Making a better impression in downtown Sault Ste. Marie
Sault Ste. Marie City Council is moving ahead with a project to revitalize its downtown core based on the recommendations from an out-of-town consultant.
Well-known downtown and tourism consultant Roger Brooks spent five days in Sault Ste. Marie last month reviewing the city.
He didn't get the best impression of the downtown core, and ended up making nearly 100 recommendations.
Council approved three of them this week.
Josh Ingram is the Executive Director of the Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Association.
"No, three is not enough, but it’s a start. You can't grab all 99 and go for it." said Ingram.
The city will start with focusing on the signage around town, or lack of signage.
Christian Provenzano is the city’s Mayor.
"We're going to develop a wayfinding strategy and better signage, so it's clear where our museums are, it’s clear where our activities are. It's clear what people coming to the community can do. So, it will help people get around Bay Street, Queen Street, and the downtown area." said Provenzano.
Downtown business owners say they're happy that changes are finally being made.
Lori Nowitski owns City Meat Market on Queen Street East.
"Very excited about these new initiatives and we think that it's definitely going to improve the downtown. It's going to bring more people down here. Just make people aware that we are here and there are beautiful shops and things to do downtown." said Nowitski.
The city is also planning on removing some dead trees and the planters to make way for new benches and furniture.
"You'll see this summer we have more patios on Queen Street. It's something the city is really trying to encourage and we are encouraging it through our own processes." said Provenzano.
The city says this is just a start of a facelift for the downtown core.
Over the next two years, crews will be fixing up Queen and Bay Streets.