Sault Ste. Marie Walk of Fame

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The Sault Ste. Marie Walk of Fame marker for Francis H. Clergue

The Sault Ste. Marie Walk of Fame is a series of sidewalk markers located on Queen Street in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, adjacent to the Essar Centre sports arena. The Walk of Fame is a joint project between the city of Sault Ste. Marie and its Downtown Association, and honours those from the city or the Algoma District who have made outstanding contributions to the community or have made significant achievements in their chosen field(s) of work. Inductees are added on an annual basis.

History and requirements[edit]

The genesis of the Walk of Fame was City By-Law 2002-193, passed by the Sault Ste. Marie City Council on September 9, 2002. The by-law established a "Walk of Fame Program," to be operated by the city and the Downtown Association with the intent of honouring Sault Ste. Marie natives who have made significant contributions and outstanding achievements. By extension, the Walk was viewed as a means of enhancing tourism in the city and attracting patrons to the Downtown shopping and business district.

The by-law established a committee to select annual inductees and, at the outset, determine a suitable location for the Walk. The 8 committee members are appointed by the City Council for a 3-year term, and include the mayor, two city councilors, two representatives of the Downtown Association, two citizens at large, and one Chamber of Commerce representative.

The by-law also established ground rules for Walk inductees:

  • Any inductee (or if it is a group, at least one member of that group) must have lived in the City of Sault Ste. Marie or the Algoma District for a minimum of 12 months at any point in their lifetime.
  • The inductee must have, over a period of years, made an outstanding contribution to the community, or have achieved local, provincial, national, or international accolades in their chosen field of work (academics, humanitarianism, medicine, science and technology, government or military service, business and industry, arts and entertainment, athletics or other competitive endeavors).
  • Nominations for inductees can be submitted by the general public, but must be received by the City Clerk's office no later than April 1 of the intended year of honour. (This date may vary, however; the 2012 deadline occurred on April 30.)[1] Nominations that are received by the deadline are then considered by the Walk of Fame Committee for inclusion in that year's Walk of Fame inductee class.
  • No more than 10 inductees would be honoured in the Walk's inaugural year, and no more than 5 inductees in any subsequent year.
  • No person or group can be honoured more than once on the Walk.
  • The list of annual inductees must be announced to the general public; formal marker dedication ceremonies must be open to the public as well.

Markers and location[edit]

Each Walk of Fame inductee is immortalized on a 16-inch granite square, which includes a marble maple leaf displaying the inductee's name and year of induction.

The Walk of Fame markers are embedded in the sidewalk facing Queen Street, in front of the north end of the Essar Centre and the adjacent Memorial Square.


Prospective inductee names were first submitted by the general public in 2003, from which the Walk of Fame Committee selected an inaugural list of 10 inductees. The selections were then tabled until a suitable time and place to launch the Walk of Fame was determined.

The first Walk of Fame induction ceremony took place on September 30, 2006, as part of the Essar Centre's grand opening weekend.[2] In subsequent years, inductee selections have been announced in late May or early summer, with formal induction ceremonies held the following autumn on the Essar Centre grounds.[3]

Note: (P) indicates a posthumous induction

Year of Induction Honoree Background
2006 Roberta Bondar neurologist, astronaut, and the first Canadian woman in space
2006 Francis H. Clergue(P) industrialist and visionary
2006 Ken Danby artist
2006 Ron Francis NHL player
2006 Joanie and Gary McGuffin adventurers, conservationists, and authors
2006 Ted Nolan NHL- and junior-level hockey coach
2006 Kevin Scott world-record-setting speedskater
2006 Morley Torgov author and humourist
2006 Treble Charger recording artists
2006 Jessica Tuomela Paralympic swimmer
2007 Phil Esposito NHL player, executive, and Team Canada 1972 alumnus
2007 Tony Esposito NHL player, executive, and Team Canada 1972 alumnus
2007 Harry Graham(P) forester and academic
2007 John Rhodes(P) broadcaster and politician
2007 Darren Zack softball pitcher
2008 John Barker(P) local union leader and driving force behind The Sault's Group Health Centre
2008 Angelo Bumbacco junior hockey executive and co-founder of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
2008 Joni Henson lyric spinto soprano
2008 Dr. David Walde oncologist, cancer treatment pioneer, and hospital fundraiser
2009 Doreen Hume Coloratura Soprano soloist
2009 Edie Kerr(P) organizer of many curling events, including the 1978 Macdonald Lassies Tournament and 1990 Labatt Brier
2009 Russ Ramsay(P) broadcasting executive and MLA for Sault Ste. Marie
2009 MCpl Scott Vernelli(P) served in Afghanistan with The Royal Canadian Regiment
2010 Eric Alessandrini fundraiser and volunteer
2010 Dr. Peter Black neurosurgeon
2010 Douglas Bradford artist
2010 Jo Forman(P) advocate of secondary school athletics
2011 Trixie Hardy Dance instructor and theatrical producer
2011 Tanya Kim Television personality (etalk) and philanthropist
2011 Walter Wallace(P) Educator, member of the Canadian Forces (49th Field Artillery Regiment, RCA) and humanitarian
2012 Ross Mervyn Retired steelworker and promoter of anti-drug education and causes
2012 Walter Newman(P) Founder of the Boys Naval Brigade
2012 Brian Vallee(P) Journalist (Sault Star, Toronto Sun, Toronto Star, The fifth estate) and author (Life with Billy)
2012 Tony Van Den Bosch Social worker and pioneer in addiction treatment
2013 Sir William Hearst(P) Attorney, MLA for Sault Ste. Marie, and Premier of Ontario (1914-1919)
2013 Team Jacobs
(Brad Jacobs, Ryan Fry, E. J. Harnden, Ryan Harnden)
Competitive curlers (champions of the 2013 Tim Hortons Brier)
2014 Mac and BJ Marcoux Paralympian alpine skiers
2014 Lester Pyette Journalist/editor (Sault Daily Star, Calgary Sun, Toronto Sun, The London Free Press) and publishing executive (Sun Media)
2015 Helen Arvonen(P) Author
2015 James W Curran(P) Publisher of the Sault Star and founder of the Sault Rotary Community Day Parade

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°30′50″N 84°20′11″W / 46.51395°N 84.33632°W / 46.51395; -84.33632