Sault Ste. Marie boasts an ecologically diverse environment. The St. Marys River provides an ideal habitat for many varieties of fish, especially whitefish, which has been a historic source of food for people living in this area. The Sault is located at a crossroads for migrating animals of all shapes and sizes, including salmon, smelts, and other types of fish; geese, sandhill cranes, and other birds; monarch butterflies; and many more. The Sault Naturalists and other residents enjoy witnessing these spectacles and, along with communities across Canada, participate in the annual Canadian Bird Count around Christmas. In particular, chimney swifts are a special treat for birdwatchers, with a large flock nesting in the downtown core.

The terrain of the Sault rises from the river to meet the dramatic rocky landscape of the Canadian Shield. Mixed forests offer stunning colours during the fall. The Sault is situated at the transition zone of the Boreal and Great Lakes/St. Lawrence forests, offering a variety of scenery for nature lovers and diverse ecosystems for forestry researchers.

Click for more information on environmental research and the economy in Sault Ste. Marie, and visit the Environmental Research Hub marker (3.0 km).

Did you know?

Large herds of caribou used to flourish in the Gros Cap area just east of Sault Ste. Marie. At the turn of the 20th century they left to be replaced by deer. The cause of their disappearance is still a mystery.