Sault Ste. Marie: more vacant homes than any city in Ontario

Vacant home in the Sault. Photo by Mark Menean

The amount of boarded-up homes in the Sault has been a point of contention for many citizens and a study that used figures from Statistics Canada now says that the Sault has the highest percentage of vacant homes in all of Ontario.

The Sault actually ranks 7 per cent higher than the second place cities of Caledon and Burlington.

At third place sits Aurora at 10 per cent less than the Sault and at fourth is Richmond Hill at 12 per cent less than the Sault.

Twenty six communities in Ontario saw vacant home rates rise.

These numbers are based on vacancy changes over ten years from 2011 to 2021.

What is even more shocking about these numbers is that vacancy rates have been steadily falling across Canada, approx. to the levels of 2003. So whereas in many cities there is a steady lack of choice and dwindling amount of housing options, the Sault has enough vacant homes that this study suggests that if these homes were available to rent or own, this would drastically improve the options for people in need of housing.

Eighty-seven of Canada’s 150 most populous places saw their vacancy rates fall over this ten year period.

So for example, in Windsor, who has been dealing with eliminating their blighted housing for over a decade now had its vacancy rate decrease by 38 per cent.

Whitchurch-Stouffville also fell 38 per cent, Lakeshore fell 34 per cent, St. Thomas fell 34 per cent and Welland fell 33 per cent.

So with the 1.3 million vacant homes in Canada, the Sault is a large contributor to that problem.


  1. Well if houses were affordable and owned by people who actually live here in the Sault and the up keep of them were actually done by the owners and delt with properly and not just lining their pockets
    There would be places to move or own by someone who has been looking for years and actually wanting a home

  2. Once again, the Hamlet leads the country in shame.
    Just think, all those boarded up homes could have housed all the employees the Mayor wanted when Amazon HQ2 moved into the Sault.
    My ribs still hurt from laughing at that one.
    And what happens? The Hamlet elects him as Mayor.
    Can’t make this stuff up!

  3. John public, they do and believe me it is not just their hands, trust me. This is a nice quiet town, border town and it is perfect to do business and raise our children. Watch in the next four years, paisanos 10.0 we will be up to which is 40 years and still going.

  4. Yet the city wants to spend money on solar powered bus shelters and I am sure many more useless projects to come to fill certain ppls pockets.

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