Whether it’s your first time moving to a different city or you are a seasoned professional in migration, moving to a new home can be a tricky situation. It involves a certain challenge that you might face while looking for a new place to live. Different factors impact one’s decision when it comes to choosing the right neighbourhood, city, or country. In recent years, Barrie has become one of the most sought-after places in Canada. Barrie has multiple advantages to offer the newcomers. Before stepping into the modern landscape of living in Barrie, you might want to consider its history, liveability, cultural significance, real estate market, and more.

Barrie, Ontario Overview

Barrie is a Canadian city located in Ontario. It is situated roughly 90 km in the northern direction of Toronto. This city is physically a part of Simcoe County, but it is politically independent. Also, the city is naturally placed along the shores of Kempenfelt Bay. Barrie was first established as a village in 1854. Later, it was renamed a town in 1870 and received the city title in 1959. This city is named for Sir Robert Barrie, and it first worked as a supply depot for British forces in the War of 1812. With the technological advancements in the city, it is evolving significantly with every passing day. Connections to GO Transit, Ontario Highway 400, and the Greater Golden Horseshoe make Barrie one of the most advanced cities in Ontario. 

  • Barrie’s History

Kempenfelt Bay was a resting place for Indigenous travellers before settlers arrived near Lake Simcoe. This place was used to transport military supplies during the War of 1812. It was after the end of the war that people started settling in a part of that route. In the 1820s, this settlement got its official name, ‘Barrie’. Barrie was named after Sir Robert Barrie for his connections with military history. He was a British admiral during the days of the War of 1812. Agriculture was the primary highlight of the city at the time of early settlement. Also, this region was widely known for the biggest export of large amounts of ice and lumber. These large ice blocks were extracted during the winter from the waters of Lake Simcoe. It was in the mid-19th when railways were first introduced in the city, working as a catalyst for the growth of Barrie in Canada. In 2005, the Park Place in Barrie hosted a concert named Live 8 Canada. The concert’s success contributed to the strategic plan for converting Park Place into a commercial area. At the time of the concert, Park Place was referred to as Molson Park.

  • Cultural Significance of Barrie, Ontario

People from all over the world are welcome in Barrie. Diversity in the streets of the city can easily be observed. The overall population of blacks, South Asians, Chinese, etc. proves the diversity among the residents of Barrie. Among the total population of Barrie, 3.36% are black, 2.85% are South Asian, 1.53% are Chinese, 1.3% are Latin American, and 0.9% are Filipino. Barrie is known for its performing arts and festivals. The Georgian Theatre and The Five Points Theatre are two popular venues for performing arts in the city. These venues are home to multiple film screenings, concerts, cultural productions, theatrical performances, and more. The Five Points has a sprung performance floor and a seating capacity of 100-200 people.

What’s Real Estate Like in Barrie, Ontario?

In the last few years, the real estate market in Barrie has seen significant growth, like in other Golden Horseshoe cities. The average property price and the number of housing units sold are rising at a promising rate. The latest average price of Single Family Homes in Barrie is approximately $886,801. Condos are one of the most popular housing options for the residents of Barrie. The average price for condos in Barrie is roughly $534,787. Apart from single-family homes and condos, townhomes have recently gained popularity in Barrie, with an average price of $639,646. Barrie is contributing heavily to Simcoe County’s real estate market with rising sales of housing units. This attracts people from all over the country to invest in the city’s multiple properties.

Liveability in Barrie, Ontario

In Canada, Barrie scores 79 in terms of livability, making the city a good place to reside. The city provides its residents with a great transit network for convenient travel options. GO Transit and Barrie Transit are two prominent public transportation networks that operate in the city. living in Barrie is Transit is the first choice of residents to travel within the city, as it offers bus facilities throughout Barrie. This transit option has 10 main bus routes, including express bus service. However, Go Transit connects the city with Greater Toronto via train and bus. 

For residents who own personal vehicles, the 400 highway connects different places throughout the city with each other. This central highway connects Barrie with Greater Toronto in the southern part and the Muskoka Region in the northern part. Many people are aware of Barrie’s rapid industrial growth in the hospitality and manufacturing sectors. There are several resorts in Barrie that are open year-round and employ hundreds of people nationwide. Plastic, metals, and automotive manufacturing are major industrial areas of the city. Due to the abundance of educational facilities that offer pupils a top-notch education, Barrington is regarded as a family-friendly city to live in. In this city, two educational boards are the largest, named the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board and the Simcoe County District School Board. Barrie offers around 45 elementary schools and approximately 7 secondary schools under these two major education boards. Georgia College, a post-secondary institution in Barrie, offers advanced education to students. This educational institution provides graduate certificates and full-time degrees.

Things To Do in Barrie, Ontario

Significance of Barrie, Ontario
Credit : Ontarioaway

Visitors often find Barrie interesting regarding festivals, tourism activities, events, etc. Multiple destinations in the city offer distinct activities to residents and tourists. Public trails like Nine Mile Portage, The Great Trail, Waterfront Heritage Trail, etc. attract visitors to the city. People can enjoy different activities like boating, kayaking, wakeboarding, and access to the beaches in Barrie. This city hosts annual festivals during the long weekend of August, where more than 300 artists participate. These festivals feature antique shows, food demonstrations, live entertainment with an indie music stage, and more. Also, living in Barrie has been hosting Open Air Dunlop for further entertainment for the residents since 2021. Barrie is popular for numerous recreational sites, including:

    • Darian Park Centre
    • East View Arena
    • Lampman Park
    • Victoria Village
    • Holly Community Centre
    • Allandale Recreational Centre
    • Barrie Public Library

Tourists often pay visits to major attractions in/near Barrie. Some of these attractions and activities are as follows:

    • Muskoka Region
    • Blue Mountain
    • The Craft Beer & BBQ Festival
    • The Barrie Fair
    • Tree Lighting Celebration
    • The Santa Claus Parade


One notable quality of living in Barrie, Ontario, is its openness to visitors from around the globe. With its historical significance, Barrie is a popular destination where an individual can find a home to live in. The seamless connectivity to major attractions, shopping centres, educational institutions, and medical centres provides the residents with a comfortable commute and residing experience. This town, which once was a supply depot, has now developed to new heights!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

s Barrie expensive to live in?

Considering the average cost of living in Barrie, which is 16% lower than in Ontario, residents do not consider Barrie an expensive city.

What should be the average salary to live in Barrie?

As of November 2023, the average salary of the residents of Barrie is $43,073. Earning the equivalent salary may be enough to live in this city.

What is the average rental price in Barrie?

The average rental price of housing units in Barrie ranges from $1,750 to $2,923. The average rental price is subject to change with the market trend.

What is the average sale price in Barrie?

The average sale price of housing units ranges from $625,450 to $780,000. These average sale prices are subject to change with the market trend.

Which is the best neighbourhood in Barrie?

Some of the best neighbourhoods in Barrie include Painswick, Bayshore, and City Centre.