Tom Thomson 1877 - 1917
Tom Thomson, born near Claremont, Ontario; the family moved to Leith near Owen Sound, where he grew up. First visited Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park, in 1912. Worked for Rous and Mann, Toronto, 1912 - 14, and in 1914 he was enabled by Dr. J.M. MacCallum and Lawren Harris to devote his full time to painting. Lived in a shack beside the Studio Building, Toronto. Exhibited his first canvas in 1913. Was at Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park, with Jackson, Lismer, and Varley in 1914. From 1914 to 1917 he spent most of the year in Algonquin Park, returning in the winters to Toronto to paint the few canvases which he completed.
When Tom Thomson drowned mysteriously in Algonquin Park in July, 1917, he left behind a legend that has burgeoned with time. People claim to see his ghost at Canoe Lake where he died. Thomson was an original, mainly selftaught, and armed with an enormous natural talent. He painted from an intense inner necessity and a consuming love of the Ontario north. Thomson was encouraged by J.E.H. MacDonald, and members of the Group of Seven, and from 1914 onward, he painted with a passionate intensity, as though experiencing the landscape for the first time.
His paintings hang in every major museum across Canada, including the National Gallery of Ottawa.