The Mark of a Legend

Remembering Terry Fox at memorial sites near Thunder Bay

The Terry Fox Lookout is a very popular stop for visitors traveling to Thunder Bay. The site with its spectacular view of Lake Superior and the iconic Sleeping Giant, serves as the Tourist Information Centre for the City of Thunder Bay. Its convenient location just off the Trans-Canada Highway is less than a kilometre from Hodder Avenue, the first exit into the City.

The scenic lookout features the Terry Fox Monument that is dedicated to Canadian icon Terry Fox, who was forced to end his courageous cross-Canada run in his battle with cancer just a few kilometres (miles) from this scenic spot  in 1980. As local Thunder Bay writer Richard Boon explains the mileage point – 3,339 where Fox ended his run is also gaining interest from visitors.

Mileage 3,339

As you travel along the north shore of Lake Superior, just east of the City of Thunder Bay you will pass a highway sign for milepost 3,339. This is the place on the Trans-Canada Highway where Terry Fox ended his Marathon of Hope. The highway between Thunder Bay and Nipigon has since been named the Terry Fox Courage Highway.

Canadian Hero Inspires The World

It’s been more than 30 years since Terry Fox set out on a personal journey that would inspire the world.

Just three years after losing one leg to cancer, the 22-year old year old man from Port Coquitlam, British Columbia dipped his left leg in the Atlantic Ocean in St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980 and set off on his Marathon of Hope.  He ran close to a full marathon every day enroute to his intended finish line -- the Pacific Ocean.

However, after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres, Terry was forced to stop his run just east of Thunder Bay when the cancer that claimed his leg returned.

Ever since, Canadians along with people around the World have carried on the Marathon of Hope with an annual Terry Fox Run that has raised over $500-million for cancer research.

At the same time, Terry’s dream lives on through hundreds of people who walk, run, cycle or wheelchair their way across Canada every year.  Although their causes may vary, each aspires to visit the Terry Fox Monument to pay tribute to the man who inspired them.

An Iconic Attraction in Thunder Bay   

Located at a scenic lookout above the Trans-Canada Highway on the eastern edge of Thunder Bay, the bronze statue is a larger-than-life sized image of Terry in mid-stride, heading west. 

As emotional and inspiring as the visit may be for those who visit the monument, it is not the actual spot where Terry’s Marathon of Hope ended.  That place is 11.5 kilometers further to the east in the Municipality of Shuniah.

Since 2005, the 25th Anniversary of Terry’s run, a humble little white marker and plaque marked the location where Terry stopped running and climbed into his support van for the final time.  With the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway, the marker has been replaced by a more prominent highway sign that recognizes mileage 3,339 (5,373 kilometres). 

The Terry Fox Monument is located on Highway 11/17 just 1.5 kilometres east of the Hodder Avenue intersection while the marker noting the location where the Marathon of Hope ended is 11.5 kilometres east of the Terry Fox Lookout entrance or, for those traveling from the east, 5.4 kilometres west of the Lakeshore Drive intersection. 

About Richard Boon

Richard Boon is a Thunder Bay native who spends much of his spare time hiking and doing nature photography.  He is a past member and hike leader with the Thunder Bay Hiking Association and a former broadcaster..

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