Located across the United States-Canada border from Port Huron, Michigan, Sarnia is a port city on Lake Huron where the upper Great Lakes empty into the St. Clair River.
Though First Nations people were first to live in the area, Loyalists moved north from the U.S. after the War of 1812. Their numbers, along with the city's natural harbour, the discovery of oil and the arrival of the Great Western Railway in the 1850s, allowed Sarnia to expand greatly at that time. Today, Sarnia's complex of refining and chemical companies, known as Chemical Valley, is a major force in the city's economy, though it also contributes to Sarnia's poor air quality. The Sarnia Photovoltaic Power Plant is also significant, as is the city's port as a centre for lake freighters and oceangoing ships carrying grain and petroleum products.
With waterfront parks, shows at Imperial Theatre, exhibits at Gallery Lambton, the Hiawatha Horse Park and Slots, the Celebration of Lights in winter, and the Bayfest rock and country music festival in summer, the city of 72,000 has lots to offer. It's also the burial place and former home of Canada's second Prime Minister, Alexander Mackenzie.