Northern Ontario, Canada

Canada's Group of Seven: Painting Algoma

A stunning sunset in Algoma. A stunning sunset in Algoma.

The Legacy of Canada's Group of Seven

Algoma has a reputation for being an inspiration to both artists and photographers since the first visit by Canada’s Group of Seven. Canada was once considered “unworthy” of being painted but the landscape paintings pioneered by the Group led to a new wave of Canadian art that helped to encourage and inspire how we and the rest of the world view Canada’s natural beauty. From the North Shore of Lake Huron, up the coast of Lake Superior and to the true wilderness that is Algoma, the Group of Seven painted areas that are uniquely Canadian.

Whether you bring your easel and paints, sketch book, or your camera, you will be inspired by the landscape that surrounds you. From crystal clear lakes and rivers, towering cascading waterfalls, beautiful sunsets that light up the evening sky, or spotting wildlife in natural settings, Algoma is waiting for you.

north channel in  algoma countryThe North Channel of Lake Huron.

The North Channel of Lake Huron

Bordering on the east by Georgian Bay, the North Channel follows the shoreline of Lake Huron, with significant opportunities to sketch and photograph. Algoma's friendly communities dot the highway as you travel along the path of the Group of Seven. These include the towns of Spanish, Blind River, Thessalon and Bruce Mines. There are a variety of comfortable accommodations from motels to cottages plus unique eateries that serve just about anything you desire, including fish frys with fresh, locally caught fish.

Algoma Highlands from atop King Mountain

Artists and photographers will be captivated by the scenes and landscapes that have intrigued and inspired generations from all over the world, including Canada's Group of Seven. The Algoma Highlands is wild, natural and dominated by King Mountain, towering 1,300 feet above the elevation of Lake Superior. This is a place that can be enjoyed through all four seasons. In fall, the forests are afire with reds and yellows offset by deep forest greens of pine trees. In mid-winter, the area is blanketed by newly fallen snow.

Agawa Canyon Wilderness Park

Hop aboard the Algoma Central Railway and journey to the Famous Agawa Canyon just like the Group of Seven over one hundred years ago. This one day rail excursion takes passengers through remote wilderness with views of Lake Superior, rugged Canadian Shield and over the Montreal River trestle. The Agawa Wilderness Park includes five short nature trails that lead to cascading waterfalls and the 372-step climb to the Lookout observation platform, located on the wall of the gorge. The platform provides a panoramic view of the untamed wilderness that inspired the Group.

Walk in the footsteps of the Group of Seven -- you can rent the Canyon View Camp Car to experience Algoma's true wilderness.

agawa canyon fall coloursThe Agawa Canyon during the fall colour run.

Lake Superior, the greatest of the Great Lakes

Take the drive from Sault Ste. Marie to Wawa along Highway 17 to Lake Superior Provincial Park where the Group of Seven painted at Sand Lake and Agawa River. You can hike along trails that lead to rugged coastline, cascading waterfalls and lookouts with incredible views of Algoma's landscape. Bring your kayak or canoe and paddle along the shoreline to find a secluded spot to sketch and keep your camera close at hand to capture wildlife in natural surroundings.

 If you would like to plan a trip similar to this one, visit the Algoma website at

Heather Bot

I'm a staff writer for Algoma Country and I hope my articles entice you to plan your next wilderness vacation in Algoma. Our beautiful area has everything you need for a true outdoor adventure: fishing, hunting, touring and the great outdoors. Fly-in, train-in, drive-in -- half the fun is getting here!!


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