Barrie-Ontario was named in 1833 after Sir Robert Barrie who was commander of the British naval fleet. The location of Barrie is on old trade routes near the Nine Mile Portgage linking Kempenfelt Bay to Fort Willow. The town was an important supply depot during the War of 1812.
In 2011, the population of Barrie-Ontario was listed as more than 135,000. The metro area size is 897.47 square kilometres (346.52 square miles). The city is only 90 kilometres (56 miles) north of Toronto permitting commuting between the two cities. Highways 11, 26 and 400 run through the city of Barrie and Barrie Transit provides public transportation.
Hills, trees and a great waterfront are natural attractions for this popular destination. Neighborhoods have colorful names, like Ardagh Bluffs, Letitia Heights and Holly. Swimmers frequent the Minet's Point Beach, Tyndale Beach and Centennial Beach during the summer. The winter permits skiing, snow tubing and snowmobiling at Horseshoe Resort, Snow Valley and Blue Mountain. Barrie-Ontario can be caught between powerful winds off Lake Ontario and Lake Erie leading to heavy totals of lake-effect snow.
Downtown Barrie has plenty of boutiques, pubs, restaurants and theatres. The Barrie Waterfront Festival, Barrielicious and Caribfest are just a few of the most popular events. Dramatic performances include the Talk is Free Theatre and Huronia Symphony. The MacLaren Art Centre has the famous bronze sculpture of Auguste Rodin's "The Thinker" housed in the front.
Primary employers include TD Waterhouse, Scotiabank, IBM and Coca-Cola Bottling. The Barrie Examiner newspaper carries all of the important news, sports and events. Medical care is delivered by the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and Centre for Health and Wellness
There was a World War II Flower class corvette named the HMCS Barrie. Barrie-Ontario was one of the final destinations of the "Underground Railroad."