You must be wondering why would Wawa have a huge goose standing just outside the town? Well, 50 years ago in 1960, the last link of the Trans-Canada Highway in Ontario was finally completed linking Wawa to Sault Ste. Marie and Western Canada. Since the highway by-passed the town’s downtown business core by about a mile, local businesses worried that they too would be by-passed.
It was a local entrepreneur, Mr. Al Turcott who came up with the idea to place a large scale monument of a Canadian Goose at the junction of the new Trans Canada Highway and Hwy. 101 at the entrance to town. Wawa means “Wild Goose” in Ojibway so it made sense that a Goose monument would welcome visitors on Canada’s newest highway. The first famous goose monument was erected on September 17th, 1960 and was made of hand mixed plaster and chicken wire. With the new goose constructed, the next thought was would this work? Well it did! The goose is what Wawa is known for all around the world and millions of visitors have stopped to view it and take pictures. As a matter of fact, several postcard companies say it proved to be the best selling card on the Circle Route around Lake Superior. There have also been pictures of it in papers in Australia, Germany, Japan, and of course in the U.S.A.
The original plaster sculpture did not stand up to local weather and in 1963, the Township had a new monument constructed from the Algoma Steel which was more representative of Wawa and its large iron ore mine. This is the monument that still stands today; but not for much longer! The Goose is old and tired and it’s time to retire and make way for a new goose to stand and welcome visitors to Wawa.
Be a part of history, find out how you can contribute to our Goose Project!