Artist rendering of a park with a public art installation as a legacy to Terry Fox

Legacy Art Project

The Legacy Art Project is a citizen-led public space dedicated to the spirit of courage, determination, and action that Terry Fox embodied.


The project design titled, 'We Are Shaped by the Obstacles We Face' was conceived by artist Jon Sasaki and landscape architect DTAH during a nationwide call for proposals by citizen-led group Legacy Art Project Toronto (LAPT) in collaboration with Art+Public. The permanent, integrated, and architectural art installation aims to convey the optimism and courage Terry Fox showed throughout the Marathon of Hope in 1980, in an experiential way.

Quick Facts


439 Queens Quay West, east of the Toronto Music Garden along the Martin Goodman Trail


Approximately 700 square metres (0.2 acres)

Design Team:

Jon Sasaki in collaboration with DTAH

Construction Manager:

Somerville Construction

Project Status:

Opened in October 2023.

Ownership and operations:

Owned by City of Toronto and operated by Parks, Forestry, and Recreation.

Project Funders:

Legacy Art Project Toronto
City of Toronto
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)
Waterfront Business Improvement Area (Waterfront BIA)

Rooted in the legacy of Terry Fox, this project intends to inspire future generations to continue his important work raising awareness and funds for cancer research. The installation is designed to flow east-west, akin to Terry Fox’s journey, with visitors entering from Queens Quay and ending at vantage point at the southwest corner of the park. From this unique perspective, the granite pieces visually transform into a familiar silhouette of Terry Fox.

The installation, ‘We Are Shaped by the Obstacles We Face,’ is a course of intriguing carved rock features that act as an optical illusion, visually appearing to obstruct a visitor’s path with a wall of stone from certain perspectives, while creating an uplifting silhouette from another. Comprised of carved black granite, they convey formidable mass and immobility, symbolizing the challenges we encounter in our own lives. These rock features interrupt the pace of a visitor’s walk and in so doing, invite pensive moments. These elements are places of opportunity, where one can pause and reflect on personal obstacles, past, present and future. 


In summer 2018, Toronto City Council approved a memorial to Terry Fox, which was initiated by Legacy Art Project Toronto (LAPT) and subject to the City’s Public Art and Monuments Donations Policy. In spring 2022, Toronto City Council approved the project budget and announced that Waterfront Toronto would deliver the project. 

The park is made possible by contributions from Legacy Art Project Toronto, individual donors, the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the City of Toronto, and the Waterfront Business Improvement Area (BIA), and was delivered by Waterfront Toronto. 

Design Selection Process


In 2018 a nationwide call for proposals was issued by Legacy Art Project Toronto (LAPT), in which visual artists paired with seasoned landscape architects to jointly develop their submissions. Five teams were shortlisted in 2019 by a selection panel curated by LAPT. The short-listed teams were then invited to present the projects and invite feedback. Finally, Art + Public facilitated a Technical Review of all the shortlisted proposals before they were brought forward to the public.

Public Engagement


Art + Public held an Open House in January 2019 for public viewing of the shortlisted design concepts. The public was encouraged to leave comments and vote for a favourite among the five shortlisted proposals. Ultimately, ‘We Are Shaped by the Obstacles We Face’ by Jon Sasaki in collaboration with DTAH received the highest number of positive votes from the public and was selected as the winning submission.

Related Documents

View Related Resources