Service Barrie Phone: (705) 726-4242 Fax: (705) 739-4270
Barrie Historical Archive
Historic Neighbourhoods Strategy
Ministry of Tourism & Culture Heritage Toolkit
Heritage Barrie is an advisory committee appointed by Council. The committee works with the community to build awareness of local heritage matters, provide heritage information, and encourage preservation of heritage buildings and landscapes.
Historic sites, trails, parks, events, contributions of community groups, and achievements of individuals are permanently commemorated throughout Barrie with plaques and markers.
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:
Tour the delightful waterfront and discover part of Barrie's history! A historical experience is being created along the Waterfront Heritage Trail. Eleven interpretive stations, each with a different historical theme, will tell the story of Barrie’s past with a journey from the last ice age to the present.
There are also six interpretive plaques for viewing, all sponsored by the Barrie Historical Association in cooperation with the City. View the Historic Waterfront Locations app.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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