There are many wonderful events taking place across the country, province to province, from sea to sea. In Algoma Country, our cities and towns have events planned to celebrate Canada’s 150th, from extra-special July 1 events to independent events taking place all year long.
One community is going to celebrate Canada Day with a bang this year. And that community is Wawa. Why? Because on July 1, 2017, Wawa is going to be unveiling their brand-new Goose Monument!
The Wawa Goose Monument, situated at the junction of Trans Canada Highway 17 and Highway 101, is one of the most photographed monuments in North America. Each year, thousands of travelers on their cross-Canada drive stop to photograph the goose.
Its history begins in 1960, when The Gap was completed. The Gap was the section of the Trans-Canada Highway 17 between Agawa and Wawa that had been left incomplete. Local entrepreneur Al Turcotte thought the town of Wawa would need something to ensure travelers stopped and visited the town. That’s where the idea of the Wawa Goose Monument began.
In Ojibway, the word “Wawa” means “Wild Goose” or “Land of the Big Goose.” Originally built of plaster and chicken wire, the Goose Monument was unveiled on September 17, 1960, the same day as the ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the final Ontario section of Trans-Canada Highway 17.
However, the plaster goose struggled to stand up to local weather conditions. In 1963, a new steel monument was created. But after 53 years standing proud, the current goose was tired. Through fundraising efforts and additional dollars from the federal government, the town was able to raise enough dollars to build a new replica goose!
On July 1, 2017, the new Wawa Goose Monument will be officially unveiled to the public. The monument will not be unveiled before this date, instead shrouded to keep it secret!