Why Sault Ste. Marie

Sault Ste. Marie provides businesses with an opportunity to achieve a competitive advantage while providing a natural balance of family, environment, growth and innovation.


Sault Ste. Marie offers numerous cost benefits over business operations in larger cities. We offer quality talent and expertise at an affordable rate, low business operating costs and low cost land and real estate. We also have access to financial incentives and programs for new and existing clients.

In 2016, Sault Ste. Marie ranked 10th globally out of 111 cities in KPMG's Competitive Alternatives study which examined competitive business cost structure. For more information click here. 

Business Support

Sault Ste. Marie offers extensive business support and startup resources. You can count on multiple organizations working together to offer the best service and solutions to your business. Sault Ste. Marie is also home to a Regional Innovation Centre and the Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship. Sault Ste. Marie is also the only city in Northern Ontario and only one of its size in Canada to become a designated Start-up Visa Program partner through its Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship. This program allows immigrant entrepreneurs to settle in Canada to grow their companies and obtain a fast-tracked work visa to do so.


Strategically located at the nexus between Canada’s East-West road and rail networks and U.S. North-South rail and highway systems, Sault Ste. Marie is well-positioned to facilitate trade between the heartlands of the two countries with the largest two-way trading relationship in the world.

Sault Ste. Marie is located at the heart of the Great Lakes, sharing a border with Michigan, and providing access via air, rail, highway and sea. This advantage ensures rapid and economical transportation of people, raw materials and information to markets globally, including access to 60 million consumers within 500 miles. Our location also means convenient access to nature, recreational opportunities and cottage life in the city. Just an hour flight to Toronto or Detroit, MI.


Sault Ste. Marie is home to a highly skilled and technical workforce and with access to nearly 2,000 graduates annually from Algoma University, Sault College and Lake Superior State University (Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan). We can work with our partners to develop customized training and learning to support your industry or sector needs.

Business and Industry

We are home to advanced manufacturing and industry such as Algoma Steel, Tenaris Algoma Tubes, Arauco North America and McDougall Energy.  R & D flourishes at federal and provincial forestry and invasive species research centres; world-class lottery and digital gaming expertise thrive in Sault Ste. Marie at the headquarters of the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation.   A growing small business community of over 2,200 businesses, as well as multiple agencies offering networking, training and development opportunities, helps to create a supportive business environment.

Quality of Life

Living here provides the best of many worlds. Sault Ste. Marie is a safe, modern, medium-sized city (73,500) with the amenities of larger centres, and is just minutes from nature.  We offer affordable housing, 10-minute commutes, quick access to the USA and a true four-season destination. Enjoy hundreds of KM’s of snowmobile, hiking and biking trails, downhill skiing, fishing and hunting - all within a short drive. Experience Lake Superior, Lake Huron and hundreds of other lakes in the area.

Strategic Location in the Great Lakes Economy

We are located at the centre of the Great Lakes Economy, a highly integrated trading zone that accounts for more than 50% of all U.S./Canadian bilateral border trade and over 200 million tons of cargo shipped annually. The region, made up of 10 U.S. states and two provinces has a GDP of US$6 trillion – making it the third biggest economy in the world. (Source: Council of the Great Lakes Region).

Fast Facts

Sault Ste. Marie also boasts:

  • A non-disruptive and efficient international border
  • Efficient and diverse transportation systems such as rail, highway, marine and air
  • An international border point with a four-lane interstate highway (I-75) into the United States and access to the Trans-Canada Highway via Highway 17 and via Highways 400, 401 and 402 in southern Ontario
  • Convenient direct access to major international airport hubs
  • Access to international supply chains
  • Excellent logistics and manufacturing infrastructure, including highways, rail hub, port, equipment servicing, fabrication, engineering, research and development
  • Research and operating capacity to access bioresources
  • Direct access to all major fibre optic networks and international fibre optic connections
  • International consultant KPMG ranked Sault Ste. Marie in the top tier in Canada in its International Competitive Analysis
  • Updated zoning bylaws improve local development and allow appropriate zoning to accommodate new businesses and help diversify the local economy
  • Government incentives in areas such as technology, innovation, training, site acquisition, infrastructure and manufacturing
  • Highly skilled and technical workforce available
  • Modern post secondary educational programs
  • Superb quality of life reflecting value and unparalleled opportunities

Download our Why Sault Ste. Marie brochure.

Move your skills north.