Barrie is a lovely Victorian town located in central Ontario, Canada, about 90 km (56 mi) north of Toronto.
We loved setting out to explore the province of Ontario when we lived in Toronto. I especially loved the gorgeous Victorian downtowns, so pristine and extremely well-kept.
Barrie is one of those towns. It was a rainy June Saturday and the city of Toronto was practically on lockdown due to a G-8 and G-20 summit. World leaders need a lot of security! And we needed to get out and explore. We had no set destination. We were driving along the Provincial Highway 400 and my husband says “Shall we go to Barrie?” Why Barrie? “I don’t know, but why not!” And so we went, just because the name on the sign looked appealing.
Barrie sits on the shore of Lake Simcoe. The town played a key role as supply depot for the British in the War of 1812 between The United Kingdom and the United States and was later named after Sir Robert Barrie, who commanded the naval forces in the area.
The historic downtown core runs along Dunlop Street, which stretches for four or five blocks. Such a lovely place to walk but we had another priority: lunch. It was 2.30 pm and we were afraid that places would start to stop serving food.
We thought it would be fun to ask locals about their favourite place for lunch. We asked two ladies walking down the street. Each pointed at a place at either end of the street. We thanked them and choose one, Shirley’s, at random. We got there just in time before the kitchen closed. The food was delicious so it was a good recommendation.
With our bellies full of a lovely lunch, we took a pleasant stroll along the lakeshore, cut short because of some drizzle and lack of umbrellas.