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Billboard honouring Maple Leafs' legend Bill Barilko unveiled

It was unveilled on the anniversary of his death

People driving into Timmins have another reminder of the city's rich hockey history.

On the 69th anniversary of Bill Barilko's ill-fated flight, a billboard celebrating the Maple Leaf legend was unveilled.

“We’re humbled and honoured that people have thought so highly of my uncle to put all these plans together,” said Barry Klisanich, Barilko's nephew, who was in town for the ceremony.

In 1951, Barilko scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal for the Leafs. He died later that year in a plane crash with Dr. Henry Hudson. The two were on a fishing trip. The Leafs didn't win a Stanley Cup for 11 years, the same year the crash site was located. 

The new billboard is on Highway 101 across from Porcupine Lake, which is where the flight left from and they should have landed Aug. 26, 1951. 

In 2011, the wreckage was recovered from the bush near Cochrane, with many of the people on that recovery mission attending today's ceremony.

Before the billboard was revealed, one-of-a-kind artifacts including the puck Barilko scored the famous goal with and his jersey were at the Timmins Museum. Earlier this week, Aug. 26 was also proclaimed Dr. Henry Hudson and Bill Barilko day. 

Kilsanich said he's been honoured to talk to people about his uncle. 

“I’ve just had so much time talking to people and friends of my parents,” he said. 




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Maija Hoggett

About the Author: Maija Hoggett

Maija Hoggett is an experienced journalist who covers Timmins and area
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