City seeks your input on parks and recreation


Sault Disc Golf Association board members Mike Skinner (foreground) and Mark Mizzi check out a Ward 4 map at Tuesday’s Parks and Recreation public open house at GFL Memorial Gardens.

If you have an ideas or concerns about the state of the Sault’s parks and recreation facilities, its programs or events, now is the time to share them.

Sault Ste. Marie’s Parks and Recreation Dept. is holding public open houses this week and they want to hear from you. The first of three open houses was held Monday at the Northern Community Centre and yesterday the second three-hour session was conducted at the GFL Memorial Gardens. The third session is set for this afternoon beginning at 4 p.m. and winding up at 7 p.m. at the John Rhodes Community Centre.

The city’s manager of Recreation and Culture, Virginia McLeod, says input from residents is vital in creating a well-rounded five-year plan. “This will hopefully give us our road map for the next five years,” says McLeod. “As staff, sometimes you’re looking at things with a different lens. We also use our facilities as well but different users use their spaces in different ways. There may be things we’ve missed.

“We encourage everybody to come out,” she continued. “We’d love to hear their thoughts and hopefully gain more information on how people are using our facilities and where they see opportunities and potentially, new things that we could be doing.”

McLeod says input is welcome on virtually all aspects of local parks, trails, playgrounds and indoor facilities. Open houses were held in 2017 and 2018 to help create the current plan, launched in 2019.
“It’s great to have that dialogue,” McLeod says. ”Things come up when you’re having conversations. It’s an important part of our consultation process. “It really does cover everything from sport and leisure ctivities
that are taking place in our community.”

The City of Sault Ste. Marie is working with thinc design, Mehak, Kelly & Associates, Oraclepoll Research and RFA Planning Consultants to develop a five-year Master Plan and a Parkland Dedication By-law.The second phase will include an online survey and discussions with community user groups at which point gaps in services will be identified.

An assessment and recommendations phase will follow, leading to a draft report. A final report will be presented to city council in early 2024.


  • Ron Jokelainen

    Ron has returned to writing and reporting after 27 years with Ontario Lottery & Gaming. He began as a staff writer with OLG in 1994 before moving to Sports Marketing in 1997. He retired as a Senior sports analyst in 2021. Prior to OLG, Ron worked in radio and print journalism in the Sault and Simcoe. Folks may remember Ron "Williams" with CFYN-CHAS in the early 90s A graduate of Windsor's St. Clair College Journalism program, Ron lists drumming, gardening and walking among his favourite hobbies.

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