The sculpture was erected permanently at the foot of Maple Avenue on the shore of Kempenfelt Bay.However, with the re-development along the waterfront/Lakeshore Drive, the city is considering moving the Spirit Catcher to the gravel outcropping at the foot of Bayfield Street.By 1869, Barrie was the county seat of Simcoe in the Township of Vespra with a population 3,000. During World War II, the Royal Canadian Navy named a Flower-class corvette HMCS Barrie.
In January 2004, Barrie made international news when its city police raided the former Molson brewery, and found Canada's largest illegal cannabis grow operation.
Barrie's Park Place (formerly Molson Park) was chosen to host Live 8 Canada on 2 July 2005.
Barrie has been designated an Urban Growth Centre by the Province of Ontario (Places to Grow Simcoe Area, 2009).
Its population growth, largely due to its emergence as a bedroom community for Toronto, has given rise to the development of numerous subdivisions on the southern side of the city.
At its inception, Barrie was an establishment of houses and warehouses at the foot of the Nine Mile Portage from Kempenfelt Bay to Fort Willow, an aboriginal transportation route that existed centuries before Europeans came to Simcoe County.
The portage linked Kempenfelt Bay through Willow Creek, connecting Lake Simcoe to the Nottawasaga River which flows into Georgian Bay off Lake Huron. During the war, the city became a supply depot for British forces, and in addition, the Nine Mile Portage was adopted by the British military as a key piece of their supply line which provided a strategic path for communication, personnel, and vital supplies and equipment to and from Fort Willow and Georgian Bay / Lake Huron.
Today, the Nine Mile Portage is marked by signs along roads in Barrie and in Springwater Township.
The scenic path from Memorial Square to Fort Willow is accessible to visitors.
It is part of the Huronia region of Central Ontario.
Barrie is within the northern part of the Greater Golden Horseshoe, a densely populated and industrialized region of Ontario.
An explosion in the Royal Thai restaurant, housed in the landmark Wellington Hotel, at the historic Five Points intersection in Barrie's downtown core occurred at PM on 6 December 2007.