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9/27/2019 6:39 am  #1

Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven

Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven

Author and wilderness photographer Joanie and Gary McGuffin and art historian Michael Burtch set out to find the actual locations in northern Ontario that inspired the legendary Group Of Seven and some of their most iconic works of art. The film weaves the paintings and fascinating stories of these artists with the modern-day journey, taking viewers through some of Canada's most stunning landscapes. Aired: Sep 27, 2019. ... n2fmmAGo-U

Explore the Painted Land online interactive:


9/27/2019 2:37 pm  #2

Re: Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven

That sounds like it's worth checking out. There's a bunch of other stuff on TVO that I'd probably like so I should watch it since I'm already paying for it. Thanks for the heads up.


9/29/2019 7:31 pm  #3

Re: Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven

I have recorded TVO stuff on VHS in the past. Two that stand out are the one about the senior scientist couple who studied wolves, and one about Tom Thomson.

Actually I believe I have these items on the computer as well, but super low resolution eg. WinTV by Hauppage - 320 x 240 on a good day maybe. Still...

(Edit) Oh yeah - a quick search of the web page brought up one item about moose and one about Canada (gray) jay biology.

The camp robber!!! <grin>

Last edited by Roman_K2 (9/29/2019 7:35 pm)


9/29/2019 7:35 pm  #4

Re: Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven

yes i have these two showed recorded,,, mongoose lake is awesome,
   the older couple that studied the wolves ,last name is theberge?,, i wolves would answer her calling much more often than her husband`s call,, and the wolves ignored a recorded call,, 


10/05/2019 10:41 pm  #5

Re: Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven

That's right. John and Mary Théberge if I remember correctly. Took me a while! The thing about their clip btw is that they only actually see a wolf once, towards the end of the documentary.

I have to tell this story about Canoe Lake some time. It was a cool Sunday morning in late August 1974 (approx.) that was starting to look like a nice day as the mist began to lift and clear. My buddy and I were returning from a small loop to Joe Lake and the Otterslide or something like that...

The water at the north end of Canoe Lake was almost as still as glass. We drifted by this cabin or little gray cottage that was situated on a thin rocky spit... if I remember correctly this cabin must have had 12 inches of clearance above the water on a good day. Some sort of old timer was finishing his coffee and he calls out to us weary travellers, very cheery like: "MORNING, BOYS!". We exchanged the usual greetings and pleasantries at this apparition before us at the start of a fine day.  I mean, this was like the weirdest place to have what appeared to be a turn-of-the-century cabin, and the odds of the cabin still being there at the end of the day seemed slim bar none, and this guy looks like he hasn't a care in the world!

So he says "Have you ever heard of Tom Thomson?" and we nod. And I then think he launched into some **FIRST PERSON** stuff, like "Yes well Tom used to camp and fish all around here, bla bla", and "Welllll, ah remember one time ol' Tom, he...", this that and the other thing. And we're just sitting there frozen, not paddling and slowly drifting by on the otherwise silent lake.

And that is all I remember. I think we each pondered whether we wanted to put in to the spit to hear more of what the old timer had to say, but we didn't... we just said our good-byes and "nice to chat with yous" and slowly dipped our paddles back into the water.

I have often wished I had made notes or otherwise listened more closely to what the guy had to say, but I didn't and the surprise of the experience tended to smother the memory in mist. I hope nobody out there is laughing at "yet another telling of an encounter with the old coot at the north end of the lake" but at the time it kind of sounded like the real deal.

The only other "artifacts" I have seen in the area was a lid from a large cast iron stove, forged at Peterborough, and it was at the top of the Madawaska lookout just past Provoking Lake on the Highland Trail.

And once, in tall grass along the abandoned railway near the old airfield, there was the remnants, mostly steel and some gray barn-board, of a weigh scale like for your carry on luggage. Looked like part of a grandfather clock maybe with some steel parts hanging down towards the base.

I only recently found out that Lawren Harris was part of the Massey-Harris (later Massey-Ferguson?) family!

The Toronto Public Library has at least one copy of "The Silence and the Storm" available as an e-book that will fit into the average smart phone I think, so in theory it's possible to take this huge coffee table art book with you to the park even if you are travelling light!

Another book I have is "Wildlife Trails across Canada" ca 1958 IIRC... by Hugh Halliday IIRC... not sure. Anyone familiar with that one?

Last edited by Roman_K2 (10/05/2019 10:48 pm)


7/28/2020 4:28 pm  #6

Re: Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven

(Summer 2020) I am looking at Roy MacGregor's history of Tom Thomson, Northern Light. He spends a lot of time on an old timer who apparently lived in the area - Jamie Stringer - who reminded me of the fellow we saw and who passed away before MacGregor could finish interviewing him. He also describes some of the comings and goings of the railways and sawmills and so on, and the activities at "Mowat Lodge".

There's actually a whole lot of characters in the book - MacGregor says that back in Victorian times there was quite a push on to rid the park of pesky animals!

Apparently MacGregor's great-grandfather was a park ranger and one of the brothers of that generation actually married Winnie Trainor's sister. Fascinating.


7/28/2020 5:18 pm  #7

Re: Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven

I’ve read quite a few books on the death of Tom Thomson. Although not the most entertaining I found

The many deaths of Tom Thomson
By Gregory Klages

To be the best.

Roy Macgregor is without question the most fun read but I think he tends to start with a premise and then work backwards to prove it rather than investigate all of the possibilities.

And if you’d like my opinion....he drowned.


7/28/2020 6:32 pm  #8

Re: Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven

Yeah... I recently came across something called shallow water blackout for example.

See also the thread "new book on Algonquin Park history"


7/31/2020 10:38 am  #9

Re: Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven

I remember seeing a show years ago about someone searching for the exact spot on Canoe lake where Tom did one of his paintings (Moonlight over Canoe Lake I think).  Wish I could remember the name of it but it was really interesting.  I will definitely have to watch this one too. 

New old member. 

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