Sault St. Marie, Ontario

Recently I read a blog that I follow and they mentioned that they had stayed at an RV Park in Sault St. Marie that we had planned on staying at, further into the blog they made the comment that they didn’t go into Canada on that trip. I was very confused, how could they stay in Sault St. Marie if they didn’t go into Canada? When I looked at the address of the RV Park I had chosen I realized it was in Michigan, up until that point I had no idea there was a Sault St. Marie in both Canada and the US!

Until 1812 these two communities were one city. A treaty after the war established the border between Canada and the United States right down the middle of the St. Mary’s River. The International Bridge now joins the two cities and today we will drive over it to visit the shipping locks, which are located on the US side of the river.

2016-08-27 -002- St. Mary River - Canada US Bridge

Sault St. Marie, Michigan has a population of 14,000 while Sault St. Marie, Ontario has a population of 75,000.

Yesterday it was pouring rain but it didn’t dampen our desire to visit the waterfront and see the Canadian locks. Our adventures started off at a park along the St. Mary River were we could see a ship entering the locks on the US side.

2016-08-27 -001- St. Mary River

We then headed to the lock on the Canadian side. The Sault St. Marie Canal was completed in 1895 and provided the final link on the Canadian side from the St. Lawrence River to Lake Superior. The canal was designed and built by Canadians and was in use until 1987 when a lock wall failed. In 1998 a new modern lock was built within the old lock and it is now used for recreational boats. We were fortunate to see the lock in use when three sea-doo’s entered from the St. Mary River to pass through to Lake Superior.

Entering the lock

Entering the lock

It takes twelve minutes for the lock to fill up to the level of Lake Superior and I was surprised to find out there is no charge to use the lock. They will fill and lower the lock as many times as needed between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.

The lock filling up. The sea-doo’s are attached, with ropes, to cables on the side of the lock. They moved their ropes up as the water level rises.

The lock filling up. The sea-doo’s are attached, with ropes, to cables on the side of the lock. They moved their ropes up as the water level rises.

Leaving the lock.

Leaving the lock.

After watching the lock fill up we took a walk, in the rain, around Whitefish Island.

2016-08-27 -009- Whitefish Island Sault St. Marie, ON

I think this is a picnic cabin but it was too wet to walk through the grass to check it out.

I think this is a picnic cabin but it was too wet to walk through the grass to check it out.

We could see the top of a ship moving through the locks on the US side.

We could see the top of a ship moving through the locks on the US side.  The locks were built to bypass the rapids in this picture.

The ducks were excited to see us and came swimming up as soon as we arrived. I think they were expecting food but they were disappointed since we had nothing to give them.

The ducks were excited to see us and came swimming up as soon as we arrived. I think they were expecting food but they were disappointed since we had nothing to give them.

We only walked 1.5 km because the rain just wouldn’t let up but there is also an additional 2.2 km walk you can do around the entire island. As we were leaving the park we passed by the old Engineers Residence, which sits, beside the locks.

2016-08-27 -015- Engineers Residence, Sault St. Marie, ON

Until next time …

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