"Barrie... close enough to it all" Top 5 Page for this destination Barrie by CdnJane

Barrie Travel Guide: 115 reviews and 256 photos

Lakeside living gives you a changing vista

My View of Barrie has changed. My parents moved from Oro Township, the eastern neighbour to Barrie. So serene and a wonderful escape from the city.... any city! The condominium apartment is at at the end of the bay, in the heart of the city of Barrie. I moved in to help them out last summer, and with the death of my father last November, decided that this is where I belong. The photo below was taken in early August and the boats, and watercraft are out in force.
Barrie's population is now about 125,000, and rapidly growing, with 1in 4 working in Toronto. It has been a mixture of light industry, and was a railway junction, with also being a market town for the rural population. It is still a big retail centre as many people to the north preferring to come down only that far, without having to go into Toronto. Barrie has been blessed with much cultural talent, The Georgian Theatre (sometimes known as the Gryphon Theatre), the high schools have all been blessed with choirs & bands (Barrie Central Collegiate Band was one of THE top school bands in Ontario, if not Canada), as well as community choirs (The King Edward Choir, amongst many), and jazz bands. Barrie has been blessed by many top performers coming through - Ballet, Orchestra, Theatre, and other forms.
Historically Barrie was on the route of the military highway from Toronto up to Fort Penetanguishene - part of the reason for Yonge Street (Highway 11) and Highway 93 being built - to get troops up to Georgian Bay without having to go via the Great Lakes and be close to the American dangers.
So, Kat, I hope that this helps you and others understand where Barrie is!

Where is Barrie?

To answer my friend, Kat's (Keida84) question of where Barrie is.... Barrie is about 100 km, 60 miles north of Toronto, accessed by the main highway/freeway 400. From Toronto, you can also access Barrie via Highways 11 and 27, from the North down from Highways 69/400, and 11 or 93 (from Midland & Penetanguishene) or 26 (from Owne Sound/Collingwood/Stayner), or from Base Borden via Hwy 90. Barrie is the gateway to cottage country, to the ski resort area of Central Ontario, and in many southern Ontarians' minds, to the north! Barrie is situated on the shores of Kempenfeldt (or commonly spelled Kempenfelt) Bay which is an 10 (?) mile long, straight and deep bay sticking out from Lake Simcoe, which is a part of the Trent-Severn waterway connecting Georgian Bay (Lake Huron) with Lake Ontario.

Spring has Arrived - the Sun is Shining!

Looking Down the North shore of Kempenfeldt Bay and downtown Barrie, from newly built apartments at the foot of Toronto Street. The sun is shining, there are lots of boats in the city marina. Looking along the Waterfront and Heritage Park, at the festival for the May long weekend.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Close to Toronto, on the water, skiing nearby
  • Cons:too close to Toronto, traffic getting up from Toronto can be horrendous
  • In a nutshell:Close to Toronto, to water and skiing... summer & winter paradise
  • Last visit to Barrie: May 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (48)

Comments (20)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Aug 2, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    Hi, Jane! Thanx for your stories! Your city is splendid indeed!><><><><><><

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Jun 30, 2007 at 8:57 PM

    Hello Jane! A very good page on Barrie with lots of information. My pen friend used to live there but she never told me anything, so now I can tell her a lot. Happy birthday from Finland!

  • Hexepatty's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2007 at 5:33 PM

    Great tips... Might have to come up North of the border and check it out!

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Apr 3, 2007 at 10:34 PM

    That Christmas morning sunrise looks very beautifull but very cold ;-)

  • Darby2's Profile Photo
    Oct 17, 2006 at 5:20 AM

    I'm sure, given another hour on Saturday, we would have ended up seeing Barrie as well!!!

  • yooperprof's Profile Photo
    Aug 20, 2006 at 7:49 PM

    Gosh, I was at Weber's on Tuesday - didn't notice the ROMEOs if they were there! Another thing I really liked was the brewery tour at Robert Smithson's.

  • Mandy23's Profile Photo
    Feb 26, 2006 at 10:20 AM

    Great travelogue photos!

  • birchy99's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2005 at 4:27 PM

    Hope we can explore Barrie next year on the way to Orillia for the dog show. Looks like a very nice city.

  • keida84's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2005 at 3:24 PM

    Jane a great tour of Barrie, I now see it is only 60 miles or kilometers North of Toronto. Beautiful!!. Thanks for the tips, Kat

  • undisputed's Profile Photo
    Jun 27, 2005 at 2:18 AM

    Hi Jane,Nice page on Barrie..and useful information abt Georgian College..I always dreamt to study there..

CdnJane Lives Here!


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