Sault Sainte Marie
connects Lake Superior and Lake Huron

Founded 1668

Sault Sainte Marie, pronounced SOO saynt muh REE, Ontario (pop. 81,476), stands on the St. Marys River, which connects Lake Superior and Lake Huron. The French founded a settlement on the north bank of the river in 1668 and named it for the rapids in the river. The Old French word sault means rapids or falls. The rapids provide hydroelectric power for the city and for industries that make iron and steel, pulp and paper, and lumber. Engineers built an international railway bridge between Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., in 1887 and a canal in the river in 1895. A highway bridge between the two cities was completed in 1962. In the late 1900's, the city replaced some industrial sections on the downtown waterfront with retail and recreational facilities.

Contributor: Donald G. Cartwright, Ph.D., Associate Prof., Department of Geography, Univ. of Western Ontario.
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