A pine tree sways in the wind on a rocky shoreline.

Killarney Provincial Park | Rob Stimpson

Group of Seven experience route: Northeastern Ontario

A pine tree sways in the wind on a rocky shoreline.

Killarney Provincial Park | Rob Stimpson

The Group of Seven artists visited Northeastern Ontario as artists and graphic designers for many years.

They travelled the rails to capture scenes of the area's hauntingly beautiful wilderness and commercial activity. This included the resource-based industries dotting the landscapes as illustrated in Franklin Carmichael’s painting In the Nickel Belt, c. 1928 in the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art at the Ottawa Art Gallery.

The Group of Seven experience route in Northeastern Ontario is varied with several possible itinerary combinations, but here are some key stops along the way to give you a taste of what the region offers.

Parry Sound and Killarney area

Tom Thomson artists stations

Take in the views that inspired the artists, from land and water. There are two artists’ stations along the Rotary Algonquin Fitness Trail that overlook views painted by Tom Thomson on his July 1914 travels by canoe from Dr. MacCallum’s cottage at Go Home Bay.
Location: Parry Sound

Connect to the canvas

Though the Group of Seven formed after Thomson’s death, they all captured changing light, water and wind conditions in small outdoor paintings and sketches. This is demonstrated in F.H. Varley’s Stormy Weather, Georgian Bay, c. 1921, at the National Gallery of Canada.

Beautiful view of forest from a rocky lookout

Killarney Provincial Park

Open year-round, this area so captivated the Group of Seven’s A.Y. Jackson, Franklin Carmichael and A.J. Casson that they petitioned the government to designate it as a protected park.

Art in the Park is a program designed to keep the artistic legacy alive with workshops and events in Killarney Provincial Park.

Join a landscape photography workshop or sign up for art lessons from artists in the Friends of Killarney’s Artist Residence Program. Borrow a free artist material lending kit at the Visitor Centre to create your own masterpiece, and take note of the annual Art Show and Sale.

Hike to A.Y. Jackson Lake via the Cranberry Bog Trail from the George Lake Campground for a glimpse of the stunning vistas of forest and lakes. The La Cloche Silhouette Trail is an advanced multi-day hiking option, named after a 1930’s painting Franklin Carmichael sketched from a trail vantage point. Look to Killarney Outfitters to plan one of their Group of Seven Canoe Routes.
Location: 960 ON-637, Killarney

Connect to the canvas

Franklin Carmichael’s In the La Cloche Hills, c. 1929 is on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario.


Annual La Cloche Art Show

Casson, Carmichael, Jackson, Lismer and MacDonald were all inspired by the La Cloche region’s rolling landscapes, and the tradition continues at the annual art show. The event takes place from June 29 to July 6, 2024, between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and admission is free.

While you are there, hike up Willisville Mountain to view some of the scenic views that drew the Group of Seven to this area.
Location: Whitefish Falls Community Centre, Whitefish Falls

Widgawa Lodge and Outfitters

A.J. Casson painted local scenes during his stay at Widgawe Lodge, just outside Willisville, with a lake named in his honour. Paddle the route A.Y. Jackson took to Grace Lake, explore the La Cloche mountains and immerse yourself in this inspiring landscape. 

You can even stay in the same cottage once occupied by A.J. Casson. With over 70 painting sites in the La Cloche Hills, the beauty of this area is sure to amaze you.
Location: Willisville

Connect to the canvas

Casson Lake, c. 1976 by A.J. Casson is on display at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

The Art Gallery of Sudbury

Art Gallery of Sudbury

The gallery’s permanent collection includes works by Tom Thomson and the original Group of Seven members, including Franklin Carmichael, Arthur Lismer, A.Y. Jackson, and Frederick Varley.
Location: 251 John Street, Sudbury

Connect to the canvas

Franklin Carmichael’s painting, Lake Wabagishik, c. 1928, was inspired by the Sudbury region and is currently on display at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

Gorgeous fall colours surround a waterfalls

A.Y. Jackson Lookout

In the spring of 1953, A.Y. Jackson visited the Onaping River to sketch and paint. One of these pieces was displayed at Sudbury Secondary School until 1974, when it mysteriously disappeared.

Approximately a half-hour’s drive northwest on Highway 144 from Sudbury towards Dowling, you’ll arrive at the turn-off for A.Y. Jackson Lookout. A popular spot for photographers, an accessible trail leads to the stunning High Falls that plunges 55 metres in one beautiful cascade into the Sudbury basin. This one-kilometre riverside trail leads to a bridge that spans the top of the falls. Continue walking this trail for a further two kilometres to enjoy the silent forest.
Location: Onaping Falls, ON-144, Greater Sudbury

Temiskaming and Cobalt

Temiskaming Art Gallery

The collection features works by contemporaries of the Group of Seven, including George Pepper. Each summer, the gallery hosts a juried exhibition, an event Group of Seven members participated in as jurors in their time.
Location: 325 Farr Drive, Temiskaming

Lake Temiskaming Tour

This driving tour encompasses sites, attractions and events around the lake. The beauty of this area inspired the Group of Seven and the landscapes they captured are key components of this route. New signage telling the story of the group in this area are located along the way.

Town of Cobalt

Carmichael, Jackson and Lismer depicted views of resource extraction and scenes of villages and towns in and around Cobalt, a Parks Canada National Historic Mining District. Heritage sites include the Cobalt Townsite Mine, the Cobalt Mining Museum, the Heritage Silver Trail and the Welcome Centre in the Trail Station on Cobalt Lake’s shores.

Connect to the canvas

Jackson’s Cobalt, c. 1932, National Gallery of Canada depicts industry activity near freestanding homes throughout the town.

Manitoulin Island and in Owen Sound

The Tom Thomson Art Gallery

Dedicated to the innovative and artistic spirit of Tom Thomson, the gallery features some of his work as well as contemporary art, including a beautiful Indigenous collection. Thomson grew up and married in Owen Sound and this gallery is home to a nationally significant collection of his works.
Location: 840 1st Avenue West, Owen Sound

The Tom Thomson Trail

Stretch your legs along the Tom Thomson Trail that connects Owen Sound to the Georgian Trail in Meaford. Stop at the Pioneer Cemetery at the Leith Church where Tom Thomson is buried.
Location: Owen Sound

Perivale Gallery

Visit this carefully curated art attraction, set among the pines and overlooking the shimmering waters of Lake Kagawong.

Each summer, they host ‘In the Spirit of Tom Thomson and The Group of Seven,’ an exhibit of work inspired by Canada’s beloved artists. Join them for this exhibit and sale July 20 to August 5, 2024.
Location: 1320 Perivale Road East, Spring Bay, Manitoulin Island

Tips and resources


  • Add the album “Walking in the Footsteps” by Canadian singer/songwriter and Juno award winner Ian Tamblyn to your playlist.
  • Parkbus provides day and overnight trips to and from Toronto and Ottawa, Algonquin Park, Killarney Park, Georgian Bay and Tobermory. 
  • Book Ontario Parks day use permits and camping reservations in advance.

  • Some of these stops are seasonal, book ahead and double-check operating hours and dates to avoid disappointment.
  • Note that permanent collections are selections of art owned by the gallery and not the complete scope of the artists' collection. 

Last updated: April 29, 2024

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