Frequently Asked Questions

What is Shape the Sault?

Shape the Sault is the City’s strategy designed to inform and engage the public to give our community a voice as we re-establish a new long term vision for the City. 

This process will update the City’s Official Plan as well as conclude the Official Plan Review. 

Shape the Sault is being completed entirely by the City of Sault Ste. Marie's Planning Division.

What is the difference between Shape the Sault and FutureSSM?

FutureSSM is the implementation of the Community Adjustment Committee's (CAC) Report, A Common Cause and New Direction for Sault Ste. Marie, the result of the community's need to be more resilient and diversified. The CAC Report and subsequent implementation plans will help to inform the City's new Official Plan. 

Both Shape the Sault and FutureSSM are plans for the city’s future based upon the vision and ideas of the residents of Sault Ste. Marie. The focus of FutureSSM is on community action items that address our economic growth and diversification, social equity, cultural vitality, and environmental sustainability. The focus of Shape the Sault is long-term policies that are intended to guide future land use decisions, development and public infrastructure.

What is an Official Plan?

The Ontario Planning Act requires municipalities to have an Official Plan, which is a legal document containing the community’s goals, objectives and policies to manage and direct land use planning and development over a 20 year horizon. The Plan is prepared in consultation with residents in order to reflect the community's vision. 

What is an Official Plan Review?

The City of Sault Ste. Marie's Official Plan was adopted in 1996, since then, it has been amended over 200 times. Now more than ever there is a need to "shape the sault" and re-establish a vision for the community.


Municipalities are also mandated by the Province to update their Official Plans every ten years to conform to current provincial policies. Updating an Official Plan also helps keep it current to the visions and goals of community members and City Council.


To read more about Official Plans, check out the Province of Ontario's Citizens' Guides to Land Use Planning.

Where can I find the current and proposed Official Plan?

The current Official Plan can be accessed from the City's website or from the button below.


The proposed Official Plan has not yet been drafted. It will be available through this website when completed.

What is urban planning?

Read a brief overview on what urban planning in Ontario and Sault Ste. Marie is all about!

What are Shape the Sault's focus areas?

  • Rural areas and agriculture (open house held in March 2018).
  • Natural environment (open house held in June 2018).
  • Housing and intensification (open house held in September 2018).
  • Recreation and culture (open house expected in January 2019).
  • Heritage areas (open houses in November 2018 and January 2019).
  • The downtown.
  • Land use.
  • Urban design and placemaking.
  • Mobility.
  • Special areas - i.e. traditional retail areas.
  • Public infrastructure.
  • Implementation tools and public engagement.
  • Economic development.
  • Healthy communities.
  • Social equity.

How can I get involved?

We want to hear from you! We are doing our best to make participation as easy and convenient as possible. 

Attend a consultation event: Visit the Events and News page for an updated calendar list of events. All materials for our events will also be on that page for you to view on your own time.

Online: From this website, you can send us an email or use the Comment Map to tell us your views about the city. You can also visit us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @ShapeTheSault.

Other ways: Feel free to mail us, email us, phone us, or drop in the office to speak with us. See the Contact Us section for more details.

How long will this project last for?

Shape the Sault consists of four phases and will continue until Fall 2019. 

We are currently in Phase 1, where our focus is on educating and gathering input from community members. In the winter of 2019, we will start to devise high level policy directions. 

By summer of 2019, we will present the draft Official Plan to the public and then to City Council for review in the fall. The Province will then consider the draft Official Plan for approval before it officially comes into effect. 

Contact Us

Have More Questions or Suggestions?

Come see us in person!

City of Sault Ste. Marie

Civic Centre, Level 5 - Planning Division


See location in Google Maps

Address, Phone and Email

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

Peter Tonazzo, Senior Planner: 705-759-2780 Reception desk: 705-759-5368 Email for general inquiries: planning@cityssm.on.ca


Open today

08:30 a.m. – 04:30 p.m.