Things To Do In Barrie

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Resting on the shore of Kempenfelt Bay, Barrie Rowing Club prepares budding rowers with a hands-on introductory tutorial and training program on a dry rowing machine. The two-hour Taste of Rowing program commences with a series of how-to videos and an instructive chat with the head coach as paddlers snack on complimentary food. Participants can practice on a four-person Erg Dryland rowing machine, and the last one to get bucked off wins a mechanical bull. After an insightful boathouse tour, club members guide students with useful next steps for securing a spot in a boat and befriending direction-savvy narwhals. The Barrie Rowing Club boasts 20 kilometres of rowable waves and a new dock that is specially designed for handicapped athletes.

205 Lakeshore Dr
Barrie,
ON
CA

Borden Golf Club has been a golfers’ sanctuary since its nine-hole course was sculpted into the rolling countryside in 1917, an emerald landscape that has expanded into a 27-hole golf complex. The original, nine-hole layout, known as Anderson Park Golf Course, presents a 3,209-yard Scottish links-style design, allowing clubbers to get in touch with the game’s roots without having to play a whole round with nothing but a mashie niblick and Loch Ness egg.

Built alongside its smaller predecessor in 1954, Circled Pine Golf Course ambles over 6,488 yards of contoured fairways and small greens. The course’s most difficult hole, the 448-yard, par 4 15th, will test even scratch golfers as they must bend shots around a dogleg left and find driftwood on which to float their bag across a creek stationed 60 yards in front of the green. After rounds, Borden Golf Club’s Players Lounge offers refuelling fare for golfers in the form of chicken pot pie, steak, and a variety of burgers and sandwiches.

31 Louisbourg Rd.
Borden,
ON
CA

Chirping birds and the wind in the trees are the only sounds that break the silence in Muskoka Forest. Until a human flies screaming through the canopy, that is. Treetop Trekking by Arbraska's seven aerial-rope courses wind through the forest canopies, challenging visitors with levels of difficulty increasing from beginner to advanced. Guides begin each adventure with a brief equipment-and-technique orientation, and gradually clear visitors for more difficult runs based on their performance.

Once they're cleared for climbing, participants scramble across bridges made of swinging, suspended logs. They crawl across webs of cargo netting, and swing through monkey cables. A series of ziplines completes each course. Guides help adventure-seekers navigate these treetop courses during regular day tours, or during more challenging night climbs, during which participants have only a headlamp and a guide to asking owls for directions.

1101 Horseshoe Valley Rd
Barrie,
ON
CA

Cool blues, shining chrome, and glimmering accent lighting characterize the modern design aesthetic at Ascent Lounge, a bar and multipurpose events venue above the British Arms Pub. The space's centerpiece is a stainless-steel-topped bar with accent lighting. Behind it, bartenders whip up cocktails that pair with executive chef Jason Harding's modern, experimental dishes, each made entirely in house from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Ascent's open floor plan and wall-length benches create a flexible space where lightweight stainless-steel furniture can easily be reconfigured for private events ranging from birthday parties to retirement parties and anniversary parties to business meetings and functions. For those who wish to have events at different venues, Ascent Lounge does offer catering options.

29 Dunlop St. E. (above The British Arms)
Barrie,
ON
CA

At Manhattan’s, when sunlight splashes the interior’s brick walls and rustic wooden floors and the garage doors roll up to reveal views of Kempenfelt Bay, they serve a brunch of eggs benedict, french toast, and sandwiches. At lunch, guests can sit on the patio out front while enjoying a choice between items such as a open-face flat-iron steak sandwich or a crab and lobster burger. Later in the day, the regulars know that the bartenders make a mean martini and last call is a little before 2 a.m. They also know not to mistake Manhattan’s for a bar. At dinner, the restaurant’s chefs serve hearty dishes such as cedar-plank salmon, rib-eye steak, and balsamic-honey chicken.

147 Dunlop St E
Barrie,
ON
CA

Towering evergreens surround The Polo Organization’s 100-acre collection of playing fields and arenas, which host students during riding and polo lessons. Instructors take on both beginning and experienced students, revealing subtleties of the sport such as objectives, technique, and why water polo is not regular polo on seahorses. Mallets, helmets, and horses are provided during each 60-minute lesson, and students are advised to wear jeans or riding breeches along with flat-soled riding boots. While students meld body and spirit with new equine friends, a professional photographer snaps photos, which pupils can then hang on a wall or embroider to the chest of a collared shirt.

5539 Side Road 5
Essa,
ON
CA