Memorial to Terry Fox would honour legacy and Marathon of Hope route in Brampton

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Published September 11, 2023 at 12:20 pm

The city is looking to honour the legacy of Canadian icon Terry Fox and commemorate the route he took through Brampton more than 40 years ago.

Fox came to Brampton on July 24, 1980, as the Canadian athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist continued his cross-Canada run to raise funds for cancer research, known as the Marathon of Hope.

The athlete had his right leg amputated following a cancer diagnosis of osteogenic sarcoma just above the knee and would go on to become a national hero, inspiring generations to take part in annual fundraising and cancer research awareness runs across the world.

Fox’s 5,373 kilometre marathon ended early in Thunder Bay after cancer returned to his lungs, but not before passing through Brampton, running east along Bovaird from Halton Hills and south along Hurontario Street through downtown before heading east on Queen Street out of town on Highway 50.

The city wants to immortalize Fox and his route through Brampton with a pair of tributes that would honour the man’s legacy and share his message of hope.

There are three memorial options going for consideration going to city council on Wednesday; a plaque that would cost $5,000; a granite monument at $25,000; or a memorial sculpture of Fox that could cost $150,000 with funds coming from the 2023 Community Services budget.

The sculpture option would require a significant funding commitment and would be completed in 2025, with a possible unveiling on the 45th anniversary of Fox’s time in Brampton. The city is also looking at a memorial bench on Queen Street along Fox’s Brampton route.

There are also plans to add educational elements to Brampton’s existing Terry Fox Stadium walking track.

The stadium is already named in Fox’s honour, but currently there is no on-site information about his life or legacy and adding educational panels to the facility “would create a more complete and meaningful commemoration project for residents and visitors to the park,” the report reads.

The report on the Terry Fox monument will go to Brampton City Council on Wednesday.

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