Highlighting growth in downtown Sault Ste. Marie

There has been plenty of exciting activity of late in our city’s downtown and I encourage everyone to take some time to explore what our community has to offer.

From restaurants popping up to feed a variety of different tastes, to a new beauty salon, tattoo parlour, real estate agency and radio station, there is quite a cool cluster of businesses developing downtown and throughout our city.

Neeta Marwah is now offering Punjabi and Indian cuisine at Rasoi, the Indian Kitchen on Queen Street East. I had the chance to stop by and grab a bite. Neeta’s presence in the downtown area is a welcome addition.

Speaking of growth on Queen Street; Lavish Salon, SOO Blaster and StreetCity Realty Inc. have recently opened locations in the downtown area. In other parts of the city, Discover the Canvas and KFM Radio have also set up shop.

The hyperlinks included below provide you with some background information about the variety of new and exciting businesses, but I encourage people to check these spots out in person and a great opportunity to do so is coming up later this week.

The Downtown Association is hosting ‘Moonlight Magic’ on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Queen Street will be closed to traffic from Pim to Dennis Street. Stores will be open late to provide people with the chance to do some late-night shopping. There are also fun activities planned like a free hot chocolate competition and bed races, along with the community tree lighting ceremony at 7 p.m. I hope to see you there.

Rasoi, The Indian Kitchen: https://www.sootoday.com/local-news/sault-gets-punjabi-diner-just-in-time-for-diwali-743272

SOO Blaster: https://www.sootoday.com/local-news/new-restaurantarcade-coming-to-queen-street-2-photos-655209

StreetCity Realty Inc: https://www.sootoday.com/local-news/new-sault-real-estate-agency-celebrates-official-opening-3-photos-744622

Lavish Salon: https://www.facebook.com/lavishsalonSSM/

Discover the Canvas: http://northernontario.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1228105

KFM Radio: https://www.sootoday.com/local-news/sault-ste-maries-first-christian-radio-station-hits-the-airwaves-7-photos-728166

Community Orchard officially inaugurated

On November 16th, 2016, Sault Ste. Marie’s first community orchard was officially inaugurated. Located at the Algoma District School Board’s Etienne Brule site, the orchard will eventually include 48 apple trees and 30 sugar maples. A total of 24 trees have been planted so far, with the remainder to come in the spring of 2017.

The establishment of the orchard was made possible thanks to a grant from CN Rail’s “From the Ground Up” program. Sault Ste. Marie was one of 25 communities across Canada that was awarded a grant in 2016. The successful application was developed by Tori Prouse of the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s Planning Department.


(Left to Right: Mayor Provenzano, CN’s Drew Redden, DSSAB CAO Mike Nadeau, ADSB Chair Jennifer Sarlo and Raymond Carriere of Communities in Bloom perform a ceremonial tree planting.)

The orchard is another positive development at the west-end site, which has become a community hub since the closure of the former Etienne Brule elementary school. The building now houses the Urban Aboriginal school program, a daycare, and several programs that have been developed in partnership with Ontario Works and other social service providers. In addition to the orchard, the property is also home to a playground, a Hub Trail spoke, and a community garden.

Though it will take a few years for the trees to mature and begin bearing fruit, in time, the orchard will be a fantastic community resource for citizens to enjoy.

Dr. Roberta Bondar honoured with commemorative coin

In 1992, Sault Ste. Marie’s own Dr. Roberta Bondar made history when she became the first Canadian woman and the world’s first neurologist in space. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dr. Bondar’s groundbreaking mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery, the Royal Canadian Mint created a special limited-edition commemorative coin.

The coin, entitled “A View of Canada from Space” was publicly unveiled at a ceremony held at Sault College on November 1st, 2016. Dr. Bondar was in attendance, along with many of her friends and family members, as well as Mayor Provenzano, MP Terry Sheehan and Royal Canadian Mint President Hanington. Governor-General David Johnston (another Sault native and a childhood acquaintance of Dr. Bondar) offered well-wishes via video.

Read Mayor Provenzano’s address from the event.

2016-11-01-20161101-royal-canadian-mint-roberta-bondar-coin-unveiling-ka-0167 (Left to Right: MP Terry Sheehan, Mint President Sandra Hanington, Dr. Roberta Bondar, Mayor Christian Provenzano and Sault College Aviation student Oliver at the coin unveiling)

The coin itself was designed by Canadian artist Alexandra Lefort. It features a unique, convex shape and is believed to be the world’s first curved coin. It also includes glow in the dark effects that depict a view of North America at night as seen from space, with a particular focus on Canada. Dr. Bondar’s name, mission anniversary and the emblem of the space shuttle Discovery are inscribed on the outer band.

Made from 99.99% pure silver, the coin has a face value of $25 and is available for purchase from the Royal Canadian Mint website. A limited run of 8,500 coins have been minted. One of the coins is currently on display in the Civic Centre lobby (2nd level).

Over the course of her storied career, Dr. Roberta Bondar has always remained a steadfast champion for her hometown of Sault Ste. Marie. Congratulations again Dr. Bondar on this well-deserved honour!

Honouring Ron Francis

One of Sault Ste. Marie’s greatest athletes was honoured on October 5, 2016, as lower Bruce Street was officially renamed to “Ron Francis Way.” Ron and his family were on hand for the occasion and Ron addressed the crowd, speaking about his pride of coming from Sault Ste. Marie.

(Above: Councillor Paul Christian and Mayor Provenzano listen as Ron Francis speaks at the street dedication on October 5, 2016.)

Ron grew up in the west end of Sault Ste. Marie, playing hockey as a youth before working his way up to the Soo Greyhounds as a teenager. At the age of 19, he was drafted in the first-round (4th overall) of the NHL draft by the Hartford Whalers

During his 23-season NHL playing career, Ron became a two-time Stanley Cup champion. He is presently 5th all-time on the NHL scoring list and 3rd all-time for games played. In addition to several all-star nods, Ron also won the Frank J. Selke trophy, the King Clancy award for leadership and humanitarian work, and the Lady Byng Trophy for most gentlemanly player on three occasions. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007 and the number 10 jersey that he wore with the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes franchise was retired.

Today, Ron’s professional hockey journey is continuing as the General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes. He has also been noted for his humanitarian work with families of hospitalized children and the Special Olympics.

Both Mayor Provenzano and Councillor Paul Christian spoke at the official sign unveiling on October 5th outside of the Essar Centre. Councillor Christian penned the original council resolution to explore ways of recognizing Ron Francis in 2015.

Read Mayor Provenzano’s remarks.

The ceremony took place just prior to an NHL exhibition game at the Essar Centre between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Buffalo Sabres. Carolina would ultimately prevail, winning 3-2 in an overtime shootout.

(Above: The new street sign is officially unveiled.)

Game On!

The Game On! Neighbourhood Street Party, was held at the Chapple-Albion Community Hub on Thursday August 25th from 11 am to 2:00 p.m.  More than 1,000 people attended the event.


The party was principally organized by the Sault Ste. Marie DSSAB, Social Services Sault Ste. Marie and Sault Ste. Marie Police Services and residents of the Albion-Chapple neighbourhood. An extensive list of businesses and partners also generously contributed to the event.

Highlights included a free barbecue, bouncy castles, arts and crafts activities, and street games.The kids in attendance had the thrill of playing road hockey with Stanley Cup champion Trevor Daley of the Pittsburgh Penguins and local NHL player Colin Miller of the Boston Bruins. The Algoma U Thunderbirds were also on hand to take on youngsters in games of basketball.

Mayor Provenzano attended the opening ceremonies and he offered some words of thanks to the local residents for their efforts to organize the celebration and for showing and their community spirit. Read Mayor Provenzano’s Speech.


In all, the Game On! street part was a great way to celebrate the last weeks of summer. A big thank you goes to Melissa Ceglie, Social Development Coordinator with Social Services Sault Ste. Marie for coordinating the day and to the many supporters noted below for their generosity and assistance.

Sponsors and Partners of the Game On! Community Street Party

District of  SSM Social Services Administration Board
City of SSM Police Services
City of Sault Ste. Marie
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Child Care Algoma
Sault Community Career Centre
John Howard Society
Healthy Kids Community Challenge
Best for Kids Committee
Huckson’s Water Depot
Lock City Dairies
AJ Bus Lines
Great Lakes Honda
Investors Group
USW Local 2724
Local Immigration Partnership
The Breakfast Pig
Sports Gold
Parson’s Painting
Colour Your World
Algoma University

Month in Review – June 2016

When you’re the Mayor, it’s usually the case that your schedule is pretty full! Below is a recap of the public events, activities, and meetings that Mayor Provenzano participated in during June, 2016.

Mayor Provenzano speaks at the City’s Canned Food Drive wrap-up event.

June was a busy month for the Mayor, with Council meetings, a trip to North Bay to meet with other Northern Ontario Mayors and many events happening in the community. It was a good month for good works, with charitable events such as Tim Horton’s Camp Day, Relay for Life, Walk for ALS, Troy’s Trail, the Mayor’s Golf Tournament and the City employees Canned Food Drive dotting the calendar.

Follow the links below for media coverage and more information about these events that have been happening in our community.

June 1st – Tim Horton’s Camp Day

June 3rd – City of Sault Ste. Marie Canned Food Drive Wrap-Up

June 4th – Walk for ALS; Troy’s Trail

June 9th – Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council Meeting

June 13th – Mayor for a Day; City Council

June 14th-15th – Northern Large Urban Mayors (NOLUM) Meetings, North Bay

June 16th – Sault Ste. Marie Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

June 17th – Relay for Life

June 20th – Mayor’s Charity Golf Classic in Support of United Way

June 22nd – PUC Board Meeting

June 23rd – Northern Ontario School of Medicine Conference

June 27th – Canadian Multiculturalism Day; City Council

Multiculturalism Day

Monday June 27 was Canadian Multiculturalism Day. The Sault Ste. Marie Public Library and the Art Gallery of Algoma hosted a joint celebration beginning at noon. The half-day festivities included a free barbecue, cultural performances, live music and world art exhibits.


Mayor Provenzano opened the event with a brief welcome address. His remarks touched on how diversity and multiculturalism are among Canada’s greatest strengths as a nation. He also spoke of the importance of making Sault Ste. Marie a welcoming place for newcomers and people of all backgrounds.

As part of the opening ceremonies, the Local Immigration Partnership of Sault Ste. Marie and area presented awards of appreciation to several private refugee sponsorship groups. These local groups, from both Sault Ste. Marie and nearby communities including Blind River and St. Joseph’s Island, have been fundraising and organizing in order to bring privately sponsored refugee families to Northern Ontario.

In all, celebrating multiculturalism was a great way to lead off summer in Sault Ste. Marie. Many thanks go to the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library, the Art Gallery of Algoma, the Sault Community Career Centre, the New Beginnings Interdenominational Refugee Sponsorship Group and the Local Immigration Partnership for organizing the day’s events.