The City of Barrie is one of Canada's fastest growing and dynamic cities. The beach-lined waterfront overlooks Kempenfelt Bay.
Visitor Information Centres
Barrie’s beginnings can be traced back to the First Nations People’s use of the western shores of Kempenfelt Bay as a place of rest before travelling the portage that ran between Lake Simcoe and the Nottawasaga River to Lake Huron. The War of 1812 resulted in an increased use of the city as it played an integral role in allowing British troops and supplies to bypass the American forces at Detroit. At the war’s end, settlers arrived and took up residence at the end of the portage, beginning the traces of Barrie’s first community. The British military presence is reflected in many street names, and even in the name of the city itself in honour of British Admiral Sir Robert Barrie.
As the city of Barrie grew, it began to export local resources. Trees, nearly two hundred feet tall, were logged and shipped out, serving as masts for British ships and railway ties. In the winter months, huge blocks of ice were cut from the frozen waters of Kempenfelt Bay and shipped down to Toronto, Buffalo, and New York for refrigeration purposes. Three large storage houses enabled the blocks to be effectively stored for shipment during the summer months. Between the late 1800s and the early Twentieth Century, Barrie underwent a number of changes that contributed to its rapid growth. The long-anticipated railway connection in 1865 joined Barrie to the City of York. The building of Highway 400 in 1950, however, provided tourists’ easy access and exposure to our Beautiful City by the Bay, making Barrie the favourite for family fun in Central Ontario.
Today, Barrie stands at a population of approximately 130,000 and continues to be one of Canada’s fastest growing cities. Remembering the heritage of Barrie and what led to the city’s success is the focus of some of key attractions. The Simcoe County Museum, for example, offers an exploration of the area as it once was. Pioneer buildings and a Victorian Village Street invite you to take a journey back in time. At the Base Borden Military Museum, firsthand military tanks, trucks and equipment used during World War I and II are available for viewing. The Heritage Barrie Walking Tour offers a walk along history itself and the Nine Mile Portage, which was re-opened to the public in celebration of Barrie’s sesquicentennial in 2003, does the same starting at Barrie’s Memorial Square and ending at Fort Willow Heritage Site and Conservation Area in Springwater Township.
Summer: Summer is prime tourist season in Barrie, with long, warm days and comfortable evenings. For the beginning and end of summer, it is best to bring a light over layer for evenings and cooler days.
Fall: The fall colours in the Barrie area are second to none. Early autumn continues to be mild, but warmer clothes are needed for later in the season, as well as for cool evenings.
Winter: Winter is a spectacular time to visit Barrie, with great skiing and outdoor activities. Check out the Winter Festivals to gather together and embrace the cold!
Spring: Blooming spring flowers and warming temperatures are characteristic of spring. Bring your raincoat for April and admire the flowers in May!
Metric Conversion for Weather
Canadian weather reports are given in metric terms. Temperature is measured in degrees Celsius (C), rain in millimetres, snowfall in centimetres and wind, speed & visibility in kilometres per hour.
Celsius to Fahrenheit
F = Temperature C x 1.8, then add 32
0C = 32F
10C = 50F
20C = 68F
From Toronto (Approximate distance: 72km/45 miles. Travel time: 1 hour)
- Highway 400 North (most common)
- Highway 27 North (passing through Nobleton, Cookstown)
- Yonge Street North (passing through Newmarket, Bradford)
From Niagara Falls (Approximate distance: 200km/125 miles. Travel time: 2 hours, 25 mins)
- Highway 420 West to QEW, follow to Hwy 427 North to Hwy 401 East to Hwy 400 North to Barrie
From Sudbury (Approximate distance: 295km/183 miles. Travel time: 3 hours, 20 mins)
- Highway 69 South out of Sudbury, follow to the Hwy 400 Extension, follow Hwy 400 South to Barrie
There are three different bus services that can bring you to Barrie: The GO Bus, Greyhound and the Ontario Northland. Buses leave regularly for Barrie from Toronto's main stations including 610 Bay St., Yorkdale Mall and Union Station. The Barrie Bus Terminal is located in Downtown Barrie. For more information, call 705-739-1500.
By GO Train or Bus
24 Essa Road at Lakeshore Drive 416-869-3200 or 1-888-GETONGO (438-6646)
GO Trains run between Barrie and Toronto during weekday rush hours; GO Bus service is available all day, every day. Summer weekend GO Train service begins Saturday June 28th and goes until Sunday August 31st. Visit gotransit.com for fare information and schedules. Ride the train north to the Allandale Waterfront GO Station, just steps from Downtown Barrie.
City of Barrie Marina
Travel to Barrie through the Trent-Severn Waterway from the Orillia Narrows, approximately 35km. Transient slips are available through the city of Barrie, within walking distance to Barrie’s vibrant downtown, full of restaurants, shopping and services.
By Air and Airport Services
'''Lake Simcoe Regional Airport''', 224 Line 7 North, Oro Station, ☎ +1 705 487-0999, . With a 6,001 ft. runway, the Lake Simcoe regional Airport services a variety of aircraft ranging from small recreational and flight training aircraft to larger corporate and commercial aircraft. edit
A variety of airport transportation services are also available for getting to Barrie from the Pearson International Airport in Toronto.
In the summer, spring and fall, Barrie's beautifully landscaped lakefront parks are a popular destination for all visitors seeking a break from their every day life. These parks include walking and bicycle trails, beautiful scenery, and three public beaches.
In the winter months, Barrie is within easy reach of many of Ontario's major ski resorts. It is recommended for visitors to the area to visit at least one of these to enjoy some of the area's most popular winter activities during their stay. For those who prefer a less expensive alternative, Sunnidale Park has a great toboggan hill and there is a public skating rink at City Hall which includes a heated change-room and washroom facilities.
Website +1 705-728-1968
Website +1 705-728-7570
Website +1 705-728-7570
Website +1 888-583-5383
Festivals & Events
Barrie is the central location for arts, culture and entertainment that the whole family can enjoy. Visit our Festival & Events page for a complete listing of festivals and events in Barrie.
Barrie has wide and varied shopping opportunities designed to cater to the entire Central Ontario region. Stores and shopping districts are easily accessible from Highway 400, from antiques and outlets to flea markets and malls. Downtown Barrie offers a unique selection of shops targeted at satisfying every need. Fabulous dining options, attractions and accommodations help to connect the different shopping districts.
As you travel on Bayfield Street you’ll find 2.5 km of shopping in plazas, stand-alone stores as well as the Bayfield Mall and RioCan Georgian Mall. Some of the larger and smaller chains are represented on this strip, as are many fast food chains and restaurants. You’ll also find several shops and restaurants that are uniquely Barrie.
Just off of Dunlop Street & Essa Road, you will find a wide selection of stores offering everything from home décor to fashion, sporting goods and antiques.
If you’re looking for atmosphere and a unique shopping experience, head Downtown where you’ll find independent shops and are likely to be served by the shop owner. You can find gear to “ride or board”, check out funky fashions and find that unique piece for your home or the perfect gift for that someone special. While peeking through shop windows, you’ll also be taking in some of the city’s history and heritage buildings. For an added treat while out shopping, you’ll find plenty of unique cafes and restaurants to have a bite to eat and rest up before hitting more stores!
Go big at the big box stores in Barrie’s south end. Just about all of your needs can be taken care of as you drive along Mapleview onto Bryne Drive, around Commerce Park Drive and across Highway 400 to Park Place. A wide selection of furniture, fashion, accessories, sporting goods and electronics are available. There are cafes, restaurants and plenty of entertainment. End your fun filled day by catching the latest film at Galaxy Cinema.
Just South of Barrie
Visit the 400 market, just off Innisfil Beach Road for a variety of items all under one roof. Head a little further south on Highway 400 (Exit Hwy 89), to shop at the Tanger Outlets Cookstown, then stop in at the Cookstown Antique Market on Hwy 27 to find a century old barn full of unique items.
The hundreds of restaurants in Barrie, Ontario offer a variety of dining atmospheres. The fine dining experience as well as the fun and friendly grill restaurants leave all taste buds begging for more. The eclectic dining establishments and ethnic restaurants featuring culinary creations from around the world will be sure to satisfy all cravings.
Downtown Barrie has over 30 unique and decadent restaurants. Their diverse selection offers fine cuisine, ethnic flavours, casual dining or a quiet café experience. Here, challenge yourself to Kenzington Burger Bar’s famous Kitchen Sink Burger, grab a frozen treat on a hot day at Swirleez, put your taste buds to the test at the Works Gourmet Burger Bistro or relax with a cup of tea at English & Miller. The Downtown Barrie restaurants and eateries are everything you can imagine and more.
Barrie’s North End, all restaurants surrounding Bayfield Street, entails an abundance of dining options from chains to individual. With stylish and new restaurants to family-friendly and reasonably priced, Barrie’s own Golden Mile is sure to satisfy your every craving.
In Barrie’s South End, enjoy a variety of casual, family friendly dining experiences. Your toughest decision here will be which restaurant you want to try out first! Just south of Essa Road, Barrie’s south end offers a variety of casual and fine dining experiences. Choose from a variety of eateries for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert all within a short distance.
Just Out of Town
Head a little ways out of the city to relax and ‘Getaway’! The OLG Slots Getaway Restaurant is located inside the Georgian Downs OLG Slots building just south of Barrie in Innisfil, Ontario, offering elegance and casual comfort. North of Barrie, you’ll find two amazing restaurants and more at Horseshoe Resort, a fun filled and friendly environment.
When the sun goes down in Barrie, things heat up downtown! Night clubs, bars, lounges and outdoor patios come alive with music and laughter. Cap off a fun-filled day with an unforgettable evening in Barrie's downtown nightlife scene!
Not sure where to start? Well, just grab a seat at one of the many patios and take in the action! Get right into the thick of things at a Dunlop Street establishment where live music fills the night air or watch the action from a rooftop patio where you can catch a nice summer breeze. If crowds aren't your thing, check out one of the patios that look out onto Kempenfelt Bay and catch some of the live acts - you'll find rock, jazz and blues as well as country playing in the bars and pubs in downtown Barrie.
For an unforgettable evening in Barrie's Downtown, go straight to the best patios and pubs in the region!
Small town hospitality and friendly service coupled with big-city sophistication is offered in Barrie, Ontario. Choose your preferences from an excellent variety of top notch accommodations to suit your style. Among many degrees in quality and comfort, choose from resorts, hotels, conference centres, executive suites, motels, bed and breakfasts, cottages and cabins and campgrounds.
Bed and Breakfast
Campgrounds and RV Parks
Cottages and Cabins
Extended and Executive
Emergency Services (Police/Fire Ambulance): 911
Police (Non-Emergency): +1 705 725-7025
Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre: +1 705 728-9802
Visitor Information: Tourism Barrie +1 800 668-9100, Ontario Travel Centre +1 800 567-1140
Information Barrie: +1 705 728-1010
Barrie Public Library: Downtown Branch (60 Worsley Street), Painswick Branch (48 Dean Avenue) +1 705 728-1010
When In Barrie Listen To:
B101: 101.1 FM
Kool FM: 107.5 FM
Chay: 93.1 FM
Rock 95: 95.7 FM
On the Southern shoreline of Georgian Bay, 50 km northwest of Barrie, you will find the vibrant and distinguished town of Collingwood. Collingwood is approximately 45 minutes away from Barrie. Known for its outdoor extreme sports adventures, Collingwood sits beneath the towering Blue Mountains, part of the Niagara Escarpment: an area recognized by UNESCO for its one of a kind beauty. Consider packing a picnic and hiking or cycling along some of the best nature trails Collingwood has to offer and visit Scenic Caves Nature Adventures & Eco Adventure Tour. After an exciting day of exploring the outdoors, couples can enjoy a romantic getaway to Scandinave Spa and melt into a heavenly state of relaxation. Stop off at the world renowned Blue Mountain Resort, which is just up the hill from Collingwood, and enjoy a bite to eat at one of many mouth-watering restaurants at the Village of Blue Mountain. Trail maps are available at the Georgian Triangle Tourist Association, 45 St. Paul St., Collingwood in the Station (Collingwood Museum). Phone – +1 888 227-8667
The world’s longest freshwater beach has been attracting visitors for a century. Wasaga Beach features a series of white sand beaches, all with different amenities, stretching along 14 km of the Georgian Bay shoreline. Just 35 km and ~35 minutes away from Barrie, its clean, warm waters make it a wonderful place to spend the day with family and friends. Families with children might want to zero in on Beaches 3 to 6, which are equipped with playgrounds and recreational facilities. Beach 1 is attractive to those who want ready access to the beach-oriented plaza, with its swimsuit and beach gear stores, bars and restaurants. Wasaga Beach is more than just sand and water. There’s plenty of shopping to be had and there’s history, too. As you drive to the beach, you can see the remains of the hull of the HMS Nancy protruding from the water where it sunk, forming an island. Consider visiting Nancy Island to discover the role this schooner played in the War of 1812. Be sure to stop in at the Wasaga Beach Visitor Centre, located at 550 River Road West for more information and upcoming local events.
The picturesque town of Midland ranks as one of Georgian Bay’s top tourist destinations and is located 40 km and 40 minutes north of Barrie via Highway 400 & 93. Midland and Penetanguishene are known as the gateway communities to Georgian Bay’s picturesque 30,000 islands. The towns are rich in culture and heritage, boasting an abundance of recreational pursuits, and are home to a National and Provincial Park. Midland & Penetanguishene’s feature attractions include the Martyrs’ Shrine, the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre and the nationally significant historic sites of Sainte Marie among the Hurons and Discovery Harbour. Step into the world of the Jesuits and the Huron Wendat people, the area’s first European settlers dating back 400 years ago. Discover the story of the Original 19th Century naval and military outpost built to safeguard Upper Canada after the War of the 1812 at Discovery Harbour in Penetanguishene.
Just south of Barrie is Innisfil, located on the beautiful shoreline of Lake Simcoe. Innisfil is a fisherman’s dream because Lake Simcoe is home to more fresh water fish species than any other lake in Ontario. You’re sure to find your next big catch here! Anglers on Lake Simcoe can find Walleye, Northern Pike, Yellow Perch, Whitefish, Lake Trout and Large and Small Mouth Bass. Year round fishing adventures await you here! Not a fisherman? There is plenty of shopping just south of Barrie! Tanger Outlets, the Cookstown Antique Market and the 400 Market are a shopping paradise. Innisfil’s star attraction is the Sunset Speedway, which hosts over 100 of Ontario’s best Stock Car Drivers every weekend. The South Simcoe locations offer many perfect ways to spend a family night out.