New Terry Fox monument to be built

Alisha Morrissey
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The current Terry Fox memorial, placed in 2005. A new monument will be erected on the waterfront with a life-sized statue of Terry Fox dipping his artificial foot into the Atlantic Ocean at the start of his Marathon of Hope. — Photo by Keith Gosse /The Telegram

Terry Fox’s journey started modestly in St. John’s with little attention or fanfare.

The monument that marks that moment at No. 1 Water Street is equally quiet and subdued, a simple slate plaque — hardly noticeable to someone not looking for it.

Soon, though, a new monument and garden will be installed at the site where Canada’s champion against cancer dipped the toe of his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean before setting off on his Marathon of Hope April 12, 1980.

Fred Fox, a member of the family and the manager of supporter relations at the Terry Fox Foundation, says the family was recently approached by officials from the St. John’s Port Authority — which is located next door to the current monument — Parks Canada and the City of St. John’s, with the idea to replace the current monument with a life-sized representation of Terry Fox dipping his toe in the water.

“They’ve come up with not only some kind of a garden design, but they’ve now included a statue in it so it’s been a bit of a process and there’s still a bit of a process to go yet,” Fox said, explaining a request for proposals has gone out to the arts community and that the end result isn’t ready to be unveiled yet.

“We’re pretty excited about the opportunity. I mean that’s where Terry started. It’s a significant location from the whole story, of course,” Fox said. “I hear from a lot of people who visit Newfoundland and visit St. John’s and they always wonder where Terry started from, and it’s a difficult spot to find sometimes.”

There are several other Terry Fox statues throughout the country, including one in Thunder Bay, Ont. — where Terry Fox had to end his daily marathons due to his illness.

Bill Brake, superintendent of Parks Canada for eastern Newfoundland, says $250,000 has been earmarked for the project.

Terry Fox was recognized as a person of national historical significance in 2009 and 2010 was 30th anniversary of Marathon of Hope, which is why Parks Canada got involved now, Brake explained.

“Terry Fox was a person who resonates with all Canadians young and old.”

The City of St. John’s is handling the request for proposals process and packages can be picked up and dropped off with the city clerk.

Organizations: Parks Canada, Terry Fox Foundation, Port Authority

Geographic location: 1 Water Street, Canada, Atlantic Ocean Newfoundland Thunder Bay

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Recent comments

  • Nice to hear
    November 08, 2010 - 11:24

    This is great news. I hope they have some road signage up too explaining where it is. I have been in the downtown area numerous times and have been looking for the existing monument. I would ask someone and they would say "I think its down that way!!" But no one knew exactly! I have yet to see the monument that is there now. Hopefully i will be able to find the new one...Terry Fox was such an inspiration to many people and to think he started his Marathon of Hope right here.

  • Ian Hynds
    November 08, 2010 - 11:15

    Very nice gesture. I tip my hat to St. John's and Newfoundland on doing so. Greetings from BC.

  • Topher
    November 08, 2010 - 09:05

    Great to see! BUT being a Newfoundlander and a Canadian why are we using the American Mile?? Are we not Canadians?? Just dont make sense to me - Mile One Stadium and Mile 0 plaque. I have nothing bad to say about both but naming scheme should be looked at in the future and not go Americana. Just my thought...

  • Charlene
    November 08, 2010 - 08:45

    Erecting a new monument in honor of Terry Fox is a great idea. I always thought we should have had something bigger and better then that tiny little monument that is currently there, he did start his journey here after all. I can't wait to see it!!! :o)

  • Donny Dooley Dildo NL
    November 08, 2010 - 08:44

    Listen, after 30 years I think it's time to put this behind us rather than throw more money at it. Wouldn't the $250K be better spent on research than a foolish old statue? Am I wrong?

  • Murray
    November 08, 2010 - 08:05

    Oh, the Terry Fox monument; so that's what I almost tripped on.

  • Leo T
    November 08, 2010 - 07:51

    We have money to build statues, but yet, they wish to increase our taxes. Sounds like Rome.