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Tom Thomson | Artist

Tom Thomson

From Claremont & Owen Sound, Ontario

Thomas John “Tom” Thomson was an influential artist of the early 20th century.

The West Wind, winter 1916-1917

“It may interest you to know that the “West Wind’ was done at Lake Cauchon. Thomson, myself, Lorne (sic) Harris… were up there. It was blowing very hard and Lorne Harris was painting further up shore. The wind blew down the tree of the picture and Harris at first thought Thomson was killed but he soon sprang up, waved his hand to him and went on painting.”
MacCallum to Mrs. A.C. Beatty, also in Reid, The Jack Pine, 18-19

Tom Thomson was raised near Owen Sound. He grew up on the east shore of the bay, just a few kilometres north of Owen Sound in Leith.

Tom Thomson was encouraged to paint by his colleagues, J.E.H. MacDonald, Arthur Lismer and Fred Varley, future members of the Group of Seven. Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson and Franklin Carmichael soon became part of Thomson’s circle.

Thomson died under mysterious circumstances on Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park. On July 8, 1917, he paddled across lake and disappeared. His body surfaced 8 days later. The cause of his death remains a mystery to this day.

Tom Thomson, Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park, Ont., in 1914.
National Archives of Canada/Blair Laing

Memorial on Canoe Lake

He was buried in the village of Leith.


Claremont is a Southern Ontario community located in the north part of the City of Pickering, Ontario.

Claremont is well known in the local area for its annual “Yard Sale Day”, an event where all residents are invited to host simultaneous garage/yard sales. The sale is typically held on the second or third Saturday of June.

Gerd Untermann, Sculptor, Claremont, Ontario
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