Photo provided by Reg Halford, 3rd Generation Paper Maker, St. Mary’s Paper

A Living Centre for

Ecology, Culture and Wilderness Experience

Destination North Inc. is a public, private initiative to develop a Living Centre for Ecology, Culture and Wilderness Experience at the former St. Mary’s Paper Mill in Sault Ste. Marie, ON.

Destination North Inc. proposes to repurpose the

historic Pulp Tower and Board Mill buildings as viable

regional destinations for local business, visitor and

tourist markets as living centres for Ecology, Culture

and Wilderness Experience.


From the heart of the Great Lakes, Destination North presents an epic sweep of ecology, culture and wilderness experience stretching from Port Severn to Pigeon River; an area of ruggedly scenic beauty delivering authentic, natural, cultural and recreational experiences.


Visitors engage with live interactive exhibits, immersive multimedia and animatronic elements designed to introduce and engage people with the natural world of Northern, Ontario.


Destination North Inc. will function as a public, private partnership for the development, operation and fulfillment of the Northern Experience based on a three tier development framework to realize five distinct ecological, cultural and wilderness experience narratives.

1. Destination North Discovery Centre

2. Aazhogan Anishinabek

3.  Group of Seven Algoma

4.  Entomica

5.  Wilderness Rail Station

5.a Wilderness Rail Walk

A.  Board Mill Market





The  Initiative





ininaatigoog sugar maple Acer


The  Framework

1. Public, private partnerships that match domain expertise to market opportunities.

2. Product development, training, licensing and merchandising.

3. Digital property and service development.

Destination North programming initiatives are currently being developed and proven against market opportunity. As programming development progresses unseen partnership opportunities will arise and become a part of the overall project as appropriate to the project goals of realizing a living centre for ecology, culture and wilderness experience.

Project Components

Destination North

Discovery Centre

The Discovery Centre orients and engages visitors with the three primary components of Northern, Ontario’s recreational markets through interpretive display and immersive experience. Nature and the Outdoors, Fishing and Hunting and Touring.


The Discovery Centre tells the story of Boreal forest ecology, Lake Superior and the unique diversity of its aquatic and terrestrial wildlife through a four season narrative.

zasgomizh pussy willow Salix


French Island Sunset, Bruce Mines, ON   © Travis Favretto

Aazhogan Anishinabek

Group of Seven Algoma

Aazhogan, is the Nishnaabe word for “bridge”, Aazhogan Anishinabek is a place for understanding the Anishinabek experience through the voice of Canada’s First Nations.


It’s a home for the Anishinabek narrative, the historical, traditional and contemporary. A place for storytelling, reconciliation and bridging. In parallel, Aazhogan will function as a showcase and retail destination for contemporary and traditional Anishinabek art, design and fashion.


Aazhogan Anishinabek is a partnership project currently being explored with the Anishinabek communities of Northern Ontario.

Group of Seven Algoma tells the story of Algoma’s relationship to the Group of Seven and how it shaped their work, their lives and the worlds view of Northern, Ontario.


Group of Seven Algoma is both an immersive media experience and a physical journey that begins at Destination North and tracks along the passenger trains of Algoma Central Rail and into the wilderness of Northern, Ontario.

Wilderness Rail Station


Entomica is a place where visitors discover the fascinating, hidden and often misunderstood world of insects through live interactive exhibits, immersive multimedia and animatronic elements. It will feature an Insectarium with live displays, a Butterfly house and Noctarium, the only one of its kind in Canada to feature the nocturnal world of moths and fireflies.


Entomashop Is a unique product development and retail component of Entomica that develops butterfly and moth kits for release parties, educational programming and merchandising in cooperation with Approved Service Providers for the Provincial Ontario Disability Employment Support Program that provide employment opportunities to disadvantaged persons.

The repurposed Pulp Tower building is proposed to become home to the Agawa Canyon Tour Train.


The Wilderness Rail Experience will build on regional programming initiatives to transport visitors from the vibrant urban village of Mill Square, to the woods, canyons and communities of rural Algoma and back while maintaining a cohesive, memorable and uniquely Northern experience.


As the train is not scheduled 365 days of the year, the Wilderness Rail Walk will be developed as an interpretive experience of the Agawa Canyon Tour Train.









The Board Mill building will be developed as the Board Mill Market, a Regional Food Hub and Public Market bringing local food, drink and artisanal products to market while serving as a venue for social interaction and gathering.


This enables regional farmers markets to expand and meet current market demand as defined by the 2011 Sault Ste. Marie Algoma Farmers’ Market Feasibility Study and Business Plan commissioned by the Downtown Association with the collaboration of the City of Sault Ste. Marie and conducted by Urban Marketing Collaborative, a division of J.W.C Williams group.


The study’s findings will be used to develop the market as a full-service asset for the region, a place that enables farmers, artisans and entrepreneurs to develop and market the best products from Northern, Ontario.


Destination North in the Nishnaabe language.


Special Thanks to Barbara Nolan for the


83 Huron St.

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario


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