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Big Roadside Attractions

Wawa Goose Monument overlooking Trans Canada Highway 17.

Take a leg stretch stop to see these fun Canadian icons

One of the staples of any traveller's photo album is the kitschy roadside attraction.



Roadside attractions are fun, often quirky, and ususally represent the cultural background of the area you're visiting. Some of the earliest roadside attractions in North America got their start in the 1920s, although Lucy the Elephant of Margate, New Jersey is considered the oldest attraction. She was built in 1881 by a land speculator who needed a clever sales tool to help sell property near Atlantic City. The birth of the highway system set off a building boom, and it wasn't long before enterprising businessmen dreamed up fantastical creations to attract passing motorists.

Both American and Canadian sides of the border of their notable roadside attractions, examples like the famous Cadillac Ranch in Texas, or the Big Nickel in Sudbury, Ontario.

Whatever the purpose may be, one thing is for sure about roadside attractions: they never die. Roadside attractions are part of the adventure of touring new roadways. Algoma Country has its share of roadside attractions – some famous, some quirky, some you may not have even known about.

Below is a list of six roadside attractions you'll want to stop and photograph, and the recommended routes to find them. Looking for more? You'll find an extended list at the bottom of the article. If you've already snapped a photo of yourself in front of any of these things, send your photos to [email protected] and we'll share them on the Algoma Facebook, or Like Us and share your photos on our timeline.

1. Wawa Goose Monument

(our feature photo)
Algoma's most famous roadside attraction, the Wawa Goose Monument, stands tall and proud on Highway 17, welcoming visitors to Wawa since the early 1960s. The iconic Goose is viewed and photographed by thousands of visitors each year.
Other Attractions in Wawa: Henrietta the Moose at Young's General Store
Recommended Route: Ride Lake Superior

2. Algomy Red Chair

Who could miss this big, red, 18-foot wooden Muskoka chair just west of Thessalon? Nicknamed Algomy Red, it's the largest Muskoka chair in Northern Ontario and was built by high school students.
Recommended Route: Island North Tour

algomy red muskoka chairThe Algomy Red sits on Hwy 17 at Pine Crest Tent and Trailer Park. (Photo credit: Algoma Country)

3. Winnie-the-Pooh Statue

Take your photo with Winnie-the-Pooh. It's fun for all ages!

(Photo credit: Algoma Country)

White River is the home of the real black bear that inspired A.A. Milne to create the beloved fictional character "Winnie-the-Pooh." In 1914, Lieutenant Harry Colebourn purchased a black bear cub and named her after his home town of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Other Attractions: the White River Thermometers
Recommended Route: Ride Lake Superior

4. Arctic Watershed Marker

This unique marker on Highway 129 in the Mississagi Valley is the location "from here all streams flow north into the Arctic Ocean." It's just a really cool marker and definitely a fun roadside attraction.
Recommended Route: Grand Algoma Tour

arctic watershed marker hwy 129

5. The Loon Dollar Monument

Located in Echo Bay, the big "Loonie" is dedicated to creator Robert R. Carmichael, the artist responsible for the creation of the Loon Dollar design and resident of the Township.
Recommended Route: Island North Tour

big loonie echo bayThe Loonie was introduced in 1987, replacing the one-dollar bill. (Photo credit: Chris Hughes)

6. Canadian Bushplane

It's hard to miss the Canadian Bushplane Museum with its enormous bushplane displayed outside the museum doors. Visit the museum and not only will you be able to photograph real bushplanes, but you'll get to explore inside them. (Check out the water bomber... it's massive!)
Recommended Route: Grand Algoma Tour

canadian bushplane museumThe Canadian Bushplane Museum, located on the Sault Ste. Marie waterfront. (Photo credit: Virgil Knapp)

More Fun Roadside Attractions in Algoma:

  • Lock City Dairy Cows, Sault Ste. Marie
  • Moose and Man at the Trading Post, Sault Ste. Marie
  • Giant Baseball, Straithclair Field, Sault Ste. Marie
  • The Fishing Bears, Sault Ste. Marie
  • Canadian Pacific Steam Engine, Chapleau
  • Moose and Wolves, Hearst
  • Cross Cut Saw, Hearst
  • Giant Arrows, Garden River
  • Logging Monument, Blind River

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