Visual identity, branding & promotional efforts are part of the larger community vision to build a place where people want to visit, live and do business. The impact of a powerful place brand has been well documented and the City of Sault Ste. Marie is employing industry best practices.

The City of Sault Ste. Marie exists in a competitive environment. Taking the step to rebrand our municipality is one way that Sault Ste. Marie will stand out when promoting our community. Whether we're competing for businesses, travelers, new residents or students, the way we tell our story matters. By being bold and confident in how we tell our story, we will inspire others in the community to do the same.

The story of Sault Ste. Marie is about people, ideas, history, geography and innovation and it needs to resonate with both stakeholders and target audiences and be adaptable for tourism, economic development and city building.

This is not just about a logo, name or tagline. It is about collectively, as a community, telling our story and building a platform and strategy around it that attracts others who share that vision. A brand considers your reputation, your stakeholders and the many ways in which our story is told. How you ‘show up’ everywhere from signage, to City communications, to economic development trade fairs, to a Google search. All of these media (and more) need to be considered.

Our brand must resonate with our desired target audiences while also feeling authentic to our City’s many stakeholders, which is why engagement has been such a critical component of this project.

The result is a brand that has come directly from the collective stories, histories and future aspirations of our community.

  1. Lift up community and build pride.
  2. Attract people (visitors, employers and employees).

We have a great opportunity in front of us to enhance our visual identity and create alignment on promotional material that succinctly tells the story of our community. A story that provides not only pride of place for locals, but is open and inclusive, and able to assist with attracting businesses and newcomers.

  1. The community of Sault Ste. Marie
  2. Employers (Investment and Economic Development)
  3. Youth (Attract Millennials to stay and move to Sault Ste. Marie)
  4. Tourism (Increase tourism)

  • Focus on youth (in and outside of Sault Ste. Marie)
  • Build a platform for good-news stories (about people, research, organizations and other positive developments).
  • Lift people up and build community.
  • Be aspirational and future-focused. Attract people and businesses.

The broad consensus heard from the community was supportive of the brand and visual identity brought to City Council for approval. This has been a rigorous process to ensure that the brand the City rolls out will help achieve immediate and measurable objectives today and well into the future.

It is also important to note that we have full support from the SSM Economic Development Corporation, Tourism SSM, Algoma University and Sault College for this brand and associated promotional messaging. This was a key goal at the outset of the project and provides an opportunity to have these organizations working together to amplify the messaging and brand of Sault Ste. Marie.

It is important to note that the City will be taking a phased-in approach to implement the new visual identity. During this phased-in approach, the old and new visual identity will co-exist until such time that all applications are converted.

A phased-in approach is more cost-effective and fiscally responsible, allowing for all City departments to plan for the transition and properly allocate funds. A phased-in approach will also allow time for key audiences (youth, the community of Sault Ste. Marie, tourists, employers, and potential newcomers) to adjust to the new visual identity; in particular audiences internal to Sault Ste. Marie and provides the City with an opportunity to effectively communicate the change.

Effective communication will be essential to the success of this roll out and the implementation moving forward. FutureSSM staff and Corporate Communications are preparing these communications and a brand roll out plan which will convey the high level of consultation with community members, support and excitement for the new brand and professionalism of the package created for Sault Ste. Marie.

Staff is building on best practices from other communities and the advice of our consulting team at STC to launch the new brand effectively.

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99 Foster Drive
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
P6A 5X6