Rotary Welcome Cairns
Russ Ramsay Way, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, P6A, Canada
Rotary Welcome Cairns
Rotary Welcome Arch
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Constructed in 1938, the Rotary Welcome Cairns are the remaining sandstone cairns of the former Rotary Welcome Arch. They are located at the north end of Russ Ramsay Way, a street that currently provides access to the Sault Ste. Marie Civic Centre and waterfront and, in the past, the International Ferry Dock.
The Rotary Welcome Cairns have been recognized for their heritage value by the City of Sault Ste. Marie, By-law 2005-160.
The Rotary Welcome Cairns marked the entrance to Sault Ste. Marie when the only access for vehicular traffic from the north, west and the United States was via the international ferry from Michigan. The Arch welcomed travellers arriving on the ferry to Sault Ste. Marie and the District of Algoma. Sponsored by the Rotary Club, it was designed locally by John Arthur Luxton who is also noted for having designed the original logo for the Sault Star newspaper and the Algoma Steel "A". Plaques on the cairns attest to the importance and significance of the remains as a once prominent entranceway. The construction of the Rotary Welcome Arch was supported by local businesses, such as Algoma Steel, who designed and donated the original steel arch. It was built with local materials.
The building of the International Bridge and the Trans-Canada Highway around Lake Superior removed the focus from Russ Ramsey Way and the Arch as the primary access point, and only the cairns now remain. The remaining cairns serve as a reminder of the former gateway to Sault Ste. Marie and the welcome that was extended to visitors from the west and the United States. They continue to be an important local landmark.
Sources: Sault Ste. Marie Designation by-law 2005-160; Rotary Welcome Cairns Designation Report.
Key character defining elements that illustrate the heritage value include:
- their original location close to the waterfront and the former international ferry dock
- local sandstone construction
- the plaques on the cairns noting the local designer, major contributors and the role of the Rotary Club
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Community Organizations
Function - Category and Type
- Public Art or Furnishings
Architect / Designer
John Arthur Luxton
Location of Supporting Documentation
Community Services Department, Recreation and Culture Division, City of Sault Ste. Marie
Cross-Reference to Collection
Sault Ste. Marie Museum; Sault Ste. Marie Public Library Archives