Our Famous Canada Goose
Visit the Most Photographed Landmark in North America – Our Famous Goose Monument
YES! It’s the largest of its kind in Canada and one of the most photographed landmarks in North America. Why is this huge monument of a Canada Goose standing poised over the junction of the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 101? Well, way back in 1960, the last link of the Trans-Canada Highway was finally completed linking Wawa to Sault Ste. Marie and Western Canada. The folks in Wawa fought long and hard to see the road completed and although they were glad to see it reach their front doors, local businessmen were a bit disappointed that the highway actually by-passed the downtown core of the community.
So one of Wawa’s local entrepreneurs of the day, Mr. Al Turcott, a very creative and ingenious man, felt that Wawa needed something that would stop highway travelers and invite them to come into town. You can imagine the reaction of some of the townsfolk to his idea of a huge statue of a Canada Goose made of plaster. Well, the fact is that this has become Wawa’s “Claim to Fame” and our famous goose has welcomed millions of visitors.
The original plaster sculpture did not stand up to local weather and in 1963, a new monument was constructed with steel which was more representative of Wawa and its large iron ore mine. With Wawa meaning “Wild Goose or Land of the Big Goose” in Ojibway, it makes perfect sense to have a goose welcoming visitors at the entrance of town.
So make sure you stop and take a “gander” at our famous goose during your visit. You can’t miss it at the junction of Highway 17 and 101, right next door to our beautiful Tourist Information Centre with the red roof!
Wawa’s Famous Goose Is Forced into Early Retirement.
During the past 7-9 years, the Goose monument has been showing significant signs of deterioration. In 2006 several parts of one wing came off and were temporarily repaired. In 2008, the Municipality received funding through FedNor to complete several repairs to the monument that would help to stabilize it for up to five years.
Two engineers reports since that time have been published and reported that the level of deterioration of the steel continues to be significant and the monument must be replaced within the next two years. Because of the way the monument was constructed as “one piece” as opposed to a skeleton with skin on top, repairs to the monument are very limited. All possible repairs have been completed to improve the monument and stabilize it to the greatest extent possible.