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    Barrie, Ontario: A Thriving Community in Central Ontario

    Barrie is a vibrant city situated in Central Ontario, Canada. It is located approximately 80 km north of Toronto and is considered one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. With its picturesque scenery, thriving economy, and abundance of recreational activities, it’s easy to see why Barrie is a popular choice for people looking to relocate to a city that has it all.

    To learn more about buying or selling a home in Barrie, get in touch with us. We at Frank Leo and Associates are glad to share our three decades of real estate knowledge with you.


    Barrie has a rich history that dates back to the 1800s. Originally inhabited by the Huron-Wendat First Nation, the area was later settled by European fur traders and missionaries. The city’s name was derived from Sir Robert Barrie, a British naval officer who was responsible for the construction of the naval base on Kempenfelt Bay during the War of 1812. In the late 1800s, the city became a hub for the lumber industry, and by the 1900s, it had become a popular tourist destination thanks to its beautiful waterfront and recreational opportunities.

    An image showing the train station in Old Barrie
    The Grand Trunk railway in early Barrie.

    Barrie was first connected to a rail system in the 1850s, when the Northern Railway of Canada crossed over the Oak Ridges Moraine and through Machell’s Corners (now Aurora) to the edge of Kempenfelt Bay. After that point the city grew to be the largest community on Lake Simcoe.

    At the outbreak of the First World War, many young men volunteered to serve in the Simcoe Foresters and were sent overseas in 1915. But the long transportation of the troops to Niagara was found to be less than ideal. In response to this, the Canadian Expeditionary Force saw Barrie as an excellent site to establish a training base for personnel. The site, just south of the city, was known as “Sandy Plains” and was developed into a training ground for battalions bound for overseas duties. In the summer of 1916, Sir Samuel Hughes, the Minister of Militia and Defense, opened the base, naming it Camp Borden in honour of Sir Fredrick Borden. CFB Borden has remained a part of the society of Barrie ever since. 

    In the 20th century Barrie’s population grew as it increasingly became a sleeper community for the GTA. The city is the gateway to Lake Huron, the Bruce Peninsula, and Northern Ontario, with The Greater Toronto Area only an hour’s drive to the south. Just as it was in its earliest history, Barrie is still situated on the threshold between the woodland and lakeside playgrounds of Ontario’s cottage country and the economic heart of Toronto. These factors, among others, make Barrie an ideal place for a family to live.  

    Real Estate

    Barrie’s real estate market has experienced significant growth in recent years. The city’s proximity to Toronto and its growing population have contributed to an increase in demand for housing, resulting in rising property values. The average price of a home in Barrie is currently around $600,000, which is significantly more affordable than many other cities in the Greater Toronto Area. There is a wide range of housing options available in Barrie, from single-family homes to townhouses and condominiums. The type of dwelling that is most abundantly available on the Barrie market is the single detached home. The majority of these homes have three or more bedrooms.

    Recreation & Parks

    Barrie is a city that is truly blessed when it comes to outdoor recreation. With its close proximity to Lake Simcoe, residents can enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing in the warmer months. In the winter, the lake transforms into a winter wonderland, perfect for ice fishing and skating. The city also has an extensive park system, with over 90 parks and playgrounds. One of the most popular parks is Centennial Park, which boasts a beautiful beach, picnic areas, and a playground. Other popular parks include Sunnidale Park, Heritage Park, and Lampman Lane Park.

    For those who enjoy hiking and biking, Barrie has an extensive trail system, with over 90 km of trails. The Ardagh Bluffs Trail System is a popular choice, with its scenic views of the city and beautiful forests. For those who enjoy golf, Barrie has several golf courses, including Bear Creek Golf Club, National Pines Golf Club, and Innisbrook Golf Course.


    Barrie is conveniently located near Highway 400, which provides easy access to Toronto and other major cities in the Greater Toronto Area. The city also has a public transit system, operated by Barrie Transit, which offers bus service throughout the city. The city is also served by GO Transit, which provides regional bus and train service to Toronto and other cities in the Greater Toronto Area.


    Barrie has a population of approximately 150,000 people, and it is one of the fastest-growing cities in Ontario. The city has a diverse population, with a mix of different cultures and ethnicities. The median age in Barrie is around 38 years old, and the city has a relatively young population compared to other cities in Ontario. The city is also home to several post-secondary institutions, including Georgian College and Lakehead University.


    Barrie is a city that has something for everyone. With its beautiful scenery, thriving economy, and abundance of recreational opportunities, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the fastest-growing cities in Ontario. Whether you’re looking to relocate for work or just to enjoy a better quality of life, Barrie is a city that should be on your radar.

    Have Questions About Barrie Real Estate? Thinking of buying or selling?

    If you have questions about buying or selling property in Barrie or anywhere in the GTA, contact Frank Leo and Associates.

    We are equipped with over 30 years of experience dealing in GTA real estate and we will be happy to share our knowledge with you.