In honoring its most famous native daughter, Canadian astronaut Roberta Bondar, Sault Ste. Marie has also managed an affirmative nod to the waters that have been a key element of the city's progress.
Local kudos were not long coming for Bondar -- born in "The Soo" on Dec. 4, 1945 -- after her historic achievements as the first Canadian woman in space. She has an honorary doctorate from Algoma College and the city's spectacular new $1.3 million Roberta Bondar Tent Pavilion is part of an ambitious waterfront reclamation project.
Located by the rapids of the St. Mary's River between lakes Superior and Huron, Sault Ste. Marie has always been prized for its access to the Upper Great Lakes water routes and its potential in terms of shipping routes, iron ore reserves and capacity for hydroelectric power. The city has long been famous as the corporate head office of Algoma Steel Inc.
An industrial town by pedigree, the Sault is committed to accenting the area's natural beauty. In addition to developing its waterfront, the city is home to the Voyageur Trail Association, which is developing a continuous 1,100-kilometre public hiking trail across Northern Ontario though the cooperation of individuals and government.