May 2016: Why is there a giant statue of a Canadian goose at the junction of the Trans Canada Highway and the road that leads to the town of Wawa, Ontario? In 1960 the last link of the Trans-Canada highway was finally completed, linking Wawa to Sault Ste. Marie and Western Canada. The town of Wawa lobbied for the completion of the road hoping it would improve commercial activity. The Trans-Canada, when completed bypassed the downtown core. Local entrepreneurs decided that Wawa needed something that would stop highway travelers and invite them into town. A statue, a Canadian Goose was the result. The original statue, made of plaster lasted three years. As Wawa means Wild Goose or Land of the Big Goose-in Ojibway the symbol of the goose made perfect sense to welcome visitors.
As Wawa’s claim to fame was established, a new monument was constructed of steel, which was more representative of Wawa and its iron ore industry. The new Goose monument made from Algoma steel and erected in 1964 stands 28 feet high, 22 feet from beak to tail and weighs 4,400 pounds. Studies have indicated that the +50 year structure is showing signs of deterioration.
In the 60’s the town of Wawa, and the Goose was the point of “go, no go” for many students from eastern Canada that were hitchhiking across Canada from the East to the West. If one could make it past Wawa, the destination of the Rocky Mountains was definitely a possibility.