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Waterfront Historic Locations

Tour the delightful waterfront and discover part of Barrie's History! View the Historic Waterfront Locations app. There are six interpretive plaques for viewing, all sponsored by the Barrie Historical Association in cooperation with the City. 

Allandale Train Station

In 1853, the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Union Railway line opened between Toronto and Allandale.  In 1905, the Grand Trunk Railway built a flagship station in a shape that imitated the curve of the shoreline.

Ice Harvesting

Commercial ice harvesting on the bay began in the 1870s.  In 1889, five large American ice companies united and formed The Ice Union to supply major American cities with Lake Simcoe ice.

Barrie Carriage Company

The Barrie Carriage Company was incorporated in 1903 and opened a factory at the northeast corner of Ellen & John Streets.  In 1916, Vice-President Simon Dyment agreed to assemble the lightweight Bell automobile that came to be known as the Barrie Bell.

Barrie Tanning Company

In 1850, Andrew Graham opened a tannery at the waterfront in the east end of Barrie.  In 1901, Barrie Tanning Company built a modern plant on the east side of Bradford Street at the end of High Street.

Memorial Square

Memorial Square is located at the southeastern end of the Nine Mile Portage and was the site of the Barrie Railroad Station and the Post Office. In 1922, a cenotaph was dedicated to those who had lost their lives in World War I.  Today, the site remains a focal point of the downtown.

Barrie Gas Works

In 1878, Barrie Town Council sanctioned the establishment of the Barrie Gas Company. The plant was located on the water side of Kempenfelt Drive, and soon gas became the preferred method for cooking and lighting.

Heritage Barrie Walking Tours

Free Heritage Barrie walking tours are provided by Barrie's Official Town Crier. View the online walking tours app or pick up one of the following pamphlets from the Planning Services Department at City Hall, 70 Collier Street, 1st Floor: 

  • Grand Homes Tour
  • Downtown East Walking Tour
  • Downtown West Walking Tour
  • Rodney and Blake Streets Walking Tour
  • Allandale Walking Tour
  • H-Block and Court House Hill Walking Tour
  • Discovering the Waterfront Tour

Municipal Heritage Register

A Municipal Heritage Register is a publically accessible list of properties that includes Designated Buildings and Buildings of Heritage Interest. It can be used to determine areas of heritage interest within a municipality. The register is regularly reviewed and updated and serves the following purposes:

  • Recognize properties of cultural heritage value in a community.
  • Foster civic identity and pride by drawing attention to the heritage and development of a community.
  • Promote knowledge and enhances an understanding of a community’s cultural heritage.
  • Provide easily accessible information about cultural heritage value for land-use planners, property owners, developers, the tourism industry, educators and the general public.
  • Be used as a central element of a municipal cultural plan that begins with mapping local cultural resources and then leverages these resources for economic development and community building.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will it affect me as a property owner if my property is added to the Municipal Heritage Register?
  • It means your property is of interest as it may meet one or more of the criteria in the categories of:
    • Design or Physical Value;
    • Historical or Associative Value, or
    • Contextual Value
  •  There is a 60 day waiting period on any demolition permits
How does it affect me if I want to make changes to my property if it is listed on Municipal Heritage Register?

You may paint, renovate, restore improve or add to your property as normal. There is no impact in this regard, if your property is listed as a non-designated property.

Allandale Heritage Measures

In fall 2015 a series of consultation meetings were held in Allandale to present a proposed Official Plan Amendment for the Historic Neighbourhood Areas with specific zoning changes proposed in 3 established residential areas within the Allandale Historic Neighbourhood Area. Also, proposed Heritage Urban Design Guidelines were outlined for some low density residential zones within Allandale, which would be subject to a truncated site plan review process to confirm compliance with these guidelines.     

A presentation was submitted to the Infrastructure, Investment & Development Services Committee on November 12, 2015.  Following this,  a staff report was considered by General Committee and approved by Council on December 14th 2015. A March 2016 public meeting considered the proposed Official Plan amendment and specific zoning changes proposed in Allandale. Related documents: Allandale Scoped Site Plan Control Area; Allandale Heritage Urban Design Guidelines 

Barrie Heritage Awards

The Heritage Barrie Committee annually seeks nominations for property owners and individuals who've made strides in fostering local identity through heritage preservation and awareness in Barrie. All residents are invited to submit nominations during a promoted annual call for nominations.

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