The City of Sault Ste. Marie, population 75,000, is located along the St. Mary's River through which Lake Superior flows into Lake Huron. Due to its strategic location Sault Ste. Marie has historically been and continues to be a gathering place. A modern lock, installed inside the historic canal, was opened to recreational and tour boat traffic in 1998 close to the City's downtown core. Parks Canada and the City of Sault Ste. Marie are proud to collaborate on the operation and maintenance of the recreational lock at the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site. Training on the site's history, recording of visitation statistics and knowledge sharing regarding maintenance and mechanical operations are conducted jointly by the City and Parks Canada. As a result of this collaborative arrangement, residents and visitors benefit from the opportunity to see history in action.
The Sault Ste. Marie Horticultural & Garden Society first began in 1908. It was incorporated in 1926 under the Agricultural and Horticultural Organizations Act and society members are committed to sharing their resources and expertise to promote horticultural practices in all forms. J.W. LeBreton-Ross, Superintendent of the Sault Canal from 1907 to 1936, was president of the Sault Ste. Marie Horticultural Society and instrumental in transforming the Canal property into the park-like setting it is today – with mature trees and flowerbeds throughout. The Horticultural Society and Parks Canada are pleased to be working together to beautify the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site, offer opportunities to learn about gardening and become inspired to reconnect with the nature and history of the site through gardening.