SPIRIT CATCHER OF BARRIE
Located on Lake Simcoe’s western shore, Barrie is a city in the central part of Southern Ontario, Canada. The city remains politically independent though it is located in Simcoe County. With 135,711 residents last 2011, Barrie became the 34th city with the largest municipality, next to Lévis. It is also one of Canada’s fastest growing census metropolitan areas. Belonging to Koppen climate classification, Barrie experiences hot summers and very cold winters just like the rest of Ontario’s southern part.
There are lots of fun things to do, attractions to visit, scenery to view, events to witness, and historical sites to explore in Barrie. Perfect for different winter activities, this city offers good slopes for skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. Its beaches are great to have a good time during the summer months. It’s also home to numerous yearly festivals as well as events. Art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, specialty shops, theaters and fun activities are waiting for you in Barrie.
HOW IT BEGAN
The city was founded in the 1800s and became an important part of the supply line for British soldiers fighting the War of 1812. The city name was derived from Sir Robert Barrie, who commanded the naval regiment in Canada and often had operations involving the city and the nearby Nine Mile Portage. In the mid-1900s, Barrie also became the home of many American slaves who fled the US through the Underground Railroad, a system of secret routes used during that time.
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╣Minet’s Point Beach. It is one of the best-known windsurfing hotspots. This sandy beach has washrooms, parking lot, and boat launch open for visitors. Aside from building sand castles, kids will also enjoy its playground. They do not allow pet dogs around. June, July, and August are the hottest months in Barrie. Its waterfront beaches are probably one of the best places to spend the day during summer.
╣Johnson’s Beach. Unlike with Minet’s Point Beach, this place has lifeguards to attend on emergency situations. Washrooms and parking lot are available.
╣Tyndale Beach. It has a sandy/stony shore but offers not only a perfect spot to swim, snorkel, and sunbathe – but also a nice, inviting place for a picnic. Aside from washrooms and parking lot, this beach has cottages, huts, playground, beach volleyball court, and trails for those who want to do other activities like cycling and running.
╣other places in the Barrie where you can enjoy summer. You can also go to Wilkins Beach, Centennial Beach, or go fishing at Kempenfelt Bay. It’s a 14.5 km bay which is 30 m deep.
╣Horseshoe Resort. Formerly named the Horseshoe Valley Ski Club, the resort has snow making abilities which make its ski season longer than other spots. This place is perhaps the perfect and complete place for all ages. It has two golf courses, restaurants, hot tubs, spa, salon, sauna, biking trails and more.
╣Mount St. Louis Moonstone. It is a small but well developed hill. It is actually the primary destination of skiers in Toronto. The hill contains three carpets, nine chairlifts, and 36 slopes. They have guides and certified professionals to help and assist kids and beginners to the recreation.
╣Snow Valley. Ski Canada Magazine named it “Best Ontario Hill for Kids” in 2011. Snowboarding and snow shoeing are best done in this place. During summer days, the resort becomes a nice campsite.
╣Blue Mountain. For those who like alpine skiing, this is the place to go to. It is the primary destination of skiers in southern Ontario. One of the largest ski areas, Blue Mountain has a 720 ft vertical drop. It has 36 runs and 15 chairlifts.
╣Jazz & Blues Festival. If you like listening to jazz and blues, then you shouldn’t miss this event. Live outdoor music played by great artists, solo performers, and bands are scheduled in different areas of Barrie. One of the city’s signature events, this concert is free and open to all ages.
╣Ecofest. It is an event celebrated by everyone in Barrie. The event aims to keep the city clean and a healthy place for all. During this event, there are different activities like recycling, fun games, seminars, workshops, and live bands for everyone.
╣Winterfest and Festival of Ice. The whole family will surely enjoy the city's great way of celebrating winter season adventures. There are many outdoor activities during this celebration. Everyone can participate to activities like the mini-tube run, dogsled rides, and ice maze. Using 300 pounds of ice blocks, the Festival of Ice is the time for local artists to carve fascinating, themed sculptures. This festival is all about fun!
╣Barrielicious. This event is definitely a delicious way to show importance to the city’s native dishes, flavors, and cuisine. Participants to the event are given tasks and the one who could come up with the best dish is declared the winner. Around 50 restaurants participate in this mouthwatering celebration.
╣Georgian Mall. It is the largest mall in the city so if you want to complete your shopping list, must visit this place. It is located near Bayfield Street. It first opened with Sears, which used to be its only department store. Some of its major anchor stores are The Bay, American Eagle Outfitters, Guess, H&M, and Gap. Recently, this shopping center has completed an expansion and renovation.
╣Kozlov Center. This is another of the city's numerous large mall for you to look for souvenirs, gifts, bags, or anything you want to bring home. The place is designed with both beauty and convenience in mind. The shopping center has six entrances, a reflective pool, and extensive landscaping features, which will surely turn spare time into a wonderful experience.
╣Bayfield Mall. This is the first community mall built in this city. The mall has more than 70 stores. Some of their stores are Price Chopper, Canadian Tire, and Winners. You can find this mall near Bayfield and Coulter Streets.
TOURISTS SHOULD KNOW
The most popular luxury hotel in Barry is Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference. It is a 4star hotel that offers many facilities for its visitors. The hotel has swimming pool, parking lot, sauna, fitness center and more. It is also a few-minute drive to the city’s wonderful attractions.
The entire family or group can also stay in Day Inn, Best Western Royale Oak Inn, Comfort Inn & Suites, or Carriage Ridge Resort at Horseshoe Valley. Their rooms are clean, well-maintained, and quiet so spending the night will really make you comfortable and relaxed.