Remember The Canal District Project? – It’s Gone and Several Other Plans Too

An artist conception of what was planned for the waterfront called the Canal District Project

Dating back to January 2015, City Council was ready to put in $60,000 towards a private / public plan to develop the Canal District as a major tourist attraction. The city through its Economic Development Fund was to pay for a feasibility study. Had the project gone ahead, it would have featured components that compliment the Riversedge development on the former St. Mary’s Site (Mill Market). It would have included residential condos, apartments and homes with a signature park and other mixed uses such as a wellness and recreation centre and significant outdoor civic space bringing together the hub trail and courtyards. Also planned is an indoor turf soccer pitch.

That plan, like many others have been nixed for various reasons.

At Monday’s city council meeting , council voted to cancel funding for a number of projects that no longer need funding. In doing so, the city freed up over a quarter of a million dollars.

The Economic Development Fund was created to support job creation, encourage economic development projects that in turn would increase  new tax assessment through investments.

Council cancelled funding for six dated projects dating back to 2007. Other projects that were funded through the EDF included $29,500 for an incentive to attract a new airline to the Sault dating back to 2010. It never got off the ground.   A trade mission to Italy with a $25,000 price tag never happened.  Other plans with good intentions that never materialized was $80,000 for Tourism Sault Ste. Marie to help attract events and conferences to the city. The money was never used but re-allocated for a bid for the 2018 Ontario Winter Games. The bid was not successful for that year.

In all 6 plans previously approved for funding were cancelled, the money freed up will remain in the EDF for other applications.


  1. The management and organization of this city is an absolute 3-ring disaster comedy.
    Constantly trying to put the cart before the horse and trying to run before learning to walk.
    The Mayor and Council need to give their heads a good shake and learn about wants vs. needs then prioritize.
    They wanted to build fancy attractions? Take a look around – parks, fields, buildings are already barely maintained. This city looks like a developing (i.e. third world) country

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