Want to learn more about Barrie’s neighbourhoods?
Here are the features, highlights, and stories of downtown Barrie.
Location: Barrie’s most central neighbourhood bordering along the north and western shores of Kempenfelt Bay, encompasses five distinct communities.
Highlights & History: This urban community is the true downtown business district of the city wrapping around a large portion of Kempenfelt Bay parkland. During the war of 1812, the downtown corridor was a detour route for British travellers and supplies to the Upper Canada military posts. At the turn of the century when the development of the area commenced, many streets were named after officers, such as Bayfield, Collier, Owen and Poyntz. After a fire destroyed numerous buildings on Dunlop St. in the late 1800s, new brick structures were built in the 19th century and offer multi-use commercial and apartment living to this day.
This diverse community is home to the renowned Five Points (where Bayfield, Dunlop, and Clapperton intersect), Heritage Park, the marina with many boat slips, and is the ever-popular location for many tourist festivals.
This area has a rich culture of the arts, providing a home to the current MacLaren Arts Centre as well as small, unique specialty shops and services. Residents can enjoy the Kempenfelt Park and St. Vincent Park Square right in the heart of the city.
Dunlop Street – Then and Now
This community is commonly known as the Bradford St. businesses district and provides a direct connection adjacent to Centennial Park and beach. It is within walking distance to the downtown core as well as the lakeside trails through the Allandale and Tollendale neighbourhoods. Brock Park was once a heavy industrial district from the early 1900s to the late 1970s, encompassing the Barrie Tannery Co., the Barrie Carriage Company, and the General Electric plant.
Jennett Funeral Home in 1958 – One of the longest running businesses on Bradford St.
It is now a densely-populated residential area of both old century and modern homes as well as apartment complexes around the Brock Park greenspace.
This neighbourhood sits in close proximity to the downtown core and is a mature neighbourhood of mixed ages and families. The cityscape is defined by numerous 19th-century homes and was once a primarily residential district for industrial workers. Residents can enjoy nature in the heart of the city at Audrey Milligan Pond and Donald Street Park.
Although this area is primarily a business district, residents of this neighbourhood enjoy an authentic arts culture of electric studios. This district was once known as Victoria Village, created in the 1800s and distinguished by gorgeous heritage homes. Through the 19th century, this neighbourhood was Barrie’s true central hub, being home to the original Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) and MacLaren Art Centre. In 1997, RVH was moved to Barrie’s north-east end with the original RVH building now providing housing and assisted living for seniors. The Barrie Armoury is still in use for military personnel. Queen’s Park is home to Hillcrest Public School and Maple Hill Montessori School.
Truly a diverse and mature neighbourhood, one of the oldest in Barrie, this community exudes the warmth and history of the city through its spectacular heritage homes. The Grove is a highly coveted area for business professionals and artists and sits immediately adjacent to City Hall and the Barrie Public Library. Residents enjoy walking distance to the downtown core, Saturday Farmer’s Markets at City Hall, Berczy and Lion’s Parks and maintained trails at the Barrie North Shore Trail. The Grove is home to Oakley Park Public School and Barrie North Collegiate.
Barrie Public Library
Barrie City Hall
Berczy Park Bridge
Other Barrie neighbourhood blogs include Painswick, Allandale & Mapleview, Holly & Ardagh, and Letitia Heights.
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