The Later Years: Sandy Beach

Moments of Algoma
Share this story...
On the Shores of Superior
On the Shores of Superior

Seeking peace and solitude are reasons why members of the Group of Seven came to Algoma. Sandy Beach is one such place if you are seeking the same. Clear waters and rolling waves, soft sand, dunes and fragile plant communities surrounded by the rugged Canadian wilderness. Over 60 years later and those elements still exist today. Sitting on the shore, taking in the surroundings, you will be left wondering if those same natural characteristics are what drew painter A.Y. Jackson here. Sandy Beach, on Michipicoten Bay, Lake Superior was a place that he frequented between 1955 and 1961 where he shared ownership of a cottage.

Locals, like Mrs. Dorothy Nixon, can recall memories of watching Jackson sketch and paint (which we invite you to read here). We urge you to take time, sit on the beach and place yourself in Jackson's footsteps to watch, listen and breathe in those same sights, sounds and scents that may have captured his moments here.

Visit the Sandy Beach Eco-interpretive Park Pavilion to learn more about the Indigenous people who first settled the area, A.Y. Jackson's visits, and the trips made by Canadian Classic Pianist Glenn Gould between the 1960s and 70s. 

Sandy Beach is located on the shores of Michipicoten Bay on Lake Superior, near Wawa. The drive from Sault Ste. Marie to Wawa is spectacular, as much of the Trans Canada Highway 17 follows the coastline. This route is one of Canada's top ten drives. Four interpretive panels are located along this route: Chippewa Falls, Pancake Bay, Agawa Bay Visitor Centre, and Katherine Cove. 

Learn more about the history and culture of the area through the Wawa Heritage Doors, portals to Wawa's past that share the stories of colourful characters woven into the fabric of the community's history. Another unique point of interest is the Mackenzie/Bethune Cemetery a resting place for frontier settlers including Louisa Mackenzie - great grandmother of Dr. Norman Bethune and cousin of explorer Sir Alexander Mackenzie.

A guided summer evening hike can be booked locally to learn more about A.Y. Jackson's time at Sandy Beach and the surrounding area.