This northern riding lies north of the St. Mary's River, which is also the boundary between Canada and the U.S.
The largest sector of the local economy here consists of manufacturing, with a major employer being the Algoma Steel Corporation.
Algoma University College and Sault Ste. Marie Airport are included in this riding.
This is also one of the few Ontario ridings to have experienced a decline in population since the 1991 census.
Conservative premier William Howard Hearst (1914 to 1919) was elected in Sault Ste. Marie in 1908, 1911 and 1914. The Labour Party held the seat briefly, winning in 1919 after which the Conservatives continued their winning streak in 1923, 1926 and 1929.
The Liberals were elected here in 1934 and 1937, followed by the provincial CCF in 1943, 1945 and 1948. The PC party returned to power here in 1951, and held the seat until 1985, when the NDP's Karl Morin-Strom toppled Russ Ramsay. Morin-Strom won again in 1987, and the seat went to current incumbent NDP member Tony Martin in 1990.