Located on the Kempenfelt Bay, Barrie is a city in the centre of southwestern Ontario. Barrie’s location and waterfront views attract both visitors and residents who want to be close to the Greater Toronto Area and the water at the same time. From an emerging bedroom community to a census metropolitan area inhabiting over 150,000 residents, the City of Barrie has grown substantially over the last few years.
Home-buyers looking around Barrie can choose between heritage neighbourhoods and up-and-coming areas with new development. There is a lot to love about living in Barrie, Ontario and this city has something to offer everyone. There are about 20,000 immigrants in the city. 7.6% of the population are minorities, and 5% are Aboriginal. It has a predominantly francophone community with close to 10,000 residents being bilingual.
Barrie is home to the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre. Located at the city’s northeast end just off Highway 400, the RVH offers cancer care close to home and a variety of specialized health care programs. The hospital has partnerships for research and education.
The city is home to Georgian College; its main campus is in the northeast, but a couple of years ago, the college’s well-respected School of Design and Visual Arts moved some programs downtown. Georgian offers university programs through a variety of partnerships. The city is also home to the English Public, English Catholic, French Public and French Catholic schools. The community also offers an array of private and specialized schools.
According to Zolo, Barrie is now considered the third most affordable city in Ontario. However, there are many more factors to consider before relocating than just affordable housing options.
The economy in Barrie is in a growth phase. As more people move out of the big city, businesses choose to invest in Barrie. The projected 70% population growth by 2041 brings new jobs and opportunities. Estimates project more than 30,000 new jobs will be created over the next 20 years. The most significant growth sectors are arts, entertainment and recreation, manufacturing, finance and insurance, healthcare, and construction.
Barrie is home to several corporate headquarters. There is an opportunity to work for larger organizations in sectors such as manufacturing, security and cloud services, technology, food and beverage, life sciences, retail and tourism. Some of the major employers in Barrie include Coca Cola, IBM Canada Leadership Data Centre, Sun Media, Hydro One, Scotiabank, The Source and The Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre.
Fun Fact: Barrie played a significant role for the British forces during the War of 1812 in its victorious triumph over the United States. The area was settled during the War of 1812 as a supply depot for British forces.
Barrie is a commuter city. Many people drive to work or to other locations across the Greater Toronto Area. There are several highways in the area; Highway 400 is the major highway between the city and Toronto. Highway 26 is the main highway that goes through the city and heads toward Collingwood. Other highways in the area include Highway 27, Highway 90, and Highway 93.
Its strategic position on the map enables transportation convenience. If you head south, you will reach Toronto within an hour and fifteen minutes. Similarly, you will reach the Blue Mountain Resort in the same time frame if you head north.
You will also find that Barrie’s great transit network also includes a solid public transport system. Barrie Transit provides public transit and bus routes throughout the city. You can also take advantage of daily GO Train and Bus service to downtown Toronto and other cities in the region.
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