Undoubtedly, one of the best things about living in this city is that the Barrie waterfront is never further than a 15 minute drive away. The numerous waterfront venues offer family-friendly beaches, boating access, playgrounds and amazing picnic spaces.
Centennial Beach is by far the most well known beach in Barrie as it is centrally located and offers a lifeguarded swimming area, beach volleyball courts, a food concession and an outstanding nautical themed park. There is also a paved, 4-season multi-use recreation trail that is part of the Waterfront Trail and the Trans Canada Trail. For a quieter beach day, only minutes away are Johnson’s Beach or Minet’s Point which provide access to the same beautiful lake with smaller crowds. Johnson’s Beach is the only other beach in Barrie that has lifeguards on duty during the summer months. Tyndale Park Beach, Heritage Park Water Feature and Wilkins Beach also offer a great, off-the-beaten-path waterfront experience. In 2014, the City of Barrie implemented free parking passes at specific Barrie waterfront lots to make the waterfront more accessible.
The City of Barrie Marina is another popular summer hotspot, providing over 300 boatslips within walking distance of some of downtown’s unique shops and restaurants. The Bayfield St. Government Wharf adjacent to Heritage Park that also provides a small number of transient docking spaces. For those more keen on unmotorized water sports, Minet’s Point provides waterfront access.
The Barrie waterfront isn’t just a summer destination! Kempenfelt Bay becomes a village of ice huts as avid anglers and curious adventurers gather on the Bay to Ice fish. At the height of the season, there can be more than 4,000 ice huts on Lake Simcoe, many of which are available for rent from Ice Hut Operators. The most common species of fish caught in the winter months are Lake Trout, Whitefish, Northern Pike and Yellow Perch.
The Barrie waterfront is a complete gem in the heart of the city, but it can’t take the spotlight alone. Innisfil, just a short drive from Barrie offers amazing waterfront opportunities as well! Innisfil Beach Park, a 62 acre green space, provides an unsupervised beach, a boat launch, multiple soccer fields and baseball diamonds, trails, and playground facilities. Slightly North, beach-goers will find Leonard’s Beach, which has recently been upgraded with a new boardwalk and a larger sandy beach area.