The Group of Seven are Canada's most distinctive artists whose paintings of the Canadian landscape have become famous throughout the world. They created a new school of painting that challenged the old European tradition and created a unique Canadian style that was both ground breaking and breath taking.
Entrance to McMichael Gallery — Photo courtesy of Photo by Commodore Gandalf Cunningham The McMichael Canadian Art Collection in the quaint town of Kleinberg offers its visitors a chance to explore see these paintings by Tom Thomson, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson and others against the backdrop of the Canadian scenery. Included in the permanent exhibitions of close to 6,000 artworks are works by First Nations and Inuit artists that add to the discovery of Canada's artistic heritage.
The gallery itself opened in 1952 and was housed in a pioneer-style home named Tapawingo (believed to mean "place of joy"). Today, the McMichael facility is considerably larger with 13 exhibition galleries, a theatre, and Gallery Shop. The log, barnboard walls and fieldstone fireplaces of the original home are still standing. The surrounding woodlands are the perfect location for a hike and a picnic. It's paertricularly beautiful during the autumn when the leaves are sporting their crimson reds, sparkling yellows and rich oranges.
The Town of Kleinberg is also worth a visit since it's a charming example of small town Ontario life. Talk a walking tour and see the Victorian turn of the century homes and businesses. Nearby is the Kortright Centre, Ontario’s premier environmental and renewable energy education and demonstration centre. It too has gorgeous hiking all season long, great for hiking or cross-country skiing. The Centre holds special seasonal exhibits as well geared to children.
It takes about one hour to get to Kleinburg and is an easy route along Highway/Highway 407. It's a fun little day trip for everyone and you'll come away with an appreciation of Canada's iconic artists.