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1o Best Things to Do in Barrie (Ontario, Canada)

Barrie is one of Canada’s cities that is growing the fastest. It is on Kempenfelt Bay on the western side of Lake Simcoe. About 90 kilometers north of Toronto, the city is easy to get to from the bigger city.

Barrie is a busy, charming city with a lot going on. This is partly because of its beach-lined waterfront and partly because of its history. Barrie has always depended on tourism, which means there are a lot of things to see and do.

Barrie, Ontario Canada
Barrie, Ontario Canada

Let’s look at Barrie’s best things to do:

1. Have a good time at the beach

One of the most popular parts of Barrie is its waterfront, which has three beaches, many parks, and beautiful waterfront trails. It is one of the most popular things to do in the city.

You can chill out on a beach, play volleyball, have a picnic in a park, or go swimming. There is also a big playground for kids, a splash pad, and some great restaurants and coffee shops.

Enjoy a walk along Kempenfelt Bay’s paved, mostly flat, 6.7-kilometer trail. Find a bench and let the summer breeze blow over you.

2. Enjoy a festival

This is something that Barrie is known for, especially in the summer, but there are also a few festivals at other times of the year. Most are held in well-known places in downtown Barrie.

One of the most popular events that happens every year is Kempenfest, which takes place the first weekend in August. At the arts and crafts festival, there is live music, activities for kids, food demonstrations, and over 300 artists selling their work.

Other festivals you shouldn’t miss are the Barrie Waterfront Festival, Winterfest, Celebrate Barrie, Ecofest, Jazz & Blues Festival, and Promenade Days. Barrielicious or the Ribfest and Craft Beer Show are good events for people who like to eat.

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3. Go skiing

Or snowboarding, snowmobiling or tubing. Barrie is a winter wonderland for people who need a rush of adrenaline.

Horseshoe Resort, Mount St. Louis Moonstone, Snow Valley, and Blue Mountain are all well-known ski resorts in the city. At all of these places, you can also go snowshoeing.

Horseshoe Resort is probably the best of the bunch, and it also has two golf courses that have won awards. The biggest is Blue Mountain, which has 42 runs and 13 lifts.

4. Go to an art gallery

In downtown Barrie, the MacLaren Art Centre is a well-known art gallery. The bronze copy of Auguste Rodin’s sculpture “The Thinker” that sits in the front garden is the most famous thing about the gallery.

There are three galleries that show work by both Canadian and international artists. In fact, the gallery has more than 27,000 pieces of art that will always be there.

There are also special shows and exhibitions at the MacLaren Art Centre all through the year. On-site, there is also a shop and a café.

5. Look at a very big spirit catcher

A 21-meter-tall, 25-meter-wide spirit catcher stands right on the shore of Kempenfelt Bay. Ron Baird, a sculptor, made the piece for Expo 86 in Vancouver.

The 20-ton sculpture was bought and given to the “Barrie Gallery Project” as a way to inspire artists and make an art gallery. The MacLaren Art Centre is right next to it.

The sculpture is an important part of the Barrie waterfront and a symbol of the city. You can’t go to the city without seeing the huge “Sprit Catcher.”

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6. Go see a game

The Barrie Molson Centre is where ice hockey games are held, which is the city’s most popular sport. The Barrie Colts hockey team plays at the 4,195-seat arena that can be used for different things.

There are also wrestling matches, the Ontario Hockey League Championship Series, and lacrosse games at the arena. It was also the place where the Toronto Raptors used to train.

Fans of hockey should try hard to get tickets to a Barrie Colts game. Or, at the very least, go to the hotel’s restaurant and bar to watch a game.

7. Shop until you drop

There are many places to shop in Barrie, from small local shops to big international stores. There are malls, flea markets, and shops that stand on their own, so you can shop until you drop.

Downtown Barrie is the best place to go if you want to find cool clothing stores and one-of-a-kind gift shops. If you want to find unique things all in one place, the 400 Market is a great place to go.

If you want to shop for name brands, you should go to Georgian Mall, which is the biggest mall in the city. Here, you can find, among other things, Guess, The Gap, H&M, Michael Hill, The Body Shop, and Pandora.

8. Go inside a brewery

Visit a brewery in the area to see how craft beer is made. There are three of them in Barrie, and all of them give tours.

All brewery tours include a tasting, so you not only learn how the beer is made, but you also get to try a variety of beers that are all on tap.

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All three breweries have restaurants on site as well as craft beer. This means that you can have a pint of your favorite beer with a delicious meal after the tour.

9. Get grounded

By taking a yoga class, you can find your center and calm yourself down. Yoga is a great way to relax and unwind while on vacation.

Whether you do yoga often or have never done it before, there is a class for you. Join a drop-in class that works for you, like Hatha, Vinyasa, Aerial, Yin, or Ashtanga.

Also offered is meditation, which is a great way to find your zen. Try TRX, Barre, or spinning if you want to do something a little more active.

10. Find out about Barrie’s past

A walking tour is a great way to learn about a city’s history. These self-guided tours will take you to different areas of the city so you can see what’s special about each one.

All over the city, there are beautiful homes, famous buildings, and landmarks that are just waiting to be seen. Walk around downtown Barrie to see the Wellington Hotel, Trinity Church, the Beaux Arts Classicist house at 37 Mulcaster Street, and the Classic Revival house at 124 Dunlop Street West.

Go on a tour of big houses like 23, 17, 17, 101, and 96 Sunnidale Road. Or, you can walk along Rodney and Blake Street to see beautiful buildings made in many different styles.

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