Past Forward: The Robert Simpson House

The name should be recognizable to students of local history and beer drinkers alike. This home at 30 Mary Street was built about 1874 for Robert Simpson, the first Mayor of Barrie... and a brewer. Simpson appears to have had a long relationship with the brewing business. In 1836, he bought a store, tavern and brewery located in the village of Kempenfeldt (sometimes referred to as Mann's Point) from William Mann, who went on to open a book store in [...]

President’s report: Year in review

By |August 26th, 2020|Categories: Barrie Historical Archive|Tags: , , , , |

Due to the complications of hosting an effective annual general meeting in light of COVID-19, this year, the Barrie Historical Archive opted for a resolution instead of extending an invitation to join us at an [...]

The Mechanics Institute was Barrie’s first library system

By |June 12th, 2020|Categories: Unknown|

A nomadic beginning eventually led to a majestic building. Barrie’s first library began as a group. It started out in 1844 as a Mechanics’ Institute, a subscription and fee-based organization created for workingmen and mechanics [...]

Barrie tornado: Thirty-five years later, residents remember

By |May 31st, 2020|Categories: Unknown|Tags: , , , |

On May 31, 1985, a devastating tornado touched down in Barrie and left eight dead, hundreds injured and countless homes and businesses in ruins. Despite the passage of time, for survivors, there are some scars [...]

Barrie’s changing skyline

By |July 1st, 2019|Categories: Barrie Historical Archive, Churches, Downtown, Historical Events, Historical Locations, Royal Victoria Hospital|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Iconic bell tower slowly disappearing from the downtown landscape. The Toronto Street address wasn't the first location of the former Central United Church building, but it was its last. Just over 2 years ago, the [...]

Ted the Wonder Dog

By |June 13th, 2019|Categories: Barrie Historical Archive|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

One of the original 'dogs with jobs'! You may recall from previous blogs, mention of the Tordiff family - long time contributors to the Barrie Archive, since before it even launched. Whenever the Tordiffs drop [...]

Barrie says goodbye to two role models

By |November 26th, 2018|Categories: Barrie Historical Archive|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

They were just two. But to all, they were many. Willard Kinzie, to some, was the "Milk Man". To hiking partners, he was "Titanium Man". Officially, a mayor, a businessman. But also a husband, father, [...]

Our military neighbour: Camp Borden

By |November 15th, 2018|Categories: Barrie Historical Archive, Historical Events, Historical Locations|Tags: , , , , |

Canadian Forces base west of Barrie has been a long-standing part of the community. This past weekend there have been numerous local events to commemorate Remembrance Day. We join with others around the world who [...]

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