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Innisfil’s Electric Railway

In the early 1900s much of Innisfil's waterfront was under development creating many new cottages and homes for the Toronto and Barrie purchasers. A movement was afoot to build a railway to service the needs of these new properties along the shoreline. In 1910 a group of Toronto lawyers, accountants and capitalist applied for incorporation under the name "The Monarch Railway" to run a line from Toronto north through York, Vaughan, King, West Gwillimbury and Innisfil Townships to Barrie and [...]

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 [...]

A soldier’s sacrifice tells us all we need to know

By |November 11th, 2018|Categories: Barrie Historical Archive|Tags: , , , , , , |

"Here's another one of Borden. Some more on Borden here." And so on, and so on it goes. Sitting with Ann Campbell, she lifts one voluminous book after another onto the dining table before us. [...]

Walking Tour Reveals Places in Time

By |October 9th, 2018|Categories: Barrie Historical Archive, Downtown, Historical Locations|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Mary Harris tells the history of buildings in Barrie's downtown core. Exposed to the stiff fall breeze, a large group of warmly dressed people looked south from Homestead Bakery and Artisan Cafe and [...]

From Barrie with Love Part III: Wartime Letters from a Briton in Barrie

By |August 20th, 2018|Categories: Barrie Historical Archive|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

This marks the third installment in an exciting blog series for the Barrie Historical Archive, made possible by archive supporter Diana Strachan. Check out the preceding blogs here. Last time, we felt Peggy Newman’s anticipation [...]

From Barrie with Love Part II: Wartime Letters from a Briton in Barrie

By |July 31st, 2018|Categories: Barrie Historical Archive, Downtown, Unknown|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

This is the second instalment in a new blog series for the Barrie Historical Archive, courtesy of archive supporter Diana Strachan. Catch the first instalment here. After settling in Barrie with her sister, auntie and [...]