Yearly Archives: 2016

/2016

Happy new year! 2016 was an incredible year for the City of Barrie. Never before has Barrie been able to boast of a state of the art digital, free online museum until now. The Barrie Historical Archive (BHA) launched on September 21st with a one night only spectacular night called Mayors’ Seat. This evening, which united nearly every former City Mayor, was an unprecedented historical event that was used as the catalyst to open the virtual [...]

Every day can be historic with the City of Barrie's 2017 Waste Reduction Calendar, featuring images from the Barrie Historical Archive. The calendar provides important community information AND some incredible vintage photo's from Barrie's new online museum, the Barrie Historical Archive. "We were thrilled to partner with the City of Barrie on the calendar - it was a great opportunity to showcase just a few of our incredible photos of the community."  Calendars are not [...]

Archival Investigations features works by third-year students in Georgian College’s School of Design and Visual Arts using images from the Barrie Historical Archive in a fresh, new light. Students reconstructed scenes from the past to create transformative new artworks from a variety of perspectives: memories, nostalgia, civic planning, suburban sprawl, humour and wonder. Whether posing a political critique or portraying a moment in Barrie’s fascinating past, each student interpreted a scene as it appeared to [...]

A small group had gathered at the end of the Waterfront Heritage Trail. It crossed my mind that I might be late. It was early afternoon and the sun was warm. The brightness reflected on the snow to create beautiful light, perfect for the photos I was about to take. Today was the opening of the Waterfront Heritage Trail plaque, and naturally the Barrie Historical Archive was present for the dedication. As I stood in [...]

Looking for the perfect gift for the history buff in your life, but dreading the holiday rush at the shopping malls? Make lineups a thing of the past. Purchase a piece of history from the Barrie Historical Archive Shop. The BHA Shop is the place to go if you are looking for the perfect archival print for the history buff in your life. With a variety of print sizes and images to choose from, the [...]

A little park with a big history Over the course of Barrie's history, what is currently known as Memorial Square appears to have had an identity crisis. Originally Memorial Square was the terminus of the nine-mile portage between Kempenfelt Bay and Willow Creek which flowed into the Nottawasaga River.  This ancient trail was first used by the Wendat, whom the French then called Huron.  In map from 1688, it was labelled as "Portage de dix [...]

Danny Stephens walked 47 miles of barbed wire. He used a cobra snake for a necktie. And finally, in his rendition of the Bo Diddley/Ronnie Hawkins/George Thorogood classic, he asked the 70 patrons at our Help Pay the Rent Event: Who do you love? At the end of the night, with more than $1,000 donated, the response from the audience became clear. They love the Barrie Historical Archive. At the November 16 event, members of [...]

I parked several blocks away, in the lot beside the Barrie Public Library, where one of the H-Block houses likely stood, and pulled my coat tightly around me as I walked eastward in the direction of Collier Street United Church.  Sure, I could have parked closer, but on this blustery November day, I wanted to walk to church as the Barrie residents of yesterday must have done. I could imagine the fine ladies in their [...]

September 21, 2016 will go down in Barrie’s history as an unprecedented evening that will not soon be forgotten.  The launch of the Barrie Historical Archive at the “Mayors’ Seat” event during Barrie Historical Week was a watershed moment for the City of Barrie, which up until this point has not had a dedicated, online municipal museum.  The uniqueness of the BHA is that it is online, free, accessible to all 24/7 from anywhere in [...]

By Woody Woodland The pilgrimage that brought me to the grave site of my great uncle, Private AJ Blake, began long before I found myself at a Commonwealth Cemetery on the Somme, just outside Courcelette, France this past September with my 16-year-old son, Zachary. It began many years ago when I inherited his medals from my mother’s side of the family, obtaining them in the same broken-down box that my great grandmother would have received them [...]

A bird's eye view of Barrie over the past 70 years He may not be able to "read your mind" as the old Alan Parsons Project hit suggests, but Herman Koeslag, owner of Eye in the Sky Photography is still the leader of aerial photography in Southern Ontario and arguably, much of Canada. That's why we have been so thrilled to partner with him and his talents to build and enrich the contemporary photography represented in the Barrie Historical Archive. A born [...]

A Walk Through Barrie Union Cemetery The Sun did not shine, it was too wet to play, so we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day. Sorry, Dr. Seuss, I was not about to let some dreary fall weather stop me from going outside to join in on a historical walk through Barrie Union Cemetery.  As my Scottish cousins once pointed out, if they stayed in whenever it rained, they would never [...]

You remember the ‘Don’t Pay A Cent Event’, don’t you? Perhaps you piled the kids into the back of your sedan to drive them down to the cavernous Leon’s showroom to pick out a new bedroom set. Or maybe you were one of the kids, chasing your siblings around seven-seater sofas or testing coil-spring mattresses for the sake of quality assurance. Whatever your reality, one thing was undoubtedly true about the grand furniture sale at [...]

Local realtor and music collector, Mike Montague, bought his first album sometime in the late seventies. As his passion for all things rock, jazz and blues grew, the record collection kept pace - expanding to over 1,700 vinyl treasures stored in 18 plastic milk cartons. Now that collection, which Montague says sat untouched in his garage for about 16 years, will bring joy to a whole new generation of music lovers and history lovers in Barrie. [...]

The recipients of the inaugural 2016 BHA award are: Mr. Jack Garner – Jack's impressive community resume includes holding positions as School Board Trustee, City Councillor, Centennial Park Chairman, and owner of Garner Sports. A mainstay in our community, we are particularly appreciative of Jack's support of the BHA from day one. Principal Greg Brucker – A former student of Barrie Central Collegiate, Greg had the unfortunate task of closing the oldest institution in Simcoe [...]

I believe in miracles.  I have to. Have you ever run a marathon?  Don't despair.  Less than 0.5% of Canadians have completed this challenge.  Finishing a marathon would mean covering a distance of 26 miles, 385 yards (42.195 km).  That would be like running from downtown Barrie to the otherside of Alliston. Now imagine doing that EVERY day. True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.  It is not the urge to surpass all others at [...]

Barrie is more than 170 years old and has been without a museum – until now.  On September 21st the Barrie Historical Archive (BHA) will launch an online museum with the “Mayors’ Seat” event at City Hall.  But why should Barrie have a museum?  After all, we have a county museum up the road in Midhurst.  Aren’t museums antiquated depositories for things that are already collecting dust in our homes?  Perhaps – but their value [...]

Allandale's Ward 4 Bulldog By Terry Paddison Back in 1968 and now with two children in tow, we bought our first home in Allandale Heights.  The problem was we needed a second mortgage to finance it.  A bigger problem was that we didn't have any money to pay it off.  I needed a summer job! That  summer was the first time that we met our Ward 4 Alderman, Dorian Parker.   No, Dorian didn't lend us [...]

101 Clapperton Street By John Trott Photos provided by the Barrie Historical Archive With apologies to Gordon Lightfoot and Cotton Ginny, there is still a house on the hill. The classic Gothic revival mansion at 101 Clapperton was built between 1874-1875 by a Barrie merchant and politician and commanded a spectacular view of Barrie. Today the house is painted a creamy beige but the steep sloping roof, the multiple cross gables, high windows and asymmetrical [...]

By Donna Douglas Original publication date April 2003. Photos provided by the Barrie Historical Archive Forty years ago when the Barrie Country Club abandoned its location on Sunnidale Rd to move out to the wilds of Oro Township at the end of St Vincent Street, their property was going to be put up for sale. Eighty acres. On the edge of town in those days. Kitty corner to the cemetery. A core of visionaries fought [...]

If These Walls Could Talk … by Mary Harris When this farm girl arrived in the big city to attend college, the population of Barrie was around 45,000 people. I was excited to be living in an urban area for the first time in my life, eager to spread my wings, make new friends and have a bit of fun. I was given bits of advice from those who had lived in Barrie longer than [...]

Midwayby Dr. Travis Doucette Long before Bayfield Street was developed, Bradford Street was Barrie’s original Golden Mile and served as a busy commercial throughway that connected old Allandale with Downtown Barrie.  Today, little remains of this once business-laden street. Some may contend that the area has changed do to business relocation as the city expanded.  Bradford Street was once home to nearly every car dealer in town.  Many dealers dispersed to Bayfield Street and the [...]

It's an ill wind that blows nobody any good. by Terry Paddison It is said that as time passes, one’s memory of events as they actually happened becomes less clear. We become selective in what we remember. I don’t believe it! We can all recall at least one day or an event from our past that remains as vivid in our minds as if it had happened yesterday. This is my “yesterday” story. It was [...]

Allandale meets the Group of Seven by John Trott   Anyone rambling through Allandale should stroll up Bayview Avenue and take a right at the first turning.  Mature trees shade sturdy two storey brick houses of another era. The avenue ends at Innisfil Street with Shear Park on the left.  The street is called Holgate and the name may remind art lovers of Edwin Holgate. Holgate – draftsman, portraitist, landscape and figure painter, word engraver, [...]

(a bite out of a blog by Mary Harris)                                                                                        What do you say that hasn't already been said about a restaurant that’s been talked or written about, and who's walls are peppered [...]

A CBC Radio Ontario Morning interview with Travis Doucette, brought content donors from London, Ontario with loads of rare images of the Roxy and Capitol theaters, old Barrie and much more. A listener in London was encouraged to reach out to the Barrie Historical Archive after hearing this recent interview on CBC's Ontario Morning. The gentleman's father had been a projectionist at the Roxy theater and had preserved many never-seen-before images and some wonderful artifacts [...]

In 1984, my childhood home had prime viewing of the Allandale rail yard. Nestled on the crest of a hill at 91 Cumberland Street, the backdoor view had not yet become obstructed by the apartment that would later be built on the corner of Bayview and Gowan. The maple trees, still in their youth, framed the majestic station that was the pride of the CNR. Although by now the heyday of the Allandale station and [...]

Barrie does not have a museum.  This is the need the Barrie Historical Archive is responding to.  With a city full of rich history and a community of people whose stories are worth telling, Barrie is ready for a free museum, accessible to all people at all times through the power of the Internet.  Up until now there has not been anywhere online where Barrie’s history has been centralized and celebrated.  All of this will [...]

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