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Retrace legendary artist Tom Thomson on his lesser known journey along the Mississagi River in Algoma and the community of Bruce Mines. Be inspired by the same landscapes and vistas at Aubrey Falls and Mississagi Valley that inspired Tom.
This package includes accommodations at Bruce Bay Cottages and Lighthouse, an official Group of Seven Touring Map, and a delicious Tom’s Picnic Basket lunch from the Copper Bean Cafe.
Start/End: Bruce Bay Cottages and Lighthouse Bruce Mines. Use the official Moments of Algoma map and app to navigate the tour. www.momentsofalgoma.ca
Stop 1. The Copper Bean Coffee Cafe. Pick up Tom’s Picnic Basket which is ideal for hiking. Your charcuterie style picnic basket will contain specialty cheeses, meats, olives, crackers, and fresh fruit. Enjoy a cold beverage and a surprise sweet treat included. It is highly recommended you start your day with a delicious breakfast, coffee or Tom Thomson tea before you head out exploring.
Stop 2. Aubrey Falls Provincial Park. Head east to Thessalon, then north on Hwy 129 for a hike and picnic at Aubrey Falls.
Stop 3. Scenic Mississagi Valley Viewpoints. Stop at various scenic view points along the Mississagi River upon the return trip.
Stop 4. Group of Seven Interpretive Easel. Located across from the Copper Bean down at the Bruce Mines waterfront. This will be the end of your Tom Thomson day.
Tom’s Connection to Algoma:
Tom was born on August 5, 1877 in Clarmenont Ontario and was raised in rural Ontario in Leith. In the summer of 1912 Tom Thomson and Broadhead went on an expedition down the Spanish and Mississagi Rivers into Mississagi Provincal Park. In his letters, Tom inspired other artists to travel north and take in the natural beauty of the Canadian Shield and to let the landscape influence their own sense of wilderness. These artists travelled in Thomson’s footsteps, going deeper into the Algoma Region. They spent years locating, sketching and painting beautiful scenes that are symbols of Canadian heritage today. This group of artists became known as the Group of Seven.
During this trip along the river he found Aubrey Falls, which he describes as “One of the most superb beauty spots in North America”. Tom Thomson’s trip to the Mississagi was one of the first adventures for an artist into the Algoma wilderness. Much of his artwork from this trip (mainly oil sketches and photographs) were lost during his canoe spill on the river.
In September 1912 Tom and Broadhead made their way to Bruce Mines where they stayed at a local boarding house. They were waiting for the steamship Midland to arrive. It was at this time that Tom Thomson painted the houses along Lake Huron in Bruce Mines. The painting starts at the Snyder Mill or (Torrance’s Custom Interiors today) and you will notice the causeway to Jack’s Island with the Trap Rock crane in the distance. Visit the waterfront and enjoy the view from the Moments of Algoma easel. Sit where Tom Thomson sat over 100 years ago.