Introducing Sault Ste Marie
'The Soo,' as it's commonly known, quietly governs the narrow rapids between Lake Huron and Lake Superior. Perched along the last 'steps' of the St Lawrence Seaway, this placid city is the unofficial gateway to the far-flung regions of western Ontario. Although the area is dominated by a veritable who's who of corporate franchises, the downtown area along the water has remained a quaint checkerboard of mom-and-pop shops.
Originally the area was a traditional gathering place for the Ojibwe, known as Baawitigong, or 'place of the rapids'. When French fur traders arrived, the name changed to today's Sault Ste Marie (soo-saynt muh-ree), which roughly translates to 'St Mary's Falls.' After over a century of riding the boom-and-bust roller coaster of industry, the falls have undergone some serious manhandling and are now the gargantuan locks we see today.