Yearly Archives: 2017

/2017

Members of the BHA celebrate their group award from Heritage Barrie. All the Barrie Historical Archive wants for Christmas is...you! Cliche? Maybe. But in earnest, we want you in 2018! We would be amazed if you shared your historical photos/documents with us. Elated if you offered us your time as a volunteer, or as a member of our board of directors. Honoured if you supported our cause with a monetary gift or recurring donation. [...]

It's just a tiny, clapboard building in Oro-Medonte, just a few kilometres from Barrie's city limits. But it's left a HUGE impression on our community. Now, learn about the HUGE undertaking required to restore the church, first constructed more than 170 years ago, at the Barrie Historical Archive's monthly meeting. Join us on Wednesday, November 1 at 7 p.m. at The Creative Space to listen to a presentation from Mike Rekker, a consultant on this extensive engineering project. "Some [...]

"If you build it, they will come." - Field of Dreams, 1989 In 1989, Ed Membery purchased 215 acres of property from the Ross family of Cookstown.  The year before, the Membery family had sold the Harbour View Country Club and now they looking for a suitable site to build another one.  Ed's dream was to create a quality golf course that would meet the growing demand for a high-end facility in the area. The [...]

It would seem fitting that on Canada's 150th Birthday I finally let out a secret I've been keeping for 150 days: I'm moving to Florida in August! Many of you know my educational background and calling is in music ministry. I am elated to announce that I have accepted a full time position as Associate Pastor of Music and Leadership Development at Harvest Bible Chapel in Naples, Florida to work alongside Senior Pastor, John Secrest. Leaving [...]

A recent site visit provides glimpses into theatre's many glory days. Test, test and test again is how you de-risk an event so everything will run smoothly ... and that's just what we were doing in preparation for our Barrie on the Big Screen night when we were treated to some nostalgic moments at the Uptown Theatre. Since the doors first opened in 1937, this now trendy indie theatre has had a long history and [...]

“Hey Lang, you should go out of business more often!” shouted one jokester, but I doubt that that Lang even heard him over the drone of the kitchen exhaust fan, that was running full tilt, accompanied by the laughter and conversation in the packed small diner. Yes, they were here to patronize Lang’s business, but the real draw was long-time cook/server and familiar face, Anna, who was serving her last customers that Saturday, after an [...]

And then I remembered these very days, only they occurred over a weekend in 1975. Barrie's population was 31,399.  Eastview Arena was a new building on Grove St, surrounded by farmland. The south end ended at the top of Essa Rd, near what was CKVR Television. Ponderosa Steakhouse was a mainstay eatery on the growing Bayfield St strip of businesses. The drive in theatre was at the corner of Bayview and Little avenues. Barrie boasted [...]

The ladies of early Barrie, along with all of their Canadian sisters, laboured under the most extreme circumstances each and every day. Corseted and coiffed in the restrictive fashions of the day, their clothing was equally unsuitable for the deep Barrie snow, the winds off the bay and the oppressive heat and humidity of summer. Yet they were expected to scrub clean and iron clothes for perhaps a dozen family members, keep a wood stove [...]

I wrote this review just a few months ago, as a salute to one of the time-tested eateries of Barrie that were still soldiering on. Sadly, for fans of the Crock & Block, this piece now seems like more of eulogy.  The Crock closed their doors this week for the last time. ****** "They're lined up out the door. Move faster!" These are words that no line cook wants to hear, not me anyway, on [...]

Steadily, Rayner McCullough walks me along Elizabeth Street. Hines grocery, then next to the that, a meat market. Next, an empty lot next to Central United Church on the east side of Toronto Street, where he played in the mission band. Just seconds later, we make our way to old Allandale, en route to a hardball game at Shear Park on Holgate and William Streets. There, his eyes light up as he sees Webb’s menswear [...]

Prior to his passing in April 2016, Brian Baker was a well-known personality within the historical community of Barrie.  With multiple cameras around his neck at any given moment, he was Simcoe County’s unofficial photographer and a regular historical columnist for the Barrie Examiner for decades. Brian’s late wife, Margaret (Goodfellow) was a well-liked school teacher who begun her carrier at 13A Innisfil aka Huronia Public School before moving to Warnica Public School when [...]

Local graphic artist and entrepreneur, Tyler Gooding is making history – quite literally – with typographic Barrie-centric art. Having long appreciated the graphic art depicting the names of streets and locations in other famous towns, Gooding asked: “Why not Barrie?” The result: Stunning typographic art posters paying homage to some of Barrie’s most historic streets. Gooding’s new business, 67 & North – with a name inspired by Canada’s year of Confederation – launched a month ago with a [...]

When Mother Nature builds you your very own arena, complete with ice, lots of good lighting, enough space for a limitless audience and a surface twenty-six hockey rinks long, you make the best use of it that you can! Every winter, the cold northerly winds blew and the mercury plummeted and soon after, the waters of Kempenfelt Bay turned rock solid and remained that way for several months. The ice fishermen, skaters and those [...]

"If you are yearning for the good old days, just turn off the air conditioning." - Griff Niblack Janet and I arrived in Barrie on Sunday, September 1, 1963. We had been married the day before. It was a short honeymoon. I would start my new job on Tuesday. Our new home was on the third floor of an apartment building on Kempenfelt Drive. The apartment was now furnished with a card table, four chairs [...]

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