Published August 28, 2019

New Student's Guide To Barrie

Welcome To Our City!
Unions 'cool' toward government backdown on class size/e-learning, local school board calls it 'positive'
Unions 'cool' toward government backdown on class size/e-learning, local school board calls it 'positive'

This Barrie 360 feature is presented with Flawless Wakes

Firstly, congratulations on starting your new college adventure. A move to a new city can be exciting but scary, especially if you factor in starting a new chapter of your life. But have no fear, we have everything you need to know before you start class on your first day.

Georgian College


Georgian College has a terrific number of clubs to join that specialize in many things including music, culture, and games. The full list can be found here but here's a taste of what you can join:

Chinese Student Union

Chinese Student Union at Georgian College is a social and cultural student organization that helps Chinese students face any challenges that they might be experiencing and promote Asian culture on campus and help cultural exchange. Our goal is to provide a platform to connect the Chinese students where they can share life experiences and exchange ideas.

Enactus Georgian College

Enactus Georgian is a club where students set out to be catalysts of social, economic and environmental change while utilizing business as a means to do so. Participation in Enactus will provide you with the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the community while gaining experience, skills, and contacts necessary to build a successful career. It’s an experience that will change the lives of those in need and quite possibly your own as well.

Georgian College Accapella Club

This club is designed to help musicians and vocalists grow and work together as a team to deliver music to the community. Some of our vocalists have been in Acappella ensembles, choirs, and bands for more than four years. We are a fun and welcoming group with the goal of providing musical opportunities around campus.

CyberGrizzlies eSports Club

Casual and competitive eSports club. A social club where everyone is free to join. All games are welcome!


Fitness Centre

Georgian College has a fantastic fitness centre that includes a large number of cardio and weight machines, a gym with tons for sports equipment, fitness classes, and even a rock-climbing wall.

Varsity Teams

Georgian College has 13 different varsity teams that include badminton, cross-country running, and golf, along with both men's and women's basketball, indoor soccer, and volleyball. Try out or cheer on the Grizzlies!

On-Campus Food And Stores

The Marketplace

The Marketplace hosts tons of different food options from large chains like subway, Tim Hortons, and Pizza Pizza, to an ever-changing menu at the cafeteria. There are also many options for pre-packaged snacks and lunches like salads, sandwiches, fruit, and vegetables. Here's a tip: ask for a soup or salad card and every 10th one is free. It's not much, but every dollar counts.

The First Class

Serving a wide variety of breakfast and lunch items made fresh to order, The First Class is a perfect place to start your day or relax between early classes. There is also comfortable couches and a pool table to have some fun with. If you're a coffee snob (like me) they have a selection of different beans and even specialty brews that change all the time.

The Last Class

Like it or not, The Last Class will most likely where you'll be spending a lot of your time. With delicious food that ranges from traditional pub fare to worldly inspired dishes, you will rarely need to eat the same thing twice. They also host spectacularly fun events almost every night of the week. Dirty bingo, karaoke, and open mic nights just to name a few. If you're over 19, Wicked Wednesdays will be your weekly unmissable party. Themed nights running every Wednesday from 10 AM to 2 PM, they are an absolute blast.

The Georgian Dining Room

Meals prepared and served by students in the culinary and hospitality programs. Reserve a table at pre-determined times and be treated to a prix fixe menu where you can choose one appetizer, one main course, and one dessert. Fantastic atmosphere, delicious food, supporting fellow students, and the best part? The Georgian Dining Room offers students 50% off! A perfect place to grab dinner with friends or treat the family when they come to visit.

Bun On The Run

Similar to The Georgian Dining Room, Bun On The Run food is prepared and served by students at the college. The menu changes daily and includes lots of affordable lunch options for a busy student.

Bear Essentials

Consider Bear Essentials the campus convenience store. Need a binder to hand in an assignment? Art supplies? Course material? Bear Essentials has you covered. You can also get tons of gift, trinkets, and clothing to show off your grizzly pride.

Off-Campus Essentials


If you're looking to take in some nightlife and want to head off-campus, most club, bars, and restaurants you'll want to check out are all located within a few blocks of one another.

Related: Where And When To Find Drink Specials In Barrie


Along with the bar and grill, Queens has a nightclub that is usually packed on weekends. There are 2 sides to the Queens with similar atmospheres but they're different enough to warrant checking both sides out. Queens is located in the Downtown core.

The Ranch

If 4-on-the-floor music isn't your cup of tea, Barrie is home to the largest country bar in Canada. The Ranch has a massive dance floor, multiple bars, and even a mechanical bull. The Ranch is also located in the Downtown area.


Donaleighs is a huge Irish pub with a fantastic atmosphere and live music on most nights. The place is big enough that if you don't want to yell over the band, you can move to another spot. Where is it? Surprise! It's downtown. This is a great place to start your night out.


Not only do they have some of the best burgers around, but Kenzington is also a terrific spot to enjoy a drink and have some fun. A bar in the front with live music most of the time, a bar in the middle, and an outdoor patio bar at the back. Are you sensing a pattern yet? It's located downtown too.

The Last Level Lounge

Take a step back in time at The Last Level Lounge. A retro-themed bar that plays 80's music and is packed wall to wall with old game consoles, pinball, and arcade machines. Friday and Saturday nights have a club atmosphere to them, it's only $5 cover to get in, and all the machines are on free play! I know I don't have to mention it, but this one is downtown too.

Late Night Food

While you're out partying the night away, you might get a little peckish (or a lot peckish), thankfully Barrie has a ton of options for late-night snacks and many of them are also located close to the downtown area.

Related: Great Late Night Eats In Barrie

Sexual Health

We get it, it's college, but make sure you stay safe. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit offers birth control, emergency contraception, pregnancy testing and counseling, anonymous HIV testing, full STI screens, and free condoms, regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation.


Barrie is surrounded by a huge amount of farmland and that means we benefit from some of the freshest and most delicious food you will ever wrap your lips around.

North Barrie Crossing Shopping Centre

Within walking distance of the college, the North Barrie Crossing Shopping Centre has a gym, grocery shopping, LCBO, and lots of food options. Whether you want breakfast at Sunset Grill, Lunch at Osmo's, or dinner at Boston Pizza, you'll find something worth pigging out over.

Downtown Barrie

If you're looking for a unique restaurant that you won't find anywhere else, downtown is the place to start. From Chavo Crepes and British Arms to Taj Bistro and Il Buco, there is no shortage of delicious places to eat.

Pinching Pennies

If you're looking to eat out but don't want to break the bank, check out our article on lunch specials in the area.

Related: The Best Lunch Specials In Barrie Under $10

Ice Cream

Ice Cream lovers rejoice! You picked the perfect city if you just can't keep your hands off delicious frozen desserts.

Related: Here's The Scoop, Barrie's The Place For Frozen Treats

Entertainment And Activities

There is never a shortage of things to do in Barrie. I promise you that if you look hard enough (not even that hard), you will find something to do alone, with a date, or with a group of friends.

Movie Theatres

If you're looking to take in the latest flick, you have 3 options in Barrie. Firstly there are 2 cineplex locations, one located in the south end and the other is only a few minutes walk from the college. The 2 locations sometimes have different movies playing so it's worth checking showtimes at both. Your third option is the Uptown Theatre located in downtown Barrie. One of the cities best-kept secrets, enjoy cheap tickets, affordable popcorn and refreshments, and lazy boy seating.


Nothing beats a day on the greens. If you love golf (especially if you're taking Georgian's terrific golf management course), there are some fantastic courses to take in while you're here. Innisbrook, Tangle Creek, and National Pines are all beautiful courses. Along with all the driving ranges, you might actually lower your handicap while you away at school.

Barrie Colts

When you're not too busy cheering for the Grizzlies, Barrie is home to an OHL hockey team called the Barrie Colts. They play at the Molsen Centre for home games and tickets are relatively cheap. It's a nice way to catch a live hockey game if you've never been to one before.

Barrie's Waterfront

Since Barrie is located on the shores of Kempenfelt Bay, there are over 5km of pristine waterfront to enjoy. Trails go up and down the length of it with beaches, picnic spots, and areas to play sports. Get a few Autumn walks in before snow blankets the city. Once winter has arrived, there are lots of places to go skating along the water as well.

Ski, Snowboard, And Tube

Speaking of snow, in case no one told you, Barrie gets a lot of it! You might as well make the best of it by enjoying some skiing, snowboarding, and tubing all winter long at Snow Valley, Blue Mountain, or Horshoe Resort.

Places Of Worship

Along with a number of places of worship found around the city, Georgian College also has a designated prayer room that can be used at any time of the day. You can check the Yellow Pages for all locations but here are a few of the closer ones:

Barrie Korean Presbyterian Church - 350 Grove St E
Westminster Presbyterian Church - 170 Steel St
Barrie Free Methodist Church - 284 Cundles Rd E
Jehovah's Witnesses - 115 Ferris Lane
First Baptist Church - 550 Grove St E
Bethal Community Church - 128 Vincent St
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd - 220 Steel St
Barrie Mosque - 155 Ferris Ln



Monday to Friday - 5 AM to 11 PM
Saturday - 5:30 AM to 11 PM
Sunday - 5:30 AM to 10 PM

Included with your tuition is a student bus pass that will let you use Barrie's public transportation system for free. You can get tons of details from the Transit Information Website. You will definitely want to bookmark this website as well, which shows a real-time of where buses are along their routes, updates on detours, and trip planning if you're unsure which bus to take. You can even click on individual stops to see how long until your bus arrives or sign up for text message alerts.

Designated Driver Service

If you plan on having a few drinks, Barrie has a fantastic designated driver service that will pick you and your car up and take you anywhere in the city for $30. You can call them when you need a lift but it is best to book a pickup ahead of time. Check out their website here.


If cabs are more your style, here is a list of cab services in Barrie:

Barrie Taxi - (705) 721 7777
Deluxe Taxi - (705) 728 4444
Barrie Yellow Taxi - (705) 733 8888
A1 Georgian Taxi - (705) 725 0954
Alliance Taxi Barrie - (705) 794 1111

GO Train

If you need to travel outside the city, the GO Train is a fantastic option. Affordable and quite comfortable, the train will get you from Barrie to Toronto, everywhere in between and beyond. Check out more details here.


If you plan on driving your own car, be forewarned: parking is a bit pricey at Georgian College. Prices start from around $50 a month to over $600 for the year. There is also pay as you go meters but if you plan on parking more than a few days a month, grab a pass. More details can be found on their website.

Finally, be sure to check out our Places section for a huge list of restaurants and stores located all across Barrie, our News section to stay up to date on current and local news, and our Lifestyle section for tips on places to eat, things to do, and events happening in the area. Stay up to date on everything through our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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