Canadian painter Tom Thomson was last seen alive on July 8th, 1917. That means the anniversary of his last sighting is this Sunday. He was found dead a week later in Canoe Lake, which is the next lake on the Wikipedia List of Lakes of Ontario we’re using to guide the Ontario Lakes Project. Is this coincidence or conspiracy? If it was a conspiracy, it wouldn’t be the first.
Thomson was very familiar with Canoe Lake since he’d been a guide, a fire ranger and a visitor to the lake numerous times over the course of his life. When he was found on the lakes’ shores he had a bruise on this left temple, and one of his legs was wrapped with fishing twine. Was his death the result of an accident? foul play? murder? suicide? The mystery has yet to be resolved, though many have made it their business to uncover Thompson’s true cause of death.
A new fim entitled West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson explores the life––and not the death of Thomson. As a Globe review said
A mysterious death can do wonders for an artistic career. The attention paid to Tom Thomson’s 1917 death at age 39 on Algonquin Park’s Canoe Lake has often overshadowed the Canadian painter’s extraordinary body of work
In the spirit of Thomson’s life, we’re featuring one of his famous paintings of the lake he knew, and loved.