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Historic City of Barrie

Founded in 1853, the city of Barrie is located on the Western Shore of Lake Simcoe and is named for Sir Robert Barrie. Initially, Barrie was used as supply depot for the British Forces during the War of 1812.

Barrie was also the final destination for one branch of the Underground Railroad. In the mid-19th century, this network of secret routes allowed many American slaves to enter Barrie and the surrounding area.

Scenic Lake Simcoe

Lake Simcoe is the fourth-largest lake located within the province with the City of Barrie is located on Kempenfelt Bay along the western shore of the lake.

The lake has little commercial activity, but sees many recreational uses. In the winter, it freezes over completely and hosts a number of ice fishing competitions, making it one of the most intensely fished lakes in Ontario.

In the summer, fishing is still an attraction; however, there are also a number of poker runs, jet-skiing, and other boating events. The lake is surrounded with summer cottages leading heavy recreational and boating use in summer.

Historic City of Orillia

Originally incorporated as a village in 1867, the history of what is today the City of Orillia dates back at least several thousand years. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of fishing by the Huron and Iroquois peoples in the area over 4,000 years ago as well as sites used by Native Americans for hundreds of years for trading, hunting, and fishing.

There are also three Ski Resorts in the area:

  • Snow Valley Ski Resort
  • Horseshoe Valley Ski Resort
  • Mount St. Louis Moonstone

Fort Willow, Minesing Wetlands

Fort Willow, located just outside Barrie in the Township of Springwater and now owned by Nottawasaga Conservation Authority, played an important role as a supply depot during the War of 1812.

Fort Willow also pays tribute to the area's long history before the fort was established. Evidence of fishing in the surrounding lakes show that people first used this area 3 000 to 4 000 years ago.

Wye Marsh Settlement

The area was inhabited by Huron Indians when the Jesuit missionaries arrived in 1639. The Jesuit established a mission on the north-east corner of Wye Lake, the site is now known as Sainte-Marie among the Huron's. The largest Huron village of the time was situated between Wye Marsh and nearby Tiny Marsh.

In the 20th century the site of Wye Marsh was a privately owned hunting preserve, until it was turned into a wildlife area by the federal and pronvincial governments.

The Marsh

The marsh covers an area of around 4.5 km by 1.5 km. The area is primarily cattail marsh, although some areas are fen marsh. Inside the parklands there is also a small amount of dense coniferous swamp and upland forests. In the centre of the marsh is an area of open water known as Mud Lake or Wye Lake. The lake covers 125 hectares and has a typical depth of 80 to 140 centimeters.

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