$600,000 for Downtown Revitalization


Sault MPP Ross Romano announced  support for  economic development in Sault Ste. Marie with an investment in streetscapes, buildings and public spaces, creating 20 new indirect jobs.

Today, Ross Romano, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy, Northern
Development and Mines, announced an investment of $600,000 to help the City of
Sault Ste. Marie revitalize its downtown core.

The project includes helping downtown entrepreneurs develop vacant ground-floor space
for new commercial businesses, creating residential space on upper floors and renovating
building exteriors. The city will also enhance shared public spaces, creating new event
and gathering spaces, adding street furniture and improving the streetscape along
Queen Street.

“Ontario recognizes that developing downtown areas in northern communities helps attract
residents, visitors and new businesses,” said Parliamentary Assistant Romano. “The City of
Sault Ste. Marie’s ongoing work to revitalize the downtown is creating jobs in the area. We
are sending a strong signal that Northern Ontario is open for business and open for jobs.”

“The City of Sault Ste. Marie and City Council are committed to revitalizing the downtown
area. The Downtown Development Strategy is a significant aspect of our efforts that is
already having a positive impact, from streetscaping to façade improvements to
beautification efforts,” said Christian Provenzano, Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie. “I want to
thank the Ontario government for recognizing the importance of our strategy and for
supporting it.”


  1. Hey everybody. There are plenty of programs in place to help open water parks, trampoline centres, etc. It’s called the NOHFC. It’s great and has helped many local people launch successful businesses. As you can probably guess, government is generally not in the water park and trampoline business; but will definitely help out your cause if you have a great business plan and the financials work. Create a job for yourself and others by taking that leap of faith! You can do it!

  2. A mere pittance …the downtown is dead…
    And its a little to late…600 thousand might do facelifts on a few buildings but the vending parking machines where a ridiculous big city idea and it detours ppl from going down there ….
    At least 20 years to late

    • Urban Air in Sudbury is privately owned. It’s about $2-3 million to start up. Unless someone with very deep pockets jumps on this, it’ll be a longshot that it’ll be profitable. We don’t have the volume and need to build incrementally. Large scale projects in areas with a small population and little disposable income almost always fails.

  3. That $600k is a pittance for economic development. What are you doing, burning down a few more buildings to leave the spaces empty. I have a great idea, why not open some Legal Weed clinics downtown, this would surely bring thousands of visitors across our borders, and when we see this happening (because it will) Then we can open baked goods next door to these, and then a relaxed clothing store next to those. See, this is how it goes, not putting up an office building that won’t get used, sit empty for years, then get listed for demolition.

  4. We keep dumping lots of funds into the downtown core and it’s a complete waste! It’s time to be proactive & move on.

    Revamp our mall into an attraction. Literally Bulldoze it down.
    They charge too much rent. not even walmart wants to pay it anyway more. 17g a month plus 9% on sales? Really?

    Make it into an outlet mall! Old navy gap homesense.
    Put a play centre in the middle. Bring ppl here to shop! Prevent families from having to shop out of town.

    Theres govt Grant’s for infasture/tourism. Apply. Get on it city hall.

    • April Andraya while I believe malls are slowly dying, we still need to invest in downtown. Downtown isn’t Station Mall, which is not owned by a local individual, but rather a corporation who can afford to charge what they want for rent. The mixed use buildings lining Queen Street, with owners of small businesses is the definition of downtown. Most of the money stays local with the downtown merchants and downtowns are the true drivers of tax value due to tenant density. As in the Walmart case below, large box stores draw very little tax dollars per acre, all while the money is being funnelled out of the community. Government money doesn’t bring corporate stores here, but it’ll help our neighbours and those who took a chance on SSM and are continually working hard to make downtown more vibrant. Strong communities have great downtowns and draw in outside tourism money as a result. We can have our outlet shopping up Great Northern, but malls of any magnitude placed near downtowns spell certain death to the area surrounding them.

  5. When will they learn that it takes a healthy growing economy to support the downtown core. Expendable income is shrinking so the limited available income will go towards necessities before anything else. For some unknown reason the local politicians believe the revitalization will magically increase available income.

  6. Yep help your friends that own downtown to update their buildings .. 600000 to create 20 jobs .. but now the city our taxes that we already paid the province for .. has to cover ambulances services.. tenant and renter enforcement AND regulations .. looks to me what the conservatives want is to take their responsibilities . Health ..regulations and enforcement.. to our municipalities.. what about the billions you received from the federal government for affordable housing .. you give money to businesses to cover their renovations but took that program away from the elderly who want to renovate their homes .. take from the poor and give to the rich .

    • I believe they should. The Downtown Development Strategy is already underway and I see that this money is earmarked for streetscaping and ground floor development as well as apartments. Along with 20 new jobs, $600,000 isn’t going to go far. A good start though.

  7. Downtowns can and do make a comeback. It’s happened in many cities already – here in the Soo we experience things later. Malls die – ours are clearly dying and as a result downtowns can be revived if done well. However, what we also need are lots of people coming here as a destination and people living here WITH disposable income.

  8. A good start, but so much more to do to make the downtown a more friendly tourism / business district…! The downtown could be such an aspiring district if only they had the right vision…!

    • Yvon Gallant they need to look at how places like petoksey ….traverse city ..charlevoix bring in buisness to their downtown core without a core industry

  9. Doesn’t even sound like enough money to fix the totally shot Queen street. Visitors to the city cannot possibly be impressed with the bush road feel of the city’s main street. You have to wonder what city hall is thinking.

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