Burlington resident relives the day Terry Fox ran through the city - you could feel the electricity in the air, the anticipation was so great.

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 7th, 2017



The Gazette got a request from the Burlington Sports Alliance asking if we had any photographs they could use in a celebration of Terry Fox and Courage in Sport at the Art Gallery of Burlington on July 14th at 7:00 pm.

The event is part of the Canada’s 150 celebration with the Burlington Sport Alliance inviting people to show up at the Gallery.

We had a picture in our photo data bank that was given to us a number of years ago by Mark Mulholland who was on Lakeshore Road when Terry Fox ran through the city. We wrote a short piece on that picture which produced a note from John Oakes who was also on the sidewalk waiting for Terry Fox to pass by.

Oakes tell of his experience:

“When I took those photos I was 21 years old and about to start the Applied Photography course at Sheridan College.

“His run of course was followed by all. And I arrived early to get some photos of what was to become historic event. I easily recall that even before he appeared you could feel the electricity in the air, the anticipation was so great.

“I have never experienced anything like that since. The crowd was electric!

“When he came into view, the crowds began cheering increased as he grew closer. People who had been milling about now lined the road, waiving and cheering. People stepped out placing donations in the plastic cup.

“When he waived to me it was an incredible moment I could feel. It conveyed so much. In that flash; how much he appreciated everybody coming out and the agony that he must be in. I could see on his face even making a wave took a lot of effort on his part.

“He was bigger than life. Everybody felt so special as he ran past. To this day making eye contact with him is a wonderfully vivid and everlasting memory.

“Looking at those photos today I can see the Odeon movie theater was still in operation. At least it looks like their marquis sign is still up; you can see the Royal Bank building at Brant Street.

“These pictures are real time capsules now. That prosthetic leg strapped must have been miserable. I remember reading about the chafing and sores he developed.

“Hero’s like him are not made any more.”

The next annual Terry Fox run takes place September 17th – it will be the 37th time that Burlingtonians remember the man that started it all.

terry fox 1 Final

First of a four part photo sequence. Fox is approaching. We get a view of a Burlington that doesn’t exist anymore.

terry fox 2 FINAL

Second photograph in the sequence: Terry Fox is getting closer and, as John Oakes tells the story: the crowd was electric.

terry fox 3 final


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