Desecration of a Beautiful Spot

The desecration of the site of the Tom Thomson painting, The Jack Pine

2003 October 24

Last fall, I visited the site on Grand Lake in Algonquin Park where Tom Thomson is purported to have made the sketch for his iconic painting The Jack Pine. My (less than iconic) photo is of a white pine and the view is up the lake towards Achray rather than across the lake into Carcajou Bay.

White Pine on Grand Lake

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White Pine on Grand Lake. September, 2002.

While I was reasonably happy with this photograph, I felt that this spot held the potential for a much better photograph. My plan was to return and retake the shot, but with a less symmetrical composition.

But it was not to be; I was too late.

Tom Thomson interpretive plaque on Grand Lake

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Tom Thomson interpretive plaque on Grand Lake. October, 2003.

An interpretive plaque has since been erected completely destroying the esthetics of this beautiful location -- an inappropriate intrusion in a pristine environment. It is ironic that a plaque that celebrates the art of Tom Thomson completely destroys the wilderness soul he so skillfully captured.

Tom Thomson interpretive plaque on Grand Lake

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Tom Thomson interpretive plaque on Grand Lake from the bench in the trees

At the end of the path leading to this spot, is a bench set back in the trees, but still affording a nice view of the granite, Grand Lake, and Carcajou Bay. Why the plaque could not have been located unobtrusively at this location defies comprehension.

See also: The Jack Pine, Carcajou Bay, Algonquin Park for a modern tree that has an uncanny resemblance to Tom Thomson's Jack Pine.