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What to Do in Barrie When it Rains

Updated on January 5, 2020
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Laura has been photographing historical, abandoned, and rural ruins in Ontario since getting her first digital camera in 2006.

Barrie City logo.
Barrie City logo.

I live in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. I'm still a tourist here, at heart.

I didn't grow up in Barrie but I've lived here more than five years. I like Barrie, it's a small city north of the bigger city, Toronto, Ontario. But, Barrie has everything you need right here: art, culture, shopping, night-life, outdoor and indoor activities.

One of the best things about Barrie are the people who show up for all the events, festivals, gatherings, and holidays. Several times over the year the main street, Dunlop, will be blocked to all road traffic, the local buses will be detoured but all foot traffic (all people) are welcome to join in the masses who show up for fun and culture in the downtown heart of the city of Barrie.

Coming again September, 2013.
Coming again September, 2013. | Source

Carnegie Library Building

The old Carnegie Library building. Refurbished and now the current home of the MacLaren Art Centre.
The old Carnegie Library building. Refurbished and now the current home of the MacLaren Art Centre. | Source

Barrie Has Art

Start with the MacLaren Art Centre in downtown Barrie. Check the website for current and upcoming exhibitions, events and festivals. The gallery is open year round with art and exhibits from local and Ontario artists in painting, photography, sculpture with an emphasis on contemporary visual arts.

The MacLaren Centre was moved to the historical Carnegie Library building in Barrie, in 1990. The building itself is worth the visit if you are a fan of architecture and old buildings.

The Barrie Art Club is not part of the MacLaren Art Centre but it is another indoor place for artists to explore while in town on a rainy day.

The old Armoury building in Barrie, Ontario.
The old Armoury building in Barrie, Ontario. | Source

Barrie Has Museums

The Simcoe County Museum is the larger Barrie museum, just on the outskirts of the town of Barrie itself. The museum is a fairly new building, opened in 1962 at this location. Over years the collection has grown and even the new location has been expanded until it now has five galleries with 16 outdoor heritage and display buildings.

I especially like the outdoor heritage buildings and the Barrie Main Street exhibit. Check the website for updates to the list of festivals, exhibits and events.

Barrie also has a military museum, the Grey and Simcoe Foresters Regimental Museum. This museum is located in the historical (restored) Armoury and drill all built in 1889 for the volunteer militia.The museum is open May through November.

The entrance to the Barrie City Library.
The entrance to the Barrie City Library. | Source

Barrie Has a Library

Barrie has a large, freshly renovated library. The Barrie Public Library is worth a visit just to see the modern renovated look to the building. It's bright, spacious and has many places to sit and enjoy a good book.

The library provides free courses for adults, teens and children. You can find the current list of available courses and other events on the library website.

This is not the only library in Barrie, but this is the largest library in downtown Barrie and the one I like to visit myself.

Find Barrie on the Map

Of Course, Barrie Has Shopping Too


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