CBC Digital Archives

1980: Terry Fox hits Toronto

This is how it all began. On April 12, 1980, Terry Fox began an epic cross-country journey to raise money for cancer research. CBC Radio and Television followed Terry's Marathon of Hope from the beginning. To celebrate this historic event, we present these reports as they were first aired.

Terry Fox has every reason to feel good. As Metro Morning host Joe Coté describes in this interview, Terry has run over 2,000 miles (and is nearing the half-way mark). He has collected a quarter of a million dollars in pledges, and has his family joining him in Canada's biggest city.

Calling during his Toronto visit, Terry talks about the joys of having a police escort, the efforts to fine-tune the fit of his artificial leg and what he hopes Canadians will learn from his efforts.
• Terry Fox's entire family from British Columbia joined him in Toronto. His parents Rolly and Betty and his younger sister Judith were delivered by limousine to a surprise meeting with Terry in Whitby, Ont., courtesy of the Toronto Star.
• While Terry was in Toronto, his older brother Fred was also flown in for a surprise visit. (Fred was named after Betty's brother, who had lost both of his legs in a plane crash in Manitoba in the 1950s.)

• According to Leslie Scrivener's book Terry Fox: His Story, Terry's visit to southern Ontario was particularly complicated. After running through Scarborough to Toronto, he ran across Bloor Street and University Avenue to a City Hall rally at Nathan Phillips Square. The next day, he flew to Niagara Falls, then back to Toronto for a run into downtown via Danforth Avenue. The following day he ran from Nathan Phillips Square to Lakeshore Boulevard, continuing toward Oakville.

• He also had time for some fun and games. In the evening, Terry Fox threw out the first pitch at a Toronto Blue Jays baseball game at Exhibition Stadium. The next night he and his family dined at the top of the CN Tower, and attacked each other in a bumper car race. Terry's leg was knocked off, and he had to hop back onto the platform, where he was suddenly surrounded by well-wishers. "Nobody recognized me until my leg fell off," he said.

• The Niagara Falls side trip was a big disappointment. Only fifty people showed up, and mayor Wayne Thompson handed Terry a cheque for $100. Terry refused to attend a show at Marineland because he was told he couldn't collect money for his run there.

Also on July 11:
1957: Bob Panasik of Windsor, Ont., becomes the youngest golfer to make the 36-hole cut in a PGA Tour event. At age 15 years and eight months, he qualifies for the final two rounds of the Canadian Open in Kitchener, Ontario. He finishes tied for 66th place.
1960: Northwest Territories Council holds its first session at Resolute Bay, (Nunavut) - the most northerly point for any legislative meeting.
1989: Vicki Keith of Kingston, Ont., becomes the first person to swim the English Channel using the butterfly stroke. She completes the journey in 22 hours and 33 minutes.
Medium: Radio
Program: Metro Morning
Broadcast Date: July 11, 1980
Guest(s): Terry Fox
Host: Joe Coté
Duration: 3:32

Last updated: March 5, 2012

Page consulted on March 5, 2014

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