The Spirit Catcher
This large steel sculpture dominates the Barrie harborfront. Artist Ron Baird created it for the 1986 Expo in Vancouver, after which it was shipped across Canada to Kempenfelt Bay to be the centerpiece of the McClaren Art Center's modern collection. The piece honors Canada's aboriginal peoples.
Mariposa School of Skating
The Mariposa School of Skating in Barrie is internationally renowned and has trained many international champions such as Elvis Stoyko, Takeshi Honda, Steven Cousins, and Josee Chouinard.
Mariposa has several figure skating training programs you can register to take, but you should do so in advance.
If spectating is more your style you can stop by the Allandale Rec Centre and just watch whatever skating is going on.
Education and Culture - Georgian College
Once upon a time students who couldn't get into university, or wanted a trade were the only people who went to a community college. That is all changed now and the community college system provides key education to all facets of the community. Students range from post-secondary school students to mature students, and evening courses where seeing senior citizens updating their skills is not unusual.
Georgian College started off in a converted store of a strip plaza. It is now on the list of Canada's 100 Best Employers, and has the highest number of student placements of any college in Canada. The courses range from the CAI (Canadian Automotive Institute), a top rated Tourism and Hospitality program, Technology & Engineering, Fine Arts, and Health Studies, and many more. It is now degree granting through Laurentian University and York University, for the Nursing Program.
At the main Barrie campus, as well as a theatre, home of the Gryphon Theatre, there is a brand new library resource centre. Within Barrie is also found the school of nursing, and on the south shore of Kempenfelt Bay, is the Kempenfelt Centre used for conferences, and a training ground for the Hospitality students. The 3 main campuses are Barrie, Orillia, and Owen Sound. There are also regional campuses in Collingwood, Midland, Orangeville, Parry Sound, Bracebridge and Port Colborne. Georgian College also has international connections with Chandigarh, India, as well as in China, Australia, UK, and USA.
Hiking through high altitude prairies.
Perhaps they don't call them prairies as they do in Illinois. The hiking through designated trails in the prairies was refreshing and we walked by and into several unattended farms where the trails permitted.
We hiked near Tottenham, Horseshoe Valley and near Lagoon City on the designated tracks.
We found several farms that were not cultivated. Others that were perhaps thinking of selling land to property developers. Critters abound in the grass and one will be advised to cover up properly or risk skin irritations.
Fun time at Orillia's Couchiching Beach Park
So one day we drove from Lagoon City back to Orillia and explored the city. The first destination was Couchiching Beach Park. It is located on the west shore of Lake Couchiching at the intersection of Bay St. and Jarvis St., and adjoining Centennial Park. Although it seems from the pictures that it was cold, actually it was not. It was about 5 degree centigrade. The reason we felt it was because in Mississauga, the tempratures at that time were hovering at 13-15 degrees.
The park offers beautiful views of the Couchiching Lake, trees in fall colour and statues of historical figures.
There is also Aqua Theatre, ball diamond, beach - swimming, flower gardens, outdoor rink, picnic shelter, picnic tables, playground equipment, walking path, washroom facilities, water fountain, change rooms.