Canadian Growth City No. 6: Barrie Bound for Big Things

Feb 26, 2016

Town Welcomed 2 Percent More U-Haul Arrivals Year-Over-Year

Barrie Spirit Catcher. Credit: City of Barrie.

The Spirit Catcher. Credit: City of Barrie.

Barrie continues to prosper while maintaining its small-town feel, but it’s not as small as it used to be.

With its expansive parkland, classic downtown and affordable living, the Central Ontario lakeshore destination attracted enough do-it-yourself movers to earn the No. 6 position among the U-Haul Top 10 Canadian Growth Cities for 2015.

“Barrie has continually bucked the economic trend in North America,” said Rod Jackson, CEO of the Barrie Chamber of Commerce. “The fact that we have new net growth as evidenced by the U-Haul migration trends report is great news that Barrie continues this growth and builds on its reputation as a great place to live and do business.”

Quote about Barrie Growth


Plan Ahead: Reserve a Truck in Advance for Your Summer Move

Growth rankings are determined by the net gain of incoming one-way U-Haul truck rentals versus outgoing rentals for the past calendar year. U-Haul locations here saw 51.6 percent of truck rental customers coming into the city as opposed leaving.

This city welcomed 2 percent more U-Haul arrivals year-over-year, and its departures also were up 2 percent over the same period. The overall bump in U-Haul traffic made it a busy location for do-it-yourself movers.

While U-Haul migration trends don’t correlate directly to population or economic growth, the growth cities data is a strong gauge of how well cities are attracting and keeping residents.

Stephannie Schlichter, the city’s director of economic development, doesn’t foresee the appeal of Barrie disappearing in the future.

“Over the next 15 years, our population is expected to grow by 64,000 to 210,000 by 2031, making Barrie a focal area for major investment, residential development and employment growth,” Schlichter said. “Supporting this growth will be the 5,800 acres of land that has been appropriated to the city.”

It is the second of five Ontario destinations to make the Top 10 Growth Cities list for 2015. Continue following the countdown on each weekday through March 4 to see the No. 1 city revealed.

Additional photo credits: City of Barrie (Summertime, featured image, and City Hall, thumbnail).

Barrie growth facts

More on Barrie

  1. Downtown takes you back in time, over 200 years, with its historic buildings that have been kept up or converted into specialty shops, boutiques, pubs and restaurants. The anchor district draws in the community to celebrate its historical value while enjoying the growth development.
  2. Customers are currently able to have their moving needs met at 10 U-Haul neighborhood dealers in this city. The Company is in the process of adding more dealers in the area. Find locations at
Barrie Cityscape. Credit: City of Barrie.

Barrie Cityscape. Credit: City of Barrie.


  • “There always seems to be someone moving from Brampton, Mississauga or Toronto to Barrie,” Curtis said. “The houses are at the same price or lower in Barrie, and you get a large house with more property.” — Wayne Curtis, U-Haul Company of Central Ontario president
  • “Residents that both live and work in Barrie, reduce their commuter times, experience less traffic within our city limits, resulting in more time for leisure, family and entertainment. All of these factors contribute to Barrie’s incredible quality of life and ability to attract talent and new residents to the community.” Stephannie Schlichter, director of economic development for Barrie
  • “Barrie’s proximity to Toronto, access to year-round amenities, and relatively reasonable housing prices – along with being recognized as one of Canada’s safest cities – has all contributed to the growth.” Rod Jackson, CEO of Barrie Chamber of Commerce

For tips on moving to this city click here!

What is your favorite thing about visiting or living in this city?  Tell us in the comments.



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