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The Wawa Goose – A uniquely Canadian statue

May 2021

At the top of a hill, looking down on the Trans-Canada Highway in the northern Ontario town of Wawa, is a uniquely Canadian statue: the Wawa Goose Monument.

Originally unveiled in 1963, the 28 feet tall, 22 feet long statue of a Canada Goose, with a wingspan of 20 feet, has welcomed visitors to the Town of Wawa. Taken from the Ojibwe word for “Wild Goose or Land of the Big Goose,” the Town of Wawa, located 140 miles north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, is home to around 3, 000 residents.

The original statue was made of plaster over a chicken wire frame, but unfortunately, it didn’t stand up to the harsh winter weather, and was replaced with one made of steel three years later.

The Wawa Goose came out of an idea concocted by Wawa businessman Al Turcott, as a way to draw tourists into the town after the Trans-Canada Highway was re-routed to by-pass the downtown core.

While the steel version of the Wawa Goose was much more durable, over 40 years of the harsh weather had taken its toll on the bird. In 2017, the rusting goose statue was replaced with a third version, this one covered with a rust-proof bronze exterior.

Officially unveiled on 1 July 2017, coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the founding of Canada, this third version of the iconic goose will no doubt last for centuries to come, unlike its two previous incarnations.

The Wawa Goose inspired legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Stompin’ Tom Connors’ song, “Little Wawa,” a song about a goose who stayed behind when Gander Goo, her mate, was killed by an arrow.

A children’s book, “Wawa Goose Meeting at Fort Friendship,” written by Raymond MacDonnell, has been sold across Canada and America.

Sources: Fun Facts About The Famous Wawa Goose | Northern Ontario Travel, Wawa, Ontario – Wikipedia, The new and improved Wawa Goose might outlast Wawa itself – Sudbury News, .

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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