[ The Fisherman ]

The Fisherman, Tom Thomson, Art Gallery of Alberta, 68.6.84, Oil on canvas, 51.3 x 56.5 cm. Gift of The Ernest E. Poole Foundation, 1975

When we think of parks, many of us think of them as spaces primarily devoted to leisure, relaxation, and tourism. Algonquin Park certainly drew visitors from a wide area, and who came to enjoy a surprising variety of pursuits and benefits. These visitors, with their needs for accommodation, food, knowledgeable guides, and safety, helped to significantly shape the development of community, and business, within the Park.

Just as Thomson was a tourist in the Park, visiting in order to paint the environment, he also often found work there, helping to serve other visitors’ needs. These visitors also contributed significantly to his social circle while he lived in the Park. Understanding who Thomson was interacting with in the Park, and why these people were there, might be important to understanding how he died.

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