Yesterday I was in the District of Muskoka, affectionately known as ‘Muskoka’, located in Central Ontario, about 2 hours north of Toronto. With almost 1600 lakes, numerous picturesque towns and villages and many lakeside vacation spots, Muskoka is an ideal ‘cottage country’ and tourist destination. Not to mention – extremely beautiful. Muskoka also includes the western border of Algonquin Provincial Park. We stopped in the town of Baysville and had lunch at Miss Nelles, a café and antique shop that is in a charming building originally built in 1872.
After parking the car and having a look around, I noticed on the side of the building a mural of The Pines by the Group of Seven artist Lawren Harris.
I soon discovered that this mural (painted by Gerry Lantaigne) is part of the Muskoka Group of Seven Outdoor Gallery; a self-directed tour that is located throughout Huntsville, Lake of Bays and Algonquin Park. The ~100 murals painted by some of Canada’s top mural artists whose mandate was to re-create the masterpieces, as close as possible to the originals painted by Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven. Gerry Lantaigne, founder and artistic director of this outdoor gallery, writes, “These murals represent our natural landscape, and so fittingly help us tell a story about ourselves. Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven were spurred on by the ideals of Algonquin Park and the Canadian northland, this group of friends ventured into the wilderness as voyageurs with their canvas and paints, and discovered their expression for their Canadian ideals in art. The works in the collection are an homage to these painters, and the goals they achieved.” There are 5 murals in Baysville so this summer I plan on returning to Muskoka to try to view the 95 other!
All images via Modmissy