Local Information & Services
The Ministry of Tourism maintains an Ontario Travel Information Centre at 261 Queen St. W., Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, adjacent to the International Bridge Plaza.
The Algoma Kinniwabi Travel Association is located at 334 Bay St., Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario P6A 1X1.
The Information Centres at Elliot Lake on Hwy 108, Lester B. Pearson Civic Centre and Blind River on Hwy 17, operate on a year-round basis.
Ontario Law requires that adults and children over 40lbs/18kg in weight wear seat belts. Infants from birth to 20lbs/9kg in weight must travel in a rear facing child restraint system. Toddlers weighting 20-40lbs/9-18kg must travel in a front-facing child restraint seat.
Can Your Pet Come?
Dogs and cats accompanying their owners from the U.S. must have current (within 36 months) rabies vaccination certificates. Owners from other countries who wish to bring their pets with them should phone 1.800.442.2342 or 1.613.225.2342, or TTY 1.800.465.7735. Visit www.inspection.gc.ca.
Liquor Outlets and the Law
You must be 19 or over to buy and consume liquor, wine and beer in Ontario. It is an offence to consume alcohol anywhere other than in a licensed establishment, your residence or within a reasonable distance of your residence. Ontario laws prohibit having open bottles of liquor in a location accessible to the driver of a vehicle. Please don’t drink and drive!
Visitors to Ontario looking to buy liquor or beer for consumption outside a licensed establishment usually have to go to 2 separate stores. Liquor including wine, is available through stores run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) or in smaller centers, by their authorized representative. Beer may be purchased through “The Beer Store” or directly from brewery outlets.
Information for Boaters
Pleasure craft may enter Canada by trailer or under their own power to stay for a period of up to 12 months. The required Entry Permit is obtainable from Customs at port-of-entry. All boats powered by motors 10 HP or over must be licensed and the license number clearly indicated on the bow of the vessel. Boat licenses from outside Ontario are acceptable.
Private Boats – If you arrive in Canada aboard a private boat, you must proceed directly to the nearest designated telephone reporting marine site. Upon arrival in Canada, the master of the boat must report to the CBSA by calling 1.888.226.7277. The master of the boat will provide details of the voyage, the passengers and their declaration. No one except the master may leave the boat until authorized to do so by the CBSA. As proof of presentation, masters will be provided with a report number for their records. Masters must provide this number to a border services officer upon request. You do not have to report to the CBSA when you leave by private boat unless you are exporting goods that need to be documented. To get a list of the designated telephone reporting marine sites, call 1.888.226.7277 before you arrive in Canada.
CANPASS Private Boats CBSA Programs for Registered Trusted Travelers – Our CANPASS and NEXUS programs streamline the border clearance process for pre-approved travelers. For information and application forms, visit www.cbsa.gc.ca/canpass (PDF, 220.2 KB) or www.nexus.gc.ca, or call BIS at one of the telephone numbers listed in the section called “Additional information.”
Operator Competency Requirements for Pleasure Craft – The Regulations apply to non-residents if:
- they operate their pleasure craft in Canadian waters for more than 44 consecutive days or
- they operate a pleasure craft that is licensed or registered in Canada (including rented or chartered boats)
The Regulations do not apply to non-residents who operate their pleasure craft (licensed in a country other than Canada) in Canadian waters for less than 45 consecutive days. Please note that a proof of residence will be required on board at all times. If you require more information on how Canadian requirements apply to non-residents visit the Requirements for Foreign Recreational Boaters In Canadian Waters.
What is acceptable proof of competency for non-residents?
For non-residents, proof of competency can take one of three forms:
- a Pleasure Craft Operator Card;
- a completed boat rental safety checklist (for power-driven rental boats); or,
- an operator card or equivalent which meets the requirements of their state or country
Ontario Provincial Police
For Police services anywhere in Algoma Country, phone toll free 1.888.310.1122, ATS/TTY 1.866.860.7082.
Hospital and Medical Services
Most communities in Algoma have hospitals and/or resident doctors. Wise travelers will check with their medical service plans to ensure they will be covered while in Canada. If you are importing prescription drugs, make sure they are clearly identified. The drugs should be in the original packaging with a label that specifies what they are and that they are being used under prescription. If this is not possible, carry a copy of the prescription or a letter from your doctor. For further information and Insurance details contact your travel or insurance agent.
Weather in the Algoma Region varies greatly. Our seasons are quite distinct, allowing us to offer many types of adventure and travel options. Traveling north of Sault Ste. Marie the temperatures will be colder and south it will be warmer.
Taxes and Tax Rates
As of July 1, 2010, Ontario harmonized its retail sales tax with the GST to implement the HST at the rate of 13% and British Columbia harmonized its provincial sales tax with the GST to implement the HST at the rate of 12%. Also, as of July 1, 2010, Nova Scotia increased its HST rate from 13% to 15%.
The general retail sales tax rate (RST) is 8%.
The other RST rates for certain goods and services are:
- accommodation for a period of less than one month – 5%
- admissions of more than $4 to places of amusement – 10%
- alcoholic beverages sold through licensed establishments – 10%
- alcoholic beverages sold through retail stores – 12%
- alcoholic beverages taken from your inventory for your own use – 12%
- alcoholic beverages provided free of charge – 12%
For more information, contact the Canada Revenue Agency at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/menu-e.html.
Chartered banks are located in virtually all cities and towns in Algoma. These full-service institutions are the best locations for exchanging currency. Note: most banks are closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. There is also a government sanctioned Canada/U.S. currency exchange service at the Ontario Travel Information Centre in Sault Ste. Marie and at the Duty Free Store and Kiosk or at the Casino Sault Ste. Marie.
Chartered banks are located in virtually all cities and towns in Algoma. These full-service institutions are the best locations for exchanging currency. There is also a government sanctioned Canada/U.S. currency exchange service at the Ontario Travel Information Centre in Sault Ste. Marie and at the Duty Free Store and Kiosk. Credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club etc., are honoured in all communities in the Algoma Region. Be sure to check with individual businesses before or when booking accommodations.
Average Monthly Temperatures
|Yearly Precipitation:||906 mm (35.66″)|
|Average Snowfall:||472 cm (189″)|
|Record Snowfall:||1989-90, 782 cm (308″)|