My vision of the future for Sault Ste. Marie: a growing, progressive and vibrant city, remarkably beautiful, where Quality of Life is at the forefront of our decisions.  If we want a city that people are going to move to and come to visit we have to differentiate ourselves.  Nature has naturally done that for us and we need to add to that.

I’m born and raised in the Sault.  I’ve worked since the age of 10 in our family hospitality business.  I’ve volunteered thousands of hours in non-profit sectors to do my part for our community.  I am a passionate believer in this city and I am ready to put my passion to work in a new way.  I want to work on behalf of our residents and be part of making the Sault a growing Northern Ontario city.  The best way to have influence and affect change is to have a seat at the table.  That’s why I am running for Council.

I believe we need to aim higher, be more creative, be nimble and take calculated risks.  We can do much more to differentiate Sault Ste. Marie as a place of impeccable quality of life.  A city that one must visit – a city that one wants to move to and live in.

We can be Brave, Bold, Leading.

Vote for DONNA HILSINGER on October 22nd – Councillor Ward 3

We can be:




What will I focus on?

Economic Diversification, Growth and Jobs

I believe we need to continue to support our existing local businesses of all sizes and their efforts to innovate and grow their markets and revenues.  We need to diversify our economy by exploring and investing in opportunities in growing industries like clean tech, agfood, organic food and beverage, food tourism, social enterprise development and home healthcare.  These efforts will provide jobs for our current residents, for new residents who want to move here for our outstanding quality of life and give our youth a choice to stay and work in the Sault or return for work that will build their careers.

"Donna has been an amazing supporter of Algoma University and our students for the past 12 years. It is through her efforts that the Northern Ontario Business Case Competition has grown into a life changing experience for university students in the North. She truly understands that for our community to grow economically, we need to educate our young people and provide opportunities for them so that they are able to stay in Sault Ste. Marie and contribute to the growth of our city." 

Cathy Denomme, Director School of Business and Economics, Algoma University

Planning for our Future

We need to update our official plan that will create a leading community of the future with best practice and the highest quality guidelines and standards.  Included in this is integrated transportation planning that builds what our residents want and what our future will demand for pedestrians, cyclists, transit, trails and vehicles, completely accessible to all.  We also need more affordable housing and improved mental health and addictions support.

"Through a long association with Donna’s father and their business, I have had the opportunity to know Donna and watch her grow into a mature, intelligent and community minded individual that I admire and respect. In her profession, I always found her diligent, hardworking, forward looking and creative. Her outstanding community work has been recognized in the awards and honours that she has received. Donna’s leadership ability was most obvious to me as she led a group to successfully have our 26-kilometer Hub Trail system built throughout the community." 

Frank S. Sarlo

Creating a Vibrant Community

We need to continue what has been started and support an energized downtown and waterfront.  Let’s clean up and green up across the city so we showcase and enhance what Mother Nature gave us.

We must invest in tourism infrastructure that differentiates us, celebrates our Place and sells Sault Ste. Marie to increase overnight visitation.  We must invest in our arts and our culture that nurtures the souls of all of our residents and is a catalyst to increase tourism visitation.

“As the Chair of Tourism Sault Ste Marie and Board member of the Economic Development Corporation, I have worked with Donna for over 5 years. Her passion for not only Tourism but for the city of Sault Ste Marie is contagious. Donna not only is knowledgably but dedicated and supportive of growing many aspects of this city. From Arts and Culture, to Business development, to New industry, she has a very strong understanding of what is good for our community. Her Big Picture approach to change is so important if Sault Ste Marie is going to grow in the future.” 

Kevin Wyer, Chair, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie

Would you like to help me get elected?

I'd like to volunteer!I'd like a lawn sign!

I'd love to hear from you!

What are your concerns and great ideas? Let's talk! We can chat on the phone or I can stop by to meet you.

Phone: 705-945-7632


More About Donna

Donna Hilsinger has over 40 years of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry and was General Manager of The Water Tower Inn in Sault Ste. Marie from 2000 to 2016.  The Inn will celebrate its 44th Anniversary this year and is considered one of the finest in Northern Ontario.  She remains a part of the family business, is a passionate public speaker and currently works at The Algoma Fall Festival.

Donna has volunteered thousands of hours to serve her community in tourism, economic development, trail development, arts and culture, education, health care, child welfare, social services and LGBTQ advocacy for these organizations:

  • Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation
  • The Algoma Fall Festival
  • Sault Trails Advocacy Committee
  • Community Adjustment Committee and Community Development Roundtable
  • Destination Ontario
  • Sault Ste. Marie Police Services Board
  • Tourism Sault Ste. Marie and Tourism Northern Ontario
  • Children’s Aid Society of Algoma
  • Sault Area Hospital
  • Welcome Friend Association
  • Regimental Senate of the 49th Field Regiment, RCA

Donna has been recognized for her community involvement work most notably:

  • 2016 Larry Knapp Award for Community Building from The United Way
  • 2015 Chamber of Commerce Paul Dalseg Community Achievement Award
  • 2014 Algoma University John Rhodes Scholarship Dinner Honoree
  • 2014 Algoma University Honorary Senate Membership Award
  • 2013 Leading Women Building Communities Award from the Province of Ontario
  • 2013 BPW Women’s Week Honoree
  • 2012 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • 2012 Chamber of Commerce Athena Award
  • 2008 Northern Ontario Business Influential Women Award

Get out and vote on October 22nd!  Early polls are October 6 & 13 from 10am to 6pm and October 10 from 10am to 8pm – at the Civic Centre.

Need a ride to the polls? Call or email me and I'll get you there!

Delivering signs, driving voters to the polls, etc.

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New this election!  If there are barriers preventing you from voting at an Advance Vote day or on Voting Day (Monday, October 22, 2018), you may apply for a home visit to cast your ballot.  

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