Downtown plaza now to cost $8.4 million, up from previous $6.6 million

Civic Plaza

The Downtown Plaza final plan has come back to council with an increased projected price tag of $8,447,068.

Multiple price tags have been bantered back and forth since this project came to light a while ago, as previously reported earlier this year when an estimate of $6.6 million was one of those numbers.

Council is being asked at this coming Monday’s Council Meeting to authorize an additional $1.47 million in funding from the community growth initiatives line item in the 2022, ‘23 and ‘24 budgets. Further they are going to discuss approving the overall project cost of $8.4 million of which the city will be responsible for $5,347,068 along with the annual operating cost projected to be just over a quarter-of-a-million dollars.

As part of the project, staff has started a fundraising campaign with a total goal of $600,000. The Rotary Club of Sault Ste.Marie has already committed $200,000 according to a report being presented to council, leaving $400,000 remaining.

Any cost overruns and lack of fundraising will also be the responsibility of the city.

You can see how the city plans to spend the different funding sources for this project, including $2.5 million from the gas tax below.

According to the provincial government website on gas tax, “since 2004 a portion of gas tax is given to municipalities for public transit.”

In a related matter, it is also noted that City Council has already approved the purchase of 73 Brock Street as the future home of the Mill Market at a cost of $385,000 including legal fees. Stated as a separate project, City Staff have been instructed to collaborate with Mill Market SSM to finalize a budget, make recommendations to the City for contribution to the project and pursue funding applications to support the property’s development to house the Mill Market.

Stay with SaultOnline as we continue to update this and other city decisions at Monday’s council meeting.



  1. Driving back from grocery shopping, I noticed many property owners around the downtown are boarding windows and doors, and I believe you can count three or four properties per block.
    Anyone has an idea what’s going on, or is just me not paying attention to the pavement.

  2. The city needs to spend 5X this amount to rebuild the long neglected bumpy pothole roads. Never mind a downtown plaza in crack alley, that just makes no sense at all.

  3. So agreed that it’s a waste of money as its not going to attract anyone to “come spend money here”. We need “something” that is going to attract tourists passer through people that want to stop and spend their money. Our waterfront is the worst of worsts!!! We have ZERO to attract tourists, ZERO to get people from the Trans-Canada hwy to stop and spend!! Lets be apart of the solution though not just full of negative comments. And why does the old hospital STILL look like a building from Iraq? Good bye CP Maybe a contest on how 8 million dollars could be spent to make SSM a “I want to go there place” instead of a nothing here place, KEEP GOING !! Leadership is needed.

  4. Sorry but the location is wrong for this project. It might work at Clergue Park but unfortunately given what the downtown has turned into, albeit partially cause by the pandemic, people do not frequent the area any more especially at night. Plus I am not sure if they would feel safe at this time. It’s a sad state but that’s what it is.

    • We’re in downtown and the changes in the last four, five years are outrageous.
      If you have a trespasser, a prostitute, a drug addict with the syringes hanging from the body, good luck calling the police.
      And I challenge anyone that’s confronted with the same situation… Call the Police, then hangup and call for a Pizza delivery… Have a seat and tell me who gets there first.
      When you have a garbage container with foods, chances are, bears, fox and all kind of wild animals are going to flock there sooner or later.

      Well, when you replace the foods with all sort of drugs, needles, ambulances delivering drugs, police delivering drugs and yes, we know you can buy drugs and canada post will deliver them… then you know what you’re going to have in the downtown.

      Is change of leadership an option?

  5. Why doesn’t the city spend $1 million a year over 10 years? That would give;
    1. 24/7 security patrols of the whole downtown area
    2. Garbage cans downtown for the whole year. (Not just 6 months a year)
    3. More money for “beautification” (garbage cleanup

    It seems that city hall puts all the plans in place, makes all the arrangements, THEN asks the public for input. (Downtown plaza, moving the bus terminal).

  6. A “Downtown Plaza” is the last thing this city needs right now. Since we are not allowed to “gather”, what’s the point??

  7. What a waste! This is not the time to be spending on such things when a lot of people are so in need. Also, I’m afraid that this new project will become a hangout littered with used needles. People are becoming afraid to walk the downtown.

  8. We need a long term care home, we need a drug rehabilitation center, what we dont need is this……..people out of work, businesses closing…..not time for a dream to happen….not now, not this!!!!!!! Didn’t I just read the other day residential tax rate almost 5%…….and they want to do what????????? Waste of taxpayer money

  9. I know building material prices have risen for steel and lumber but I don’t know if that justifies the extra costs in this case. I’d be interested in seeing the costs and seeing what options are available to modify the project or the contractors.

  10. Ship of fools lead by a guy that wants to see his legacy.. How’s that city hall renovation coming along after 3 years and over budget?

  11. Money is tight. Taxes are on the rise. Jobs are scarce. It is time to put this project off until the economy improves. In fact…I think the project is a waste of money whenever they do it. Downtown is dead.

  12. This quote is probably on guaranteed for 7 days anyways. Non-essential construction right now is a waste of money. Its a good idea, but in a year or two it’ll be much more cost effective. I’d much rather see this money spent on the twin pad arena to replace the McMeekan (when is that going to be brought to council again anyways…?)

  13. GTFOH! Waste of time, effort and money for what? Stroking rights. Give it a rest folks. Nothing to see here but a pitiful attempt at revitalization of a long gone era. One in which allowed the commoners, a place to gather, mingle, socialize and share in the moment. Today, we fine people for gathering, mingling and socializing while sharing a moment.

    The new way of Life does not afford such luxuries, pony up peasants, the ride has just begun.

    SaultOnline, you might want to proof before you publish. In this day and age, there is no excuse for bad copy.

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