Barrie has a population of 143,000 (2014) is home to a 300 bed hospital, and is located on Highway 400 which connects south to Toronto, and north to the Trans-Canada Highway. The city is serviced by municipal transit and by the GO-Train commuter system.
Barrie's workforce of 56,000 is made up of manufacturing, retail trade, health care, cosntruction, wholesale trade, professional services, and transportation.
Barrie has 35 English elementary and 8 secondary schools and 2 French elementary and 1 secondary, as well as 10 private schools. The community is home to Georgian College of Applied Arts and Technology, Barrie Campus.
Barrie is the gateway to the Georgian Bay and Muskoka Lakes cottage country. It sits on Lake Simcoe and has a number of beaches and marinas in the community and close by, as well as 3 indoor and 2 outdoor swimming pools. The city has over 90 parks, covering more than 300 hectares, many connected by extensive biking, roller blading and walking trails, especially along beautiful Kempenfelt Bay. The city has cultural attractions like the renowned Gryphon Theatre, Park Place (formerly Molson Park) which has hosted major and international outdoor concerts (including Live8 in summer of 2005), the Barrie Molson Centre, a 4,200 seat multi-purpose sports and entertainment facility, and the MacLaren Art Centre. There are a number of downhill ski areas and 21 golf courses very close by. The city also has 3 movie theatres, one live performance venue, and is home to Molson Park, used for festivals and rock concerts. For those preferring to watch their sports, the city has a number of competitive teams, notably the Barrie Colts OHA Jr 'A' hockey team, two horse racing tracks, as well as three auto race tracks close to town.
Most of the homes have been built in the last 30 years, and the city has more than doubled in size since 1982. You can find older homes in the central areas, even some heritage quality homes.
The average prices (2006) for single family detached homes(not on water)is $230,000, and
semi-detached homes running $165,000, with townhouses running about $160,000 and condos around $155,000.