The largest city between Greater Sudbury and Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie is one of Canada's leading ports. Located on the Saint Mary's River just north of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, USA, its canal circumvents the rapids (or sault) in the river, connecting ship traffic between Lakes Huron and Superior. The location near these lakes as well as Lake Michigan made this site important to native Americans and early French pioneers.