Relive the Boxcar Journeys

Algoma Staff
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Relive the Boxcar Journeys
Relive the Boxcar Journeys

In the fall of 1918, Lawren Harris, J.E.H MacDonald, Frank Johnston made their first painting trip to Algoma. Convinced by Harris, the Algoma Central Railway loaned the group a boxcar that would be used both as lodgings and a mobile studio. The boxcar's first location was at the Agawa River; in what is now the famous Agawa Canyon.

Painted red, and numbered #10557 in white, the boxcar was complete with bunks, tables and chairs, stove, and painting materials. There was also a canoe and a handcar which could be used for short-distance travel along the rail line. This mobile studio could be moved along the rail line to the landscapes that members of the group wanted to explore Algoma in all its fall glory.

It has been recorded that at the end of each day in the field, members of the group would return to the boxcar and compare the day's work over dinner.

For the film, Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven, the boxcar was re-created for the film. Michael Burtch and a team took a metal fabricated boxcar and transformed it into the wooden boxcar that members of the Group of Seven lived in during their painting excursions.

Visit the replica boxcar located at the Agawa Canyon Tour Train Station to relive the boxcar journey and view the interpretive panel for interesting stories and connections to the landscape.