Blog Articles

Downtown Barrie’s Creative Corridor

Friday, March 29, 2019

Downtowns are full of creativity. They are hubs of the creative class which include the arts, businesses and professions. Downtown Barrie’s creative class is so expansive that it has created what we refer to as our Creative Corridor. Let’s take a walk and I’ll show you the many anchors and 400+ businesses that make up our Creative Corridor.

Beginning with the MacLaren Art Centre, Downtown Barrie’s creative anchor in the east. The MacLaren Art Centre is the founding establishment for our creative arts and culture community showcasing professionally curated international exhibits all while hosting educational events for the entire family.

Next up is our new outdoor public venue, Meridian Place & Memorial Square. This award-winning space opened in July of 2018 and is now fully operational with outdoor movies, live music and military celebrations all while honouring the historic significance of the site.

Located at our historic Five Points intersection is the Five Points Theatre. This incubator-style theatre offers a professional venue for local production groups and can accommodate a seated audience of 200.

As we head west, we come to the Sandbox Centre. This brand new collaborative entrepreneur centre provides a space for new ideas to be nurtured by a business support system that turns creativity into reality.

Just up the street is the Georgian College Design and Digital Arts Centre. Now in its second year, this educational centre hosts 200 students and staff annually. On most days, you’ll see students throughout the downtown using the community’s natural vibrancy as inspiration for their designs.

Live music is always impressive and a great venue makes it that much better. Up next is Mavricks Music Hall which plays host to a large number of live music performances throughout the year. Local talent and international stars have entertained on Mavricks’ stage to crowds of over 1000.

Once complete, the W.A. Fisher Auditorium will be the Creative Corridor’s anchor in the west. This large live performance venue and conference centre will host a seated audience of 1100. This anchor will be further enhanced by the development of the YMCA and its new, modern facility.

These anchors are the foundation to our Creative Corridor. What rises out of this foundation, though, are the 400+ local businesses and services that paint this corridor in vibrant colours with a dynamic, interactive and inspiring creativity.

Creativity flows throughout downtown Barrie. It’s found in the conversations in our coffee shops, it’s in our art galleries that showcase local artistic talent, it’s in our businesses that specifically sell locally-sourced goods, it’s in a meal full of local produce prepared at our restaurants and it’s up in the second- and third-storey windows where you’ll see creative professionals producing incredible work for clients all across the country.

Creativity is everywhere along our Creative Corridor. Come downtown and share yours!