For two years, the City of Sault Ste. Marie has been repairing and refurbishing Walk of Fame plaques from the sidewalk display in the downtown area. Thursday, the city unveiled a new and revamped Walk of Fame and one of its most famous members was on hand to see it.
“I love this because, first of all, you don't have to get down on the ground to get your picture taken. You get to be my age and that's kind of important, but also, to have these installed in places that are near and dear to why that individual is in the case, I think is fantastic." said former astronaut, Dr. Roberta Bondar, who was named to the Walk of Fame in 2006.
Routine winter maintenance damaged some of the plaques and obscured them for part of the year, but city staff says the new displays will increase the life span of the granite. They say only 5 stones removed in the fall of 2015 were damaged beyond repair, and that helped keep the cost of the refurbishment down. Manufacturing the new displays, replacing broken plaques, polishing existing ones and installation wound up costing a total of $20,000.
Local councillor, Susan Myers, says this Walk of Fame can and will be expanded as well.
"We've got room and capacity to build, going forward. They can accommodate 48 in total in the four boxes because they take 12 each. We've got 40 inductees at the moment and we plan to do two inductees a year." said Myers.
Those involved with the project say more still needs to be done to really promote the Walk of Fame properly.
"In the spring we'll take a look at what we can do to put some signage on it that does identify it. And the other thing is we're going to do, this is a partnership with downtown and we want to do some marketing with them, print some things, put it on their website and get some bios about these 40 people as well." said Myers.