Estate of Barrie’s first mayor makes $100,000 donation towards new Barrie YMCA facility

Kinzie was Barrie Y's longest running member

The City of Barrie’s first mayor continues to provide for his community, well after his passing.

The estate of Willard Kinzie has made a donation of $100,000 towards creating a new YMCA facility in Barrie. “Over his lifetime, Willard had a huge impact on the people of Barrie and this gift is a continuation of this incredible legacy,” said YMCA CEO Rob Armstrong.

This donation was put towards the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka’s 100 Reasons Y campaign to finance the construction of a new waterfront-area facility. The Y has sold its Grove Street location, with proceeds to aid in the creation of the new facility on the former Barrie Central Collegiate site.

“When we come out the other end of the pandemic, we will need places for people to connect and belong more than ever,” added Armstrong. “We believe we are building the Y we need for the Barrie we want, and gifts like this one are critical to the project’s success.”

Kinzie was the first to serve as Barrie’s mayor after it incorporated into a city in the 60’s, and among those credited with helping to create the city’s scenic waterfront. At the time of his death at age 99 in 2018, he was the longest standing and oldest member on the YMCA’s roll.

Feature image courtesy YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka. L-R: Pam Kinzie, George Kinzie, Rob Armstrong (YMCA CEO), Brian Tamblyn (100 Reasons Y Campaign Co-Chair), Janice Laking (100 Reasons Y Honorary Chair).