Thomas Martin emmigrated in 1862 from England to Toronto, Ontario. As an artist, he was largely self-taught. Martin remained in Canada, but he made many trips to the United States to exhibit his work and perform commissions. For example, he made still lifes of game for collector Charles Leland.
He painted mostly landscapes, animals in action, still lifes, and some portraits.
He was a founding member of the Ontario Society of Artists in 1872. He was Director of the Ontario Government Art School from 1877 to 1879. He was a founder of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1880.
He exhibited at the Art Association of Montreal, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Boston Art Club, the Brooklyn Art Association, and the National Academy of Design.
His works are in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada; the National Archives, Ottawa; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the Vancouver Art Gallery; the Vancouver City Museum; and Windsor Castle, England.
His only known White Mountain painting was called Berlin Falls and was exhibited at the Boston Art Club in 1881.