Barrie is a city and manifesting regional centre in Central Ontario, Canada, located on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay, the western arm of Lake Simcoe.The city is situated geographically within Simcoe County, however it is a politically independent single-tier municipality. It is within the historically significant Huronia region of Central Ontario, and is part of the Greater Golden Horseshoe, a densely populated and industrialised sub-region of Ontario. As of the 2016 census, the city's population was 141,434 making it the 34th largest in Canada in terms of population proper. The Barrie census metropolitan area (CMA) as of the same census had a population of 197,059 residents, making it the 21st largest CMA in Canada. The city itself has seen significant growth in recent decades due to its emergence as a bedroom community for Toronto. The affordability of housing and robust job market perhaps contribute to a Toronto buyer's appeasement with Barrie. GO Transit offers daily service to and from the Greater Toronto Area from two stations in the city. Barrie is located 85 kilometres (53 mi) north of Toronto, 355 kilometres (221 mi) northeast of Detroit and 335 kilometres (208 mi) west of Ottawa. This represents the city's highly centralised and historically advantageous situation, providing an ease of access to major centres and airports across the region.The Barrie area was first settled during the War of 1812 as a key supply depot for British forces. It would be named 20 years later after Sir Robert Barrie, who frequently commanded forces through the region. The 1980s and 1990s would be a period of immense growth for Barrie, with the population tripling in the span of twenty-five years. In 1981, the city had a population of 38,423; in 2006, Barrie had 128,430 residents living within city limits. Barrie's ongoing success would be punctuated by high-rise condominium development along Kempenfelt Bay, instigating a sort of downtown renaissance. Great investment by the city into their beachfront amenities would culminate in Barrie becoming a prime tourist destination. With several ski resorts in the vicinity and a picturesque waterfront, Barrie is known not just for its tourism, but also as the 'Gateway to Cottage Country'. The city's economy is diverse, with education, healthcare, information technology and manufacturing all prevalent sectors. The Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre is Barrie's largest employer, with nearly 3,000 workers. Retail in the city has flourished too in recent decades, bolstered by the completion of Park Place in 2008. Barrie experiences cold, snowy winters with an average January minimum temperature of −12.4 °C (9.7 °F). Summers are hot and humid, with an average July maximum temperature of 26.3 °C (79.3 °F).
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