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—  City  —
A view of downtown Barrie from Kempenfelt Bay.


Coat of arms

Motto: The People are the City
Barrie is located in Ontario
Location of Barrie
Coordinates: 44°24′48″N 79°40′48″W / 44.41333°N 79.68°W / 44.41333; -79.68
Country  Canada
Province  Ontario
County Simcoe
First settled End of War of 1812
Established 1837 (town)
Established 1853 (city)
Named for Sir Robert Barrie
 - Mayor Dave Aspden
 - Council Barrie City Council
 - MPP Aileen Carroll (LIB)
 - MP Patrick Brown (CON)
Area [1][2][3][4]
 - City 76.99 km2 (29.7 sq mi)
 - Urban 171.53 km2 (66.2 sq mi)
 - Metro 897.47 km2 (346.5 sq mi)
Elevation 252 m (827 ft)
Population (2006)[1][2][3][4][5]
 - City 128,430 (35th)
 Density 1,668.14/km2 (4,320.5/sq mi)
 Urban 157,501
 - Urban Density 918.27/km2 (2,378.3/sq mi)
 Metro 177,061 (21st)
 - Metro Density 197.29/km2 (511/sq mi)
 - Ethnicity
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
Postal code L4M-L4N
Area code(s) 705 (and "249" in March, 2011)
Twin Cities
 - Zweibrücken  Germany
 - Murayama  Japan
 - Taizhou  China

Barrie is a city located on Kempenfelt Bay, an arm of Lake Simcoe in the central portion of Southern Ontario, Canada.

Although geographically within Simcoe County, the municipality is politically separate.

The city's north and south ends are separated by a deep valley which contains the downtown area along Kempenfelt Bay (Lake Simcoe).

It has a population of 128,430 residents,[1] making it the 35th largest city in Canada.[2] Data released from the 2006 census indicates that the Barrie Metropolitan area, with 177,061 residents, is the 21st largest, and one of the fastest growing Census Metropolitan Areas in Canada.

Barrie is located within the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the most densely populated area of Canada[6].



Barrie is situated in Central Ontario, Canada.

At its inception, Barrie was a small group of houses and warehouses at the foot of the Nine Mile Portage from Kempenfelt Bay to Fort Willow. The city was named in 1833 after Sir Robert Barrie, who was in charge of the naval forces in Canada and frequently had to portage from Lake Simcoe to Georgian Bay through the city. The Underground Railroad in the mid 1800s allowed many American slaves to enter Barrie. This contributed to the development (and the name) of nearby Shanty Bay. During World War II the Royal Canadian Navy named a Flower class corvette HMCS Barrie.

On 27 September 1977, in dense fog, a small plane hit the 68 meter tall CKVR Television Tower, knocking CHAY FM and CKVR-TV off the air. All passengers on the aircraft were killed, and the tower was destroyed. A new 304 metre tower was erected and operational within a year.

On 31 May 1985, an F4 tornado struck Barrie, during the The "Barrie" Tornado Outbreak of 1985.

On 12 June - 13 June 1987, a sculpture called Spirit Catcher by Ron Baird was moved to Barrie from Vancouver, British Columbia, where it had been exhibited as part of Expo '86. The sculpture was erected permanently at the foot of Maple Avenue on the shore of Kempenfelt Bay. However, with the re-development along the waterfront/Lakeshore Drive, the city is considering moving the Spirit Catcher to the gravel outcropping at the foot of Bayfield Street.

In January 2004, Barrie made international news when its city police raided the former Molson brewery, and found Canada's largest illegal cannabis grow operation.

Barrie's Park Place (formerly Molson Park) was chosen to host Live 8 Canada on 2 July 2005.[7] The success of the concert contributed to the resistance to a plan to convert the concert area to a commercial district. However, the stage, buildings and many of the trees on site have been destroyed since construction of the Park Place commercial district has begun.

An explosion in the Royal Thai restaurant, housed in the landmark Wellington Hotel, at the historic Five Points intersection in Barrie's downtown core occurred at 11:20 PM on 6 December 2007. The fire quickly spread to several neighbouring buildings. Firefighters battled the blaze well into the following morning, requiring assistance from other Simcoe County fire services. Officials estimate the damages to be in the millions. The Wellington Hotel building collapsed. It was over one hundred years old.[8][9] On 17 February 2008, two people were charged in connection with the fire, after the Ontario Fire Marshal's office concluded the explosion and fire were the result of arson.[10]


Residential condominiums and houses in Barrie after a snowfall.

Barrie is located in the central portion of Southern Ontario, known as Central Ontario and in the urban agglomeration, the Greater Golden Horseshoe. It is accessible via Highways 26, 400, 11 and has convenient access to Highway 401, the Highway 407 Express Toll Route and to neighbouring Toronto. Pearson International Airport in Toronto is less than a one hour drive from Barrie via Highway 400, a six lane highway that runs directly through Barrie.

The Province of Ontario has enacted legislation that will enable Barrie to annex 2,293 acres from the town of Innisfil as of January 1, 2010.[11] The land in question extends south beyond 10th line west of the 10th Sideroad, and as far south as Lockhart Road on the east side of the 10th Sideroad.[12] Innisfil retains the community of Stroud, but the community of St. Pauls will shift to Barrie.


The City of Barrie consists of 23 communities: Allandale, Allandale Heights, Ardagh, Bayfield, Bayshore, Bayshore Estates, Codrington, East Bayfield, Grove East, Holly, Letitia Heights, Lakeshore, Mapleview West Business Park, Northwest, Painswick North, Painswick South, Queens Park, Sanford, South Barrie Business Park, South Barrie Industrial Park, Sunnidale, and Welham Industrial Park.


Barrie's downtown is situated in a distinct curved or wrapped valley, surrounding the western edge of Kempenfelt Bay. Terrain is generally flat near the city's centre. Moving away from the downtown and up the valleys, the terrain can be rather steep in areas. Over the last few decades, the city has expanded its urban area beyond the confines of the valley, particularly to the south and south-east.

The city does not have any major rivers within its limits, but does have numerous creeks and streams, most of which empty into Kempenfelt Bay.


Barrie has a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfa), with warm, humid summers and cold winters. The proximity to the Great Lakes moderates winter temperatures, but also results in significant snowfall in the general area. Barrie is located in Ontario's snowbelt region, where lake-effect snow, primarily from Georgian Bay, falls throughout the winter. An average of 238 centimetres (95 inches) of snow falls annually, with at least 50% being lake-effect. The snowfall gradient is tight, therefore snowfall totals tend to be significantly higher just north of the city as compared with the south end. There are numerous winter recreation activities and facilities in the surrounding area, including skiing, snow tubing and snowboarding resorts, snowmobile trails and ice fishing. The Barrie area and Simcoe County are well known for heavy thunderstorm activity in late spring and summer, and the occasional funnel cloud or tornado sighting.

Climate data for Barrie
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14
Average high °C (°F) -3.2
Average low °C (°F) -12.8
Record low °C (°F) -35
Rainfall cm (inches) 1.53
Snowfall cm (inches) 80.2
Source: Environment Canada[13] 2008-08-31


Barrie in relation to other North American cities

There are several manufacturers located in Barrie and Canadian Forces Base Borden is nearby. The perception of Barrie is that it is a bedroom community for people who commute to Toronto, which is approximately 90 km south of Barrie. However, only 32% of the resident-employed labour force (17,040 persons/53,400 persons) actually commute out of Barrie for employment purposes. In addition to this, 28% of the resident-employed labour force (14,880 persons/53,400 persons) actually commute into Barrie for employment for a net out-commuting figure of only 4.26%(17,040 persons –14,880 persons]/(50,665 persons employed in Barrie)). Source: 2001 Census and City of Barrie Economic Development.

Tourism plays an important role in the local economy. Barrie's waterfront is at the heart of its tourism industry, with events like the Kempenfest arts and crafts festival attracting more than 300,000 people. Recreational activities include skiing at nearby Horseshoe Valley, Snow Valley, Mount St.Louis Moonstone, and Blue Mountain as well as boating in Kempenfelt Bay. The city also boasts several beaches including Minet's Point Beach, Johnsons Beach, The Gables, Tyndale Beach, and Centennial Beach. Barrie's waterfront is currently under heavy construction, with the relocation of several roadways to provide more greenspace and parkland along the lakeshore. Being strategically situated between Toronto and Muskoka on Highway 400, Barrie is also considered the gateway to cottage country resort destinations.


Barrie is served by highways 400 and 26 (which is known as Bayfield Street within Barrie). Highway 400 goes right through the city on a roughly north-south basis, and highway 26 starts at the 400 interchange with Bayfield St. and runs to the north-west. Barrie was once served by Ontario highways 90, 27, 131 and 11 but after the province downgraded many highways in the late 1990s, these are now known as Simcoe County Road 90 (Dunlop St.), Simcoe County Road 27, Simcoe County Road 30, and the portion of Highway 11 through Barrie is Yonge Street.

Other arterials roads that carry traffic throughout the city include Mapleview drive,Ferndale drive, 10th line, Big bay point road ,Huronia road and penatangushine road (former highway 11/400A simcoe road 93)

Public transit is provided by Barrie Transit, which operates numerous bus routes. GO Transit connects the City to the GTA through bus and train service. Barrie currently has the Barrie South GO Station and a central bus terminal.

As of November, 2009, studies are underway in support of a second Barrie GO train station to be located in the city centre (Allandale Station).


According to the Canada 2006 Census:[14]

Population: 128,430 (23.8% from 2001)
Land area: 76.99 km2 (29.73 sq mi)
Population density: 1,668.1 inhabitants per square kilometre (4,320 /sq mi)
National population rank: Ranked 35th out of 5,008
Median age: 35.4 (males: 34.5, females: 36.1)
Total private dwellings: 48,196
Dwellings occupied by permanent residents: 46,533
Median household income: $64,832

The 2006 census metropolitan area found that Barrie and surrounding area has 177,061 residents, which included the City of Barrie (128,430 residents) and its surrounding communities. With the surrounding communities' urban area, the city has 157,501 residents.[3] The City is attracting people from all over Ontario, Canada and internationally. It is the fastest growing Census Metropolitan Area and one of Canada's fastest growing cities.

From 1996 to 2001, Barrie saw phenomenal growth. According to StatCan, the city grew by 31.0 per cent, the second fastest growing city in the province of Ontario. This is due to both the young population profile, and a growing number of Canadians moving into the city for economic and technological opportunities. The city grew by an average 4.8% per year from 2001 to 2006 (Census).

According to 2006 census data from Statistics Canada, 5.8% of residents in the Barrie CMA are visible minorities.[15]

Ethnic origin Population Percentage
English 65,160 37.2%
Canadian 58,510 33.4%
Scottish 45,300 25.8%
Irish 41,390 23.6%
French 23,050 13.1%
Racial Groups Population Percentage
Total visible minority population 10,130 5.8%
Black 2,310 1.3%
South Asian 1,900 1.1%
Chinese 1,180 0.7%
Latin American 1,165 0.7%
Filipino 1,075 0.6%
Southeast Asian 535 0.4%
Korean 410 0.3%
Japanese 350 0.2%
West Asian 310 0.2%
Arab 300 0.2%
Visible minority n.i.e 310 0.2%
Multiple visible minority 495 0.3%
Not a visible minority 165,205 94.2%
Religious Affiliations[16]
Religious Affiliation Total
Catholic 28,385
Protestant 46,840
Christian Orthodox 865
Christian, n.i.e. 2,815
Muslim 445
Jewish 340
Buddhist 205
Hindu 250
Sikh 95
Eastern religions 105
Other religions 75
No religious affiliation 21,930


Barrie has two major English school boards that operate inside the city at a public level. The Simcoe County District School Board administers a Public education in Barrie and Simcoe County, while the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board administers to the Catholic population and serves the Simcoe and Muskoka areas. It also has two French school boards, Le Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud and Le Conseil scolaire de district du Centre-Sud-Ouest.

Georgian College

Georgian College's main campus, with 9,000 full-time students and over 28,000 part-time students, is located in Barrie. As a result, many of the bars and clubs in downtown Barrie are filled with students during the school year. Georgian College also offers various university degree programs in conjunction with Laurentian University, York University, Nipissing University, Embry-Riddle University and Central Michigan University.



The city hall of Barrie, Ontario.

The current mayor of Barrie is Dave Aspden, who was elected in November, 2006, succeeding Rob Hamilton.

Federal representation
Party Member of Parliament From To District
     Conservative Patrick Brown January 23, 2006 present Barrie
Provincial representation
Party Member of Provincial Parliament From To District
     Liberal Aileen Carroll October 10, 2007 present Barrie


Fireworks over Kempenfelt Bay during Barrie's Canada Day celebrations.

In 2008 Barrie city council started electing an exemplary citizen as an honorary Mayor. This occurs on the first day of summer as a symbolic start to the lucrative tourist season in the City. Michael Barnes has been recognized as the first recipient for this award.[citation needed]

Barrie is home to a number of live performance companies. The Georgian College is the home of the Gryphon Theatre, which is a professional company and the Huronia Symphony. The Maclaren Art Centre is the home of Theatre by the Bay. Grove Park Home is the practice hall for On Stage Performance Group which performs in Cookstown. Talk is Free Theatre, the Strolling Youth Players, and the Kempenfelt Community Players also all perform in Barrie. In addition, an annual live concert series is hosted by Georgian College. Barrie is home to many galleries and studios. A Studio tour in the Barrie, Orillia area takes place on the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend every year. It is called the Images Studio Tour and has over 25 artists on average. The self guided tour allows people to visit artists in their working studio and see how the art is created while enjoying the beautiful fall colours driving through the two cities and the countryside. Potters, jewellers, painters, textile artists and fashion designers make up a few of the disciplines of the talents on display.

The Spiritcatcher is an example of the large sculptures installed along the waterfront.

Barrie is also home to the MacLaren Art Centre, an innovative art gallery that supports the visual arts in Simcoe County. It inspired the "Art City" project, which has had many different large sculptures installed around the city. These can be found in parks and along the scenic waterfront.

The MacLaren Art Centre is a large and beautiful building on Mulcaster Street in downtown Barrie. International and Canadian artists display in the three main galleries. A permanent collection of art is slowly growing, the Radio Cafe, a gift shop, film nights, speakers, theatre and many children's programs and community art projects are just a small part of the gallery's mandate. This gallery contributes overall to a vibrant arts community in the Barrie area with it leading edge arts. An August Rodin sculpture in bronze called "The Thinker" is housed permanently on the front gardens of the gallery. On Lakeshore Mews two galleries have opened recently: Gary Owen Gallery and Awkward Gallery. The Gary Owen Gallery specializes in local original art and Awkward Gallery opens its doors to all types of contemporary Canadian art. Lakeshore mews is quickly becoming a hub of galleries and studios in the downtown area.

Barrie's Downtown Community Theatre is located at the site of the former Scotiabank site at Five Points in downtown Barrie. The Downtown Theatre was renovated in Fall 2008 for interim use by community groups. Currently the Theatre is a "black box" type theatre with risers and seating for 120 people. It is expected that the theatre will undergo a multi-million dollar final renovation. The Downtown Theatre is currently the main venue for the Talk Is Free Theatre Company.



Aside from all the major national newspapers, there are both a daily and a semi-weekly newspapers in the City of Barrie.

The Barrie Examiner, established in 1864, is one of Canada's oldest daily newspapers. It is distributed 6 days a week (Monday to Saturday) to paid subscribers and is also delivered to the remainder of the market each Thursday. It features coverage of local and national news, entertainment, weather, sports and local community events. It also sponsors charity golf events and local high school football.

The Barrie Advance is a free newspaper established in 1983, delivered twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) to every residence in the city, Springwater Township, and parts of Oro-Medonte. The newspaper contains local news, classifieds, advertisements and flyers.



The area is also served by Toronto radio stations.


Club League Venue Established Championships
Barrie Colts OHL Hockey Barrie Molson Centre 1995 1
Barrie Baycats IBL Baseball Barrie Metals Stadium 2001 1
Barrie Lakeshores MSL Lacrosse Barrie Molson Centre 2004 N/A

N/A = Information not available at this time

Barrie is also home to the Mariposa School of Skating which has trained many world-class figure skaters, including Brian Orser, Elvis Stojko and Jeff Buttle.

Recreational facilities

Barrie has many community centres throughout the city. There are a total of nine facilities in Barrie open to the public. Barrie had eleven community facilities until March, 2008 when City Council announced it would tear down Barrie's Oldest arena and replace it with a new fire hall.[17]

  • Allandale Recreation Centre
  • Barrie Sports Complex
  • Dorian Parker Centre
  • East Bayfield Community Centre
  • Eastview Arena
  • Holly Community Centre
  • Lampman Lane Community Centre
  • Parkview Community Centre
  • Southshore Community Centre
  • Victoria Village


Notable people and residents

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Community Highlights, City of Barrie". Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population. 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  2. ^ a b c "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada and census subdivisions (municipalities), (land areas, population density, national population rank and other data) 2006 and 2001 censuses - 100% data". Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population. 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  3. ^ a b c "Barrie Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) with census subdivision (municipal) population breakdowns, land areas and other data". Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population. 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  4. ^ a b "Population and dwelling counts, for urban areas (land areas, population density, national population rank and other data), 2006 and 2001 censuses - 100% data". Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population. 2007-03-13. Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  5. ^ "Population Groups (28) and Sex (3) for the Population of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census - 20% Sample Data". Statistics Canada, 2006 Census of Population. 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  6. ^ Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure: Places to Grow
  7. ^ | Barrie, Ont. to host Canadian edition of Live 8
  8. ^ "Massive blaze destroys six buildings in Barrie". 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  9. ^ "Fire destroys historic buildings in Barrie, Ont.". 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  10. ^ CANOE - CNEWS - Canada: Cops: Pair charged in Barrie fire had ties to destroyed restaurant
  11. ^ Barrie-Innisfil Adjustment Act 2009
  12. ^ Innisfil Lands Proposed to be Annexed
  13. ^ "Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000". Environment Canada. Retrieved August 31 2008. 
  14. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". Statistics Canada. Government of Canada. 2009-02-24. Retrieved 9 March 2009. 
  15. ^ "Selected trend data for Barrie (CMA) , 2006, 2001 and 1996 censuses". Census Trends. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 23 March 2009. 
  16. ^ 2001 Community Profile
  17. ^ in Barrie Examiner
  18. ^ Fight Finder - Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge's Mixed Martial Arts Statistics
  19. ^ Jackman shares Stanley Cup with his neighbours

External links

Coordinates: 44°24′48″N 79°40′49″W / 44.413333°N 79.680194°W / 44.413333; -79.680194 (Barrie)

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Barrie [1] lies at the end of Kempenfelt Bay on Lake Simcoe in Southern Ontario. Watersports and boating on the bay bring visitors from all over Ontario.


Get in

Take the 400 Highway north from Toronto. Barrie is 63 km away and has 5 highway exits. There is also a small airport on the north end of town which services light aircraft. Drivers leave Barrie at the junction of Highway 400 and Highway 11, and for many this interchange can be perceived as the beginning of Northern Ontario or the gateway to cottage country.

Get around

Barrie is serviced by an efficient bus service and several taxi companies. It takes no more than about 20 minutes in good weather to drive from anywhere to anywhere else in Barrie. There are also many bicycle and walking trails. Warning: avoid driving on Bayfield street (Hwy 26, Hwy 27) on weekends and statutory holidays. All car trafic from Toronto to and from Wasaga Beach and other beach destinations on Georgian Bay (during summertime) or Horseshow Ski Resort (in winter) goes through this street and it could get quite congested.


The city of Barrie is on the shore of Kempenfelt Bay, a part of Lake Simcoe and is the largest city in Simcoe County.

  • MacLaren Art Centre, 37 Mulcaster Street, (705) 721-9696, [2].
  • Kempenfest, [3].
  • A great waterfront and park. Down by the bay, visitors might spot
  • Ron Baird's Spirit Catcher, near the bay. A 21 metre high sculpture moved from the Expo '86 grounds in Vancouver in 1987.


Barrie is within easy reach of many of Ontario's major ski resorts. Visitors to the area should really visit at least one of these to enjoy some of the area's most popular winter activities.

For those who prefer a less expensive alternative, Sunnidale Park has a great toboggan hill and there is a public skating rink close to the downtown which includes a heated changeroom and washroom facilities.

In the summer, Barrie's beautifully landscaped lakefront parks are a popular destination for Toronto visitors seeking a break from city life. These parks include walking and bicycle trails, a fountain park, three public beaches and free parking.

Many seasonal festivals occur in the lakefront parks and the downtown area. For information on current events, visit the City of Barrie's website. [4]


There are three major commercial centres in Barrie. The oldest is the downtown near the shores of Kempenfelt Bay. North of this is Bayfield Street's Golden Mile which consists of three major malls and numerous other retail outlets which include local and international retailers. It is a major shopping destination for area tourists. The third commercial centre is on the south end of town near the exit to Mapleview Drive. This is the newest of the three and is a very large shopping complex where individual retailers are accessible from common parking areas.


As the largest city in Simcoe County, there are a growing number of interesting restaurants that have opened in the last few years, including a number of Italian, Indian, Middle-eastern and Asian restaurants in the city centre down near Kempenfelt Bay. A number of websites have sprung up in the last few years tracking these new arrivals including:, and 00:03, 15 August 2009 (EDT)


Much of Barrie's nightlife is centred on the 5 block area where Dunlop and Bayfield Streets meet in the downtown Core. Many lounges and pubs feature live music on weekends. Clubs like The Roxx and SkyBank caters to the college Crowd. The Queens is located is a historic hotel and features two bars in one. Further down Dunlop those wishing for a more laid back night should try Monsoon, where overstuffed leather furniture, martini's and sushi set the mood. Many other pubs and bars dot Dunlop Street including the Simcoe Hotel a flat iron building which features a more varied, and somewhat rougher crowd. Those wishing to venture just off of Dunlop may venture into The Ranch a warehouse style country bar featuring a mechanical bull.


Visitor accommodation in Barrie includes world class hotels like the Holiday Inn and Comfort Inn, located near highway 400, as well as some "bed and breakfast" and executive apartments.

  • Carriage Ridge Resort, 90 Highland Drive, RR#1 Shanty Bay, L0L 2L0(866-553-8902), [5]. A resort that reminds you why its called a vacation. Condo suites at hotel rates.
  • Barrie Summer Hostel at Georgian Green, 140 Bell Farm Road, +1 705 735-0772, fax +1 705 739-8615, [6]. Open from May to August. Beds start at $20 per night.

Get out

Drivers leave Barrie at the junction of Highway 400 and Highway 11, and for many this interchange can be perceived as the beginning of Northern Ontario or the gateway to cottage country.

Routes through Barrie
North BayOrillia  N noframe S  ENDS
Sudbury ← Parry Sound - becomes  N noframe S  VaughanToronto
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1911 encyclopedia

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From Wikispecies

American botanist (born 1948)

Standard form: Barrie

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