URBAN MATTERS: Sault’s Delusional Ideas.

Delusional idea #1: The Mystery Developer.

How many times can we expect to conjure up the Mystery Developer to solve the urban development challenges of our City?

Sault Ste. Marie EDC commissioned the Gateway Site Development plans to be a bio-development featuring Mass Timber construction of condominiums, retail and commercial space with the hope of attracting the Mystery Developer.

The Gateway Site is heavily contaminated, lacks any built infrastructure, is isolated from the rest of the City, and is under the heavy particulate discharge of the Steel Plant; a terrible location and a development challenge with excessive risks and costs. Yet, the EDC has a delusional idea that the Mystery Developer will appear, (probably with no money) to develop the Gateway Site.

Too many times this City has endured the hubris of the Mystery Developer’s outlandish ideas, empty promises and zero results completed. We now are in the unfortunate position, of requiring the Sault Taxpayer, to fund the expropriation of the Toronto Developer from the Old Hospital Site.

We have to stop this delusional idea that the Mystery Developer is going to solve our City’s urban development challenges.

So, what is the development reality for our City? Concentrate on cleaning up areas of our City that are blighted, with Dead Asset Buildings, in our existing “old neighbourhoods”. Go block for block; identify the worst blighted buildings and houses, expropriate them, keep the projects small and local, and keep project costs down to facilitate affordable housing.

The Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF), the Rapid Housing Initiative (RHI) and other Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CHMC) funding programs are designed specifically for urban renewal in the built areas of a city, with existing infrastructure, and on a bus route. We need to target areas like Gore Street, Albert Street, Wellington Street, Jamestown, etc. that require urban renewal. Using the (HAF) and the (RHI) funds we can make a big impact on these neighbourhoods with many small projects.

Delusional idea #2: Sault Ste. Marie is a tourist destination city.

Sault Ste. Marie EDC, and Sault Ste. Marie, Tourism EDC (MAT) recently, at a City Council Meeting, announced the conceptual idea for a Waterfront Park, Entertainment and Tourism attraction. This project intends to thrust the City of Sault Ste. Marie into the realm of a Tourism Destination City.

Can Sault Ste. Marie become a Tourism Destination City? How many tourist visits would be required to qualify, our City, as a Tourism Destination City? What do we have as a tourism foundation to build on?

Vacations are expensive; if we are asking tourists to choose the Sault as a destination, why would they choose us, over our competition?

Mackinaw Island is a Tourism Destination, built on the foundation of a historical immersion experience. With over one million visits annually it represents a unique experience that would be impossible to replicate. Mackinaw Island is a destination tourism product; now over 150 years in making, with constant private investments.

Traverse City is a Tourism Destination, built on the foundation of agri-tourism. Lucrative agricultural businesses like cherry, apple, pear, plum orchards and wineries, morphed into agri-tourism.

The National Cherry Festival attracts over 500,000 tourists to Traverse City alone. Hotels, condos, time-shares, wine chateaus, Michelin calibre restaurants, micro-brews, and wineries positioned Traverse City into a food and beverage destination mecca.

Traverse City’s EDC is a marketing juggernaut; attracting 8.7 million tourism visits annually to the Grand Traverse Area, with a twelve-month, four-season events calendar drawing from fifteen (15) million people within a five (5) hour drive.

This Sault Ste. Marie proposed Waterfront Destination product is going to be very expensive to create and maintain. We the taxpayers of this City need to ask; can this Waterfront Tourism Destination Idea generate at least 500,000 additional tourist visits annually for our City? Is this enough of a tourism foundation to position the Sault as a Tourism Destination City; or is this just another delusional idea?

Mark Menean, URBAN MATTERS

Thank you Wikipedia, tourism statistics.

4 thoughts on “URBAN MATTERS: Sault’s Delusional Ideas.

  1. Very typical of this one horse town, they have been fantasizing about these dream projects that the former pretenders that came to town said they would develop, but one by one they were all proven to be frauds and charlatans, not to mention the contaminated land, the rotten stinking pollution particulate falling down on the area every day causing the cancer rate and respiratory disease rates to go off the charts, ya I’d really want to live or even go near that area, not!

    It’s definitely at the point of insanity now as everyone knows what doing the same thing over and over expecting different results equates to.

    First of all the delusional immature part time mayor needs to go, and, half of the out-of-touch-with-reality councillors as well.

    It will never be a tourist destination, that ship sailed a long long time ago.

    The long dead downtown will only get worse as the mentally challenged, homeless people and transients, the violent crime and arson, the shootings, drugs and B and E’s, rampant theft escalate to a level that few feel safe anywhere near the area.

    The stinky polluted waterfront with murderers wandering the boardwalk don’t help much or draw any interest, either.

    The only way that the population will increase is if delusional criminal Turdeau imports a few more million immigrants and that is certainly not the answer to any of the ballooning problems that already exist, this just makes things 10X worse.

    What’s left of the once thriving city and it’s crumbling infrastructure that they can never afford to fix is a pitiful joke that will only get funnier as they continue to grasp at straws hoping for a miracle to happen.

  2. I don’t agree with you on a lot of things Mark, however in this instance you’re bang on on both these issues.

  3. Mark is right, if the city didn’t build a tourist hub in 60’s and 70’s, it’s certainly not gonna happen now. The only hope is to encourage industry, and not high tech gizmos, make something tangible.

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