This past July I went on a kind of pilgrimage, to see the "possible" grave site of Tom Thomson. After reading the most recent and comprehensive account of his life story and all the circumstances and people surrounding his death, I felt more compelled than ever to visit the place where it all happened.
The grave site is the Canoe Lake Cemetery, formerly the Mowat Cemetery, up on a hill, deep in the woods of Algonquin. There are only a few graves. Just outside of the little picket-fence cemetery is a small white cross, marking the place where (some say) Thomson still lies.
The site is dominated by a beautiful old birch tree. This kind of tree usually only lasts up to forty years, but this one is almost 100 years old. The tree was planted in 1915 by a couple beside their son's grave, Alexander Hayhurst, who died of diphtheria.
The whole place has a supernatural feel to it, a small ancient cemetery deep in the woods with no signs or markers, no people, and no evidence that anyone comes by, just the old birch rising up above.