The Terry Fox monument is an important part of the national hero's legacy but it's no museum nor could it be, says the city's tourism manager.
The Fox family has more than 150,000 items collected during the Marathon of Hope sitting in a vault. They're looking for a museum or educational centre to display the items, which include thousands of letters from children to Fox and a sock he wore the entire Marathon of Hope.
Coun. Ken Boshcoff thinks those items are national treasures and believes the Terry Fox monument is a perfect fit to house and display them.
But with more than 600 visitors a day during the summer, city tourism manager Paul Pepe said the monument and its visitors centre has enough on its plate already.
"There really is no need here or space to be able to house any collection of any size without interfering with our core mandate of delivering visitor services," Pepe said.
Expanding the building would be difficult as its surrounded by cliffs, and the city's tourism budget doesn't have the resources to staff, house or maintain such an historic collection.
It also wouldn't fit with the tourism department's mandate to attract visitors, increase their length of stay in the city and try to focus on project that have the most economic returns. Interpretive centres are important socially but they're a hard sell to get public dollars Pepe said.
"The trends across North America are really starting to turn away from them," he said.
That said, if there were community groups that wanted to take up the charge, Pepe said his department would help promote it like other Thunder Bay attractions.
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