Sault Ste. Marie creating a Civic Plaza in the downtown core

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Sault Ste. Marie is developing a plan for a Civic Plaza in the downtown core described as a four-season destination for all ages.

“The intention for this place is to be nothing less than an extraordinary, four-season public plaza that is at once a place of celebration and a place for the everyday,” Colin Berman, principal and landscape architect at Brook McIlroy said in a presentation to council.

“This project will be a transformational one for Sault Ste. Marie.”

It is also expected that the design process will build on growing awareness in the community of the importance of activity-based destinations in the downtown, which began with the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s 2016 Downtown Strategy and established key objectives to animate and rejuvenate the downtown.

The development site is 1.9 acres of land close to the waterfront and across from city hall. It is in a block with little greenspace and lots of nearby parking.

The Plaza will include:

  • Skating rink and water feature
  • Flexible event/gathering area
  • Stage with outdoor screen
  • Outdoor Farmer’s Market area
  • Play zone
  • Lighting displays
  • Shade structures
  • Public washrooms and change area
  • Seating
  • Trees and planting beds

Also, it will be designed to “minimize embodied carbon inputs and maximize the carbon sequestration capacity post-completion.”

Council approve the plan unanimously last fall and the project is in the conceptual design phase.


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