A marker, a monument to recognize one of the most courageous Canadians this country has ever seen - he passed through our city 35 years ago.

News 100 blueBy Staff

August 31, 2015


A monument. A tangible piece of history placed in a prominent spot to signify the beginning or end of something – a life, a war, a turning point in history – that is what Burlingtonians can expect to see in the very near future.

Terry Fox rendering with sizeProminently located at the west entrance to Spencer Smith Park there will be a six foot high, three foot wide place marker to remind the public and tell the youth of the future about the remarkable attempt a young man made to run across this county with one good leg and the other an artificial leg that was always uncomfortable.

There are several markers in the Terry Fox Journey – British Columbia where his dream was born; St. John’s, Newfoundland – where his journey began and sadly, Thunder Bay, Ontario – where his run came to an end.

“We as Burlingtonians make no special claim of ownership over Terry’s legacy,” said Greg Costa, the lead on the Monument project, “however, on July 13th, 1980 something extraordinary did happen here. Terry brought his Marathon of Hope along Lakeshore Road, to North Shore, up King Road, and across Plains Road.”

“We weren’t the beginning or the end of this journey, but we’re proud nonetheless to be part of the journey. While the end of his run, and subsequent death left a permanent mark on every Canadian, it was his journey that truly touched lives. It’s what brought people to the streets to witness a once in a lifetime moment. A moment that showed the full spectrum of what it is to be human. Terry’s run was about sacrifice, friendship, determination, and strength. Not just physical strength, but strength of character.”

On this the 35th anniversary of Terry’s run through Burlington, what’s the perfect way to mark the occasion? While 35 years is a long time, no doubt, it’s not nearly the end.

Terry reached Burlington with many kilometers behind him, and many yet to go. Just as we have reached 35 years of participating in community runs in Terry’s name to raise money for cancer research – we have many years ahead of us.

Terry said: “Even though I’m not running anymore, we still have to try to find a cure for cancer. Other people should go ahead and try to do their own thing now.”

And we did.  We have for 35 years – but we’re not done yet.

Terry fox monument locatioThe Burlington Terry Fox Monument Project Team has proudly announced plans for a “mile”marker” monument at the west end of Spencer Smith Park to celebrate Terry’s journey. “We hope that this will not only pay respect to one of the greatest Canadian Heroes this country has ever known,” said Costa, ” but to act as a reminder that we’re not finished what he started. Not yet.”

The Monument group is grateful to the City of Burlington for donating the location where the monument will be placed.

Funds for the monument are being raised privately and separately from the Terry Fox Foundation or the Burlington Terry Fox Run Committee

This is a separate community project – they have decided to be very low key until the annual Terry Fox runs takes place September 20th. They do not want to confuse the public – the Monument is not part of the drive to raise funds for cancer – it is to pay for a marker; something that every citizen will smile at when they see it and every visitor will want to have their picture taken in front of.

Greg Costa at the Burlington Terry Fox Monument Project, is passionate about Terry’s vision and his legacy. You can reach him by calling 905-335-1909 or emailing him at costagreg@cogeco.ca.

Their goal to erect a monument to commemorate the 35th year of the Marathon of Hope in memory of Terry Fox and his life time achievements in the fight against Cancer.

Terry Fox monument renderingThis is a private citizen group led event. Costa points out that “we are not a registered charity, your donation cannot be tax receipted.”

This initiative is the kind of thing that makes people proud of the city.

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