault Cycling Club, and Tourism Sault Ste. Marie.”

Foster admits that the weather always remains a wild card for late-winter events, but he’s hoping that scheduling the 2023 Beaver Freezer Marathon across an entire weekend will provide an adequate buffer for any surprises. “The biggest highlight has been the support of the community,” Foster says. But given the area’s deep and passionate roots for nordic sports, local support is a given. As word gets out, Foster anticipates a larger contingent of out-of-towners—with visitors arriving to experience the great trails and welcoming vibe of yet another shining example of why Sault Ste. Marie has always been Ontario’s winter sports capital. 

2023 Event

The 2023 event will take place on Saturday, March 11th, with Sunday, March 12th being the backup day. All the information you’ll need including course details, timing and other info is available on the Beaver Freezer website

Out of town guests will receive 10% off their stay at The Water Tower Inn. Details here.  

By Sault Tourism

 

Try Ice Climbing in Sault Ste. Marie for a fun, challenging and highly memorable bucket-list experience.

Sault Ste Marie is a city that DOES winter – we have the snow, the ice, the winter-loving people and we have incredibly beautiful, frozen waterfalls too! Ice climbing is great way to experience winter; it’s physically challenging, it will get your adrenalin going, it’s beautifully awe-inspiring, and it’s a truly unique adventure!

Steve Foster, from Sault Ste. Marie, is a certified, highly experienced, expert ice climber who will help you have the best possible adventure. His company, Steve Foster Adventure Instruction, offers half day experiences for all abilities, to enjoy these beautifully frozen ice structures.

What to Expect from a Tour

Steve Foster Adventure Instruction will meet you in the morning at one of his scouted and fully verified locations. From there Steve will provide a fully inclusive tour that includes: professional equipment that fits you, warm clothing should you need it, a quick demonstration, and of course expert instruction from over 25 years ice climbing. 

Steve’s tour last around 4 hours and he can work with your specific timing needs. The costs of a tour are $150 a person and includes use of all equipment as well some snacks and a hot chocolate. 

You should bring warm clothing, including several layers for extra warmth, though Steve will communicate all the specifics in an email to you after booking a tour!

The Ice Climb

Whether you are a first-time ice climber or a seasoned veteran, you will have a blast! Depending on the location Steve Foster can provide several different ascent options depending on skill level or just personal preference. 

The Experience

Ice climbing is a truly unique adventure. Come and experience it for yourself!

Visit the Facebook page Steve Foster Adventure Instruction, or email sfadventureinstruction@gmail.com for more info or to book a tour. 

Over one hundred events across three main locations in the city during nine fun-filled days

By Sault Tourism

Sault Ste. Marie’s much-loved winter carnival Bon Soo will return for its 60th anniversary celebration presented by OLG, beginning February 4th. 2023’s event promises to bring back the fun with a mix of well-known favorites plus some exciting new additions, including an act best known for their appearance on America’s Got Talent!

So start making your plans to visit; whether it be for the famous Polar Bear Dip or the new and improved Bum Slides, or maybe it’s for new events like the aforementioned Sentimentalists, the exciting Polar Rush or the appetite-whetting Passport to Unity. Keep reading for details of the event or for the full program of the 137 events (yes 137!) visit the Bon Soo website!

Where, when and how much?

Bon Soo 2023 runs from Friday, February 3rd through to Saturday, February 11th. There are three main locations; The Canal District, Northern Superior Brewing Co. and Clergue Park, with many other locations hosting events in and around the city. 

Buying a Bon Soo Button for $10 will get you into over 100 events for free. Some other events have an additional charge. All the information about pricing can be found on the dedicated Bon Soo website.  

You can buy a Bon Soo Button in any of 14 locations in Sault Ste. Marie, click here for more info!

What are the 'must see' events this year?

Every day is packed full of fun events, some aimed at families, some aimed at grown ups and many events perfect for all ages! This year our headline events are:

Polar Bear Rush Winter Obstacle, Saturday, February 4th. Bellevue Park hosts the first ever Polar Rush from 10am-5pm. Runners take off in a 2.5km, fun filled course filled with wall climbs, tube running, crazy carpeting 

Passport to Unity, Saturday, February 4th. This is a great multi-cultural event at The Canal District from 6pm-10pm. Immerse yourself in a gourmet tasting menu featuring Internationally inspired cuisine and performances from around the world!

4-on-4 Street Hockey Tournament, Sunday, February 5th. A fun outdoor for pre-registered teams takes place at Bay St Active Living community Centre.

The Sentimentalists, Friday, February 10th. The Canal District hosts Bon Soo headline show  This world-renowned celebrity mentalist Mysterion teams with mentalist Steffi Kay, creating a two-person mind-reading experience that is truly breathtaking. Watch this special show that has graced America’s Got Talent, sells outs shows across the US and is regularly the headline act on cruises and at theaters and theme parks.

Saturday, February 11th is when arguably the most icon Bon Soo event happens, the famous Polar Bear Dip, which this year is at the Bushplane Museum with musical guest the Hustle Brothers! Registration at noon, jumping begins at 2pm!

What Else Is Happening?

Each day is another fun-packed and exciting day of winter events. We’ve broken down some of them here, but be sure to check the Bon Soo website daily for a full run down!

The Snow Carving event actually begins a week earlier on January 28th, to give teams time to design, sculpt and get creative before February 3rd!

Friday, February 3rd

The Canal District hosts the opening ceremony – Bon Tidings – with fireworks, live music and Bum Slides!

Over at Northern Superior is Sno Madness Night #1 with a host of wacky winter games and prizes for pre-registered teams over two nights! If you would prefer to watch, come down and enjoy what is sure to be a lively atmosphere at the Tap Room.

Saturday, February 4th

Bellevue Park hosts the first ever Polar Bear Rush Winter Obstacle Course, 10am-5pm.

At Clergue Park enjoy Best in Snow – Snow Sculptures as well as CrokiCurl, Pony Rides from Hidden Hills Stables and Maple Taffy Tasting from Hogan’s Homestead, both from 1-4pm.

The Canal District has bum slides, a 3-on-3 Ringette Challenge, an Ice Maze and Helicopter, Wagon and Tractor Rides!

In the evening Passport to Unity happens at The Canal District from 6pm-10pm.

Over at Soo Blaster we have a Bon Soo Comedy Night Featuring Glen Foster.

Saturday also marks the start of a number of all week Bon Soo events. The Sault Ste. Marie Museum hosts a special 60-year exhibit, the Bushplane Museum is offering 2-for-1 entry for the entirety of the event for Bon Soo Button holders.

Sunday, February 5th

The Canal District hosts Sault Trailblazers Snowmachine Rides 

Clergue Park hosts a drop-in Snowshoe Relay Race, along with a variety of other exciting events.

The Bushplane Museum is offering a Crafts and Movie Day, with free entry after 1pm to button holders and there a special screening of the movie Frozen 2 at 2.30pm! Kids are encouraged to bring their favourite Elsa, Anna or Olaf stuffies or cushions to make the afternoon extra special!

The Bay St Active Living community Centre hosts an outdoor 4-on-4 Street Hockey Tournament for pre-registered teams.

Cheer on our Soo Greyhounds as they dawn special Bon Soo Jerseys on game day at GFL Gardens! The puck drops at 2.07pm! These Bon Soo theme jerseys will be available for online auction following the game, at the Greyhounds website.

Sunday is wrapped up at The Canal District with The Sno Ball Family Dance featuring a Children’s magician and a 60th birthday party for Bon Soo.

Monday, February 6th

The Coldest Canuck Challenge at Northern Superior will test your Northern acclimation with a series of Canuck challenges from 6pm-8pm.

At The Canal District you can take part in Dessert and Liquor Tasting.

Don’t forget all the week-long events including Bum Slides, CrokiCurl, the Ice Maze are happening today as well!

Tuesday, February 7th

Gather by the Fire with Thrive Tours is one of the headlines of Tuesday. Visit Clergue Park and gather around the fire to share land-based teachings of Baawating.

Northern Superior hosts EDM Sno Bath (Electronic Dance Music) where you can dance the night away and “chill out” to some good vibes in the snow with DJs Angelazura and Bobby Lawn.

At The Canal District enjoy a Bon Soo Paint Night, family friendly, step by step guided way to paint your own Bon Soo inspired masterpiece!

Wednesday, February 8th

On Wednesday 5pm – 7pm, enjoy a special night at Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig and enjoy Science North’s Indigenous Ingenuity Exhibit. The evening features an on-site knowledge-keeper, SKG Tours, Tobacco Ties and a feather-wrapping workshop.

Northern Superior gets all hot under the collar with a Fire and Ice Hot Sauce Chicken Wing Challenge (pre-registration required)!

Thursday, February 9th

Enjoy Night Skiing and a limited-ticket shuttle bus to Searchmont Ski Resort! The bus leaves Algoma University at 4.30pm and people can ski the snow packed slopes of their favourite hill and enjoy free hot chocolate! In addition, button holders get 50% off tickets and rentals!

The Canal District’s Machine Shop hosts Bon Soo Blues Society Concert featuring The Andre Bisson Band and opening act Lindsay Pugh!

Friday, February 10th

Hiawatha Highlands hosts a special Nighttime Lantern Ski, free for Bon Soo Button holders.

The Canal District hosts Bon Soo headline show The Sentimentalists. This world-renowned celebrity mentalist Mysterion teams with mentalist Steffi Kay, creating a two-person mind-reading experience that is truly breathtaking. Watch this special show that has graced America’s Got Talent, sells outs shows across the US and is regularly the headline act on cruises and at theaters and theme parks.

Saturday, February 11th

Saturday is the grand finale day with 19 events happening in 9 different locations! Head to Runway Park for all day Snowmobile Drag Races.

The Canal District has Frozen Canoe Rides from 11am – 1pm,

Then join us for arguably the most icon Bon Soo event The Polar Bear Dip, which this year is at the Bushplane Museum. Come for the fun which includes musical guest the Hustle Brothers! Registration is at noon, jumping begins at 2pm!

Finally, Bon Soo 2023 draws to a close with Bon Voyage, a Queen St Street Party from East St to Spring St. Wave goodbye to Mr. Bon Soo and enjoy a beer garden, food stops, illusionist Ryan MacFarling, winters games such as street hockey and road curling, live music, closing fireworks, more including the announcement of the 2023 Snow Sculpture’s Awards!

And so much more!

There are close to 140 events over the 9 days of Bon Soo so be sure check out the full program on the Bon Soo website for your favourite event! 

Bon Soo Button

The iconic Bon Soo Button will get you in to over 100 events for free! It costs $10 and all proceeds go towards making Bon Soo the most enjoyable experience for all! Click here to see where you can pick up your Button!

Bon Soo Sponsors

We’d like to give thanks to sponsors who have made Bon Soo 2023 happen. These being Title Sponsors OLG, Premier Sponsor Tenaris, Signature Sponsors The Canal District.

Downhill and Cross-Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, skating, Snowmobiling, Fat Biking, Ice Caves and more - Sault Ste. Marie is a true Winter experience

By Sault Tourism

Sault Ste. Marie is a true winter paradise with so many outdoor activities to choose from. We have one of the highest vertical downhill ski hills in Ontario, over 150km of incredible cross-country Skiing, an abundance of stunning snowshoe trails… Plus we have beautiful woodland skating trails, a new  snowmobiling day loop, groomed fat biking trails and Sault Ste. Marie has some iconic, and awe-inspiring ice caves. This winter visit Sault Ste. Marie for your true winter experience. 

Getting to Sault Ste. Marie is easy too with several flights a day from Toronto, Sudbury and Thunder Bay and rental cars waiting at the airport. And course you can drive on the Trans-Canada highway, which is well maintained over the winter months. 

Ski One Of The Highest Verticals in Ontario

Big vertical, rugged terrain, Searchmont Resort has some of the best downhill skiing in Ontario. And… new snowmaking equipment has meant a November 24th opening day, the earliest start in recent times!

On top of the 703 feet of vertical, 26 runs, 100 acres of rolling mountain, terrain park, 4 lifts, snow school, Searchmont is also a fully equipped resort with a restaurant, bar, shop, ski and snowboard rentals and accommodations. Escape the crowds and the lift queues of jam-packed southern Ontario ski hills and get away to this stunning, adventure-packed mountain.

If you like your vertical off the beaten track, check out the incredible backcountry skiing at Bellevue Valley Lodge.

Cross-Country Ski over 150km of Groomed Trails

Sault Ste. Marie offers some of the best cross country skiing in North America. Stokely Creek Lodge has 100km of trails, groomed for both classic and skate skiing and spread over 12,000 spectacular acres of the Algoma Highlands.

Breathtaking scenery including frozen lakes and waterfalls, endless forests, and amazing vistas like the one at the top of King Mountain, make Stokely a bucket-list destination for nordic skiers. Enjoy Scandinavian lodging and stay warm in one of the six warming huts along the way; it’s an experience that will bring you back year after year.

Situated just 10 minutes from downtown, Hiawatha Highlands offers more than 50km of beautiful skiing in towering Pine forests. Click here for a link to all trail and maps or read more about all that Hiawatha Highlands has to offer! Top-tip: enjoy a nighttime lantern ski, which happens a few times a season!

Bon Soo, Sault Ste. Marie's winter Carnival is BAck in 2023!

The Bon Soo winter carnival is back for its 60th anniversary! Join from February 3rd to 11th for this iconic Sault Ste. Marie event! 

All the details will be announced soon, so follow our social media channels or visit the Bon Soo website!

Try Ice Climbing!

Steve Foster, from Sault Ste. Marie, is a certified, highly experienced, expert ice climber who will help you have the best possible adventure. His company, Steve Foster Adventure Instruction, offers half day experiences for all abilities, to enjoy these beautifully frozen ice structures.

 

Snowshoe on the Canadian Shield

Snowshoeing is one of the best ways to experience winter in Sault Ste. Marie. We have well-marked and beautifully scenic trails all over the city, including at Hiawatha, Crimson Ridge and Stokely Creek.

We also have some expert tour guides who can not only show you the way, but can also provide information about the area and its cultural significance… you may even be treated to a cup of hot chocolate 😉

Check out our Tours & Guide page for all the info!

Sled our new Snowmobile Day Loop

Sault Ste. Marie has a new day loop for riders! The Soo Highlands Loop starts in the city and goes north to Searchmont and the surrounding area. Sledders can explore the natural beauty of Algoma Highlands, and its rugged landscapes just north of Sault Ste. Marie, in this 169 km loop. 

For inspiration watch Cristy Lee enjoy her recent sledding experience in the Soo here!

Ride our Groomed Fat Biking trails!

Sault Ste. Marie is on its way to becoming an epicentre for Fat Biking, one of the fastest growing winter sports.

The Soo has perfectly groomed trails to the north of the city at Hiawatha Highlands and Crimson Ridge. Enjoy some challenging elevation in the beautiful Hiawatha forests as well as the picturesque trails at Crimson Ridge. 

Downtown, the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site has easy fatbike trails for use on St. Marys and Whitefish islands, adjacent to the St. Marys Rapids. In addition, the St. Kateri Outdoor Learning Centre has around 3.5 km of fat biking trails. 

Get your skates on!

Sault Ste. Marie has a number of some skating rinks and trails, all within a walk or drive of downtown. For a truly magical an unexpected experience check out Crimson Ridge’s stunning 1.1km lit trail winding through the forest.

The City also maintains five over outdoor rinks including the popular waterfront Clergue trail (pictured). 

Check out our incredible Ice Caves!

Lake Superior’s phenomenal ice caves are a sight to behold. Enigmatic, unpredictable, subject to nature’s whims, but wholly worth it, these incredible structures will leave you speechless. They form in mid-winter when wavy conditions followed by a deep-freeze sculpts the rugged Lake Superior coastline into caves and chasms of blue ice.

Stokely Creek Lodge and Forest The Canoe offers guided day trips to the best ice caves, including transportation, crampon-equipped snowshoes and a snack. We do recommend you use a local guide with experience of the conditions as walking on ice can be dangerous. 

Relax, Dine and Drink

After a day in the snow and ice you’ll want to refuel and recharge, and we have some great restaurants serving some fantastic food to warm you right up!

From Syrian Shawarma to spicy Indian, delicious Italian or sizzling steak, the Sault has so many great restaurants

By Sault Tourism

 

Learn About The History and Heritage of Sault Ste. Marie Through The Ages

The Sault Ste. Marie Museum, located in the heart of downtown, houses a fascinating collection of historical exhibits that helps visitors learn about the history of the city all the way back to its earliest days. Check out the Edmund Fitzgerald display in the Marine Gallery, which includes a replica scale model of the famous ship. View historic photographs to see what our waterfront and downtown used to look like, and enjoy some of local sport history including the Soo Greyhounds!

The Sault Ste. Marie Museum though is not just a space curated to tell the history of the local area, it also hosts many fun and unique events, publishes a weekly podcast series, contains a gift shop, and has a new interactive feature utilizing QR codes, which adds video and audio information to many of the displays. Come for a visit when you are in the Soo!

Old photo of Sault Ste. Marie
Sault Ste. Marie's historic waterfront
Edmund Fitzgerald Ship
The Edmund Fitzgerald Ship
Soo Greyhounds at the Sault Ste. Marie Museum
Soo Greyhounds Memorabilia

The Building’s History

The Sault Ste. Marie Museum is a heritage building constructed originally as a post office between 1904-1906 after the city received $20,000 in funding from the Dominion Government. Like many buildings in Sault Ste. Marie it used sandstone excavated during the construction of the canal, with the iconic clock tower being added in 1912. At this point the Museum, then the Post Office was the largest and grandest building in the City and became a local landmark, being the first sight of the city for approaching travelers.

Today visitors can enjoy the typically Ontarian eclectic architecture combining several styles including uniquely cut stone walls, Romanesque arched windows, magnificent oak stair case and an exquisite three-storey skylight, and the 110 year old clock tower remains an iconic landmark of downtown Sault Ste. Marie.

Sault Ste. Marie Museum
The Old Post Office
Staircase inside the Sault Ste. Marie Museum
Spiral Staircase inside the museum

Permanent Galleries - The Skylight Gallery

The Skylight Gallery, on the second floor, is a walkthrough history and the story of Sault Ste. Marie from its early beginnings to the present day. Displays feature artifacts and information on the first people in the area with a full sized Wigwam and early canoe offering fascinating insight into historic life. Other displays feature information on the local fur trade, mining and the lumber trade, which as the displays tells, in 1810 became the main export from Canada.

Moving into the twentieth century the museum has exhibits on healthcare including nursing as well as policing and fire management. Additional information including archived video and audio is available via a series of QR codes, including the one below, which adds an interactive component to any visit of the Sault Museum.

A Wigwag in the Sault Ste. Marie Museum
A Wigwam in the Sault Ste. Marie Museum
Photograph of Queen Street
Old photos of Sault Ste. Marie
Old artifacts
Tools and artifacts
The Skyway Gallery in the Sault Ste. Marie
Inside the Wigwam

The Discovery Gallery

The Discovery Gallery is a fun and interactive, hands-on learning children’s area. It contains artifacts and features nature species, photographs as well as a dress-up area. This space is also used to host workshops, activities and events, more of which is mentioned later in this article.

The Music Gallery

On the third floor is the Music Gallery, which showcases Sault Ste. Marie musicians and venues through the ages. Bands and musical groups originated at the turn of last century during the days of silent movies, and Sault Ste. Marie had its fair share of entertainers. Sounds from these bands would commonly be heard emerging from the Algoma Theatre, Grand Opera House and the St. Marys River Boat Club. During the 1950s and 1960s when smaller Rock & Roll bands became fashionable, musical acts would perform in local Sault Ste. Marie bars including the Victoria House, The Royal, Lock City Hotel and more.

The Music Gallery houses a collection memorabilia, artifacts and videos from these eras and also contains ‘The Sault Music Project’, a giant binder of past and present Soo musicians!

The Marine Gallery

The Marine Gallery offers a pictorial display of early Great Lakes cruise ships, a brief history of the Locks and scale models of two of the more storied Great Lakes ships, the Edmund Fitzgerald and the Chicora.

The Chicora was a British blockade-runner for the Confederate Army during the American Civil War. Her role was primarily to transport guns and ammunition from Bermuda to Charleston. After the war, the ship was transformed into an overnight passenger and freight vessel, and carried mail and passengers from Collingwood to Sault Ste. Marie. In 1870, the Chicora was again involved in a dispute with America when she was refused entry to the American locks and was forced to unload its army destined for the Red River Rebellion. This particular incident, as well as a general tension between the two countries, spurred the building of a Canadian canal in Sault Ste. Marie.

The Edmund Fitzgerald is perhaps the most famous ship to be associated with the Great Lakes, having sunk in a November storm in 1975 killing the entire crew of twenty-nine. A scale model, as well as information about the ship’s fateful timeline, can be viewed in the Marine Gallery of The Sault Museum.

Edmund Fitzgerald
The Edmund Fitzgerald
Timeline of events of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald
Timeline of events of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald
Chicora
The Chicora

The Russell H. Ramsay Sports Hall of Fame

The Sports Hall of Fame gallery depicts local athleticism from the 1800s forward and features artifacts and photos showcasing the wide variety of sports that represent our city. Check out the Eliason Motor Toboggan, and a special commemorative display for the 1948 NOHA champions, the Soo Greyhounds!

A video presentation highlights various sports and the people involved. The gallery is dedicated to Russell H. Ramsay, local sportscaster, president & general manager of Hyland Radio & TV. He served as an Alderman on city council and served as the MPP for Sault Ste. Marie 1978-1985.

Eliason Tobaggon
Eliason Tobaggon
The Russell H. Ramsay Sports Hall of Fame
Sporting Artifacts
Marconi Esquires
Marconi Esquires

The Walter Wallace Military Gallery

This gallery, on the first floor, is dedicated to Lt. Col. Walter Wallace, past commanding officer of the 49th Field Regiment RCA, past president of Royal Canadian Legion – Branch 25 – and past president of the Sault Ste. Marie & 49th Field Regiment RCA Historical Society. Walter was a big advocate for museum later serving as president of the board of directors. He helped oversee the move of the historical Society’s collection to the museum in 1983.

The museum’s wartime collection includes a selection of diaries from 1914 to 1918, military medals and badges, trench art, photographs, and uniforms among other items.

The Walter Wallace Military Gallery
Military Medals
The Walter Wallace Military Gallery
Military Uniforms
The Walter Wallace Military Gallery
Military Artifacts

Interesting Artifacts

COMMEMORATIVE OLYMPIC METAL DATE: 1928

This bronze gold metal was awarded to Sault Ste. Marie local Olympian Boxer Ray Smillie in the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The bronze disc has an image of a seated female figure; with the words stamped; “IX Olympiad Amsterdam, 1928”.

SURVEYOR’S STAKE DATE: 1846

The stake was used by local surveyor Alexander Vidal. The large square wooden post, pointed at both ends of the stake, features carved lettering on all four sides to depict the direction from the stake in which each divided land plot would begin. It was used to dictate plots and streets based on Vidal’s surveying.

COMMEMORATIVE KEYS DATE: OCTOBER 28, 1954 & NOVEMBER 7, 1963

These two commemorative keys were presented to the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception during two significant ceremonies in Sault Ste. Marie. The keys celebrated the grand opening of the General Hospital’s addition of the New Pavilion’s B Wing in 1954 and the Pavilion’s A and Y wing in 1963.

Clock Tower Gift Shop, Podcasts and Events!

Located inside is also a great gift shop, the Clock Tower Gift Shop, which contains unique books about the area, local art works, craft works by local consigners and various locally made gifts and goodies!

Every Thursday, the Sault Museum publishes a podcast under the series titled ‘Stories of Northern Life’. This unique and fascinating series covers local history, tells important local stories, and from time to time has a Q&A with Museum experts and staff, where often-wondered questions like ‘Is the museum haunted?’ are discussed.

The Sault Ste. Marie Museum runs many unique and fun events and activities each week. Whether it’s a Prohibition Event with beer tasting and trivia, Murder Mystery nights, Scottish Highland dancing or one of the various paint nights including ‘Bad Art Club’ and ‘Star Wars Paint Night’. All the information about the various events can be found here!

The gift shop
Clock Tower Gift Shop
Stories of Sault Ste. Marie
Stories of Northern Life Podcast
Events at the Museum
Events at the Museum

For more information about this wonderful collection of local history, visit the Sault Ste. Marie Museum’s website. 

And did you know that you can pick up a 4-Culture Attraction Pass on the Sault Tourism website? This Pass will give you 10% off admission to the Sault Ste. Marie Museum as well as the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site and the Art Gallery of Algoma. Click here and scroll down the page to learn more. Plan your cultural visit in Sault Ste. Marie today!