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Waterfront Heritage Trail

A historical experience was created around the length of Barrie’s waterfront. Eleven interpretive stations, each with a different historical theme, tell the story of Barrie’s past with a journey from the last ice age to the present.

Launching Barrie’s Story

The idea came from Willard Kinzie, first mayor of the City of Barrie from 1957 to 1961. An avid trail user, Mr. Kinzie envisioned a way for residents to learn about our history while enjoying an open air, self-guided interpretative experience on Barrie’s waterfront. 

With endorsement from Council in late 2012, a Heritage Trail Working Group was created to help initiate the creation of the trail; over the next 24 months, the concept was refined and detailed as a series of 11 interpretive stations around Kempenfelt Bay from Allandale Station Park, near White Oaks Drive, to the east end of the North Shore Trail.

Trail at a Glance

  • The trail starts at the east end of Allandale Station Park on the south shore and continues around the waterfront to the end of the North Shore Trail at Penetanguishene Road.  Stations are placed thematically, not chronologically, so visitors can decide to see one per visit or all in one day.  
  • The Military Heritage Park, officially opened in October 2017, contains interconnecting trails that allow it to be integrated into this trail.
  • Mr. Kinzie’s bronzed handprint, cast in 2016, waits at the end of the trail at Penetanguishene Road to offer a “high five” to those who complete the trail. Construction of the stations is ongoing, with an anticipated completion in 2020.  Some Interpretive panels explaining Barrie’s history were in place in later 2016; the majority will be added throughout 2020.
  • On September 26, 2019, a new trailhead sign honouring former Barrie Mayor Willard Kinzie was unveiled. This date would have been Mr. Kinzie's 100th birthday. Mayor Jeff Lehman unveiled the sign surrounded by Mr. Kinzie's friends and family, at the north end of the marina boardwalk along the waterfront trail.​​ Every year on September 26, the Mayor will lead residents on a walk around the waterfront in memory of Willard Kinzie. The walk will honour Willard's passion for the city and commitment to celebrating our heritage.​

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the complete trail?

Approximately six kilometres from White Oaks Road to Penetanguishene Road.

Where can I park?

There are a number of waterfront parking options along the trail.

Where are the washrooms?

Washrooms are located at the Southshore Community Centre, Centennial Park and in Heritage Park.

Is the trail accessible?

The section of trail on the south and west shore is asphalt pavement and is maintained through the winter. The North Shore Trail has a granular surface and is not maintained during winter months. Both trail surfaces are considered accessible by Barrie’s Accessibility Advisory Committee.

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