Downtown

/Downtown

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 took in a view of Kempenfelt Bay that didn’t exist 60 years earlier.  The group huddled around our own Mary Harris, ready to embark on the organization’s second annual Places in Time walking tour on Saturday.  Harris directed everyone’s attention [...]

Ready for another read? This blog series, made possible by the Diana Strachan, daughter of our author Peggy Newman, offers us a look through the lens of a 16-year-old Briton in Barrie during the Second World War. With Christmas time fast approaching, our author is enthralled in her social circles at Canadian Forces Base Borden and Barrie Central Collegiate Institute. She enjoys a gender-bending Sadie Hawkins dance and participates in a moving Remembrance Day ceremony [...]

Read the fifth instalment in this exciting new blog series, made possible by Barrie Historical Archive supporter Diana Strachan. Diana's mother, Peggy Newman, writes her parents after returning from a two-week camp excursion in Honey Harbour with her sister Joan. Read about her 1940s camp experience and relish the layers of nostalgia Peggy peels back! See past blogs to read Peggy's letters since arriving in Barrie after leaving her parents back in Basingstoke, England, to [...]

Read the fourth instalment of this exciting new blog series for the Barrie Historical Archive, made possible by archive supporter Diana Strachan. If you need to catch up, check out the preceding blogs here. Diana’s mother, Peggy Newman, is now fully engrossed in our humble Canadian town. Here, she documents her 17th birthday celebration and some exam results as she completes her courses at Barrie Central Collegiate, though she does gloss over the grades rather [...]

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 uncle, we see a snapshot of 16-year-old Peggy Newman finding her way in a new town. In these letters, Peggy details friendships she’s made since enrolling at Barrie Central Collegiate, many of which, according to her daughter Diana, would last [...]

This piece marks the first in a new series for the Barrie Historical Archive, courtesy of archive supporter Diana Strachan. Strachan’s mother, Peggy Newman, was just 16 years old in July 1940 when she, along with her younger sister Joan, set sail from the United Kingdom to join her Aunt Rhona in North America. Peggy’s parents had sent the children to live safely, with their father’s sister and her husband, Alan Childs, as war broke [...]

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. [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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