Charlie


Barrie Colts
Barrie Flyers

Arena Name: Barrie Arena
Capacity: 3,000
Built: 1932
Last Game: 1960, 1995
Demolished: 2008
Address: 155 Dunlop St., Barrie, Ont., L4M 1B2
Ice Surface Size: 190' X 85'
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OHL
Barrie Arena
Barrie Arena
What was the Arena Like?
It couldn't last forever. Barrie Arena was a relic of a bygone age, a never-renovated building where most everything inside was wood, from the floors to the seats to the ceiling. The ancient arena was finally demolished in 2008 and replaced by a fire station, but I managed to make it to the rink for a couple of trips before it was razed.

Barrie Arena stood on a street corner in the old section of Barrie. It looked like many other arenas around the province with a round, gradually sloping roof and lots of aluminum siding. There was also a mural painted along the whole side of the building. Once you went inside, though, you realised that this place was different from any other building you've been to.

When we went to the Barrie Arena to visit, we walked in the front door and the place was absolutely rocking with crowd noise. What could be causing that noise? Try about a hundred parents at a kids' game. Barrie Arena is designed for sound, and the roar must have unbelievable with a full house. Structurally speaking, the arena was virtually falling apart. The wooden seats were all long wooden benches with backrests, painted dark green and bolted to wooden floorboards. The arena seemed to glow in the dim light. The score-clock was essentially non-existent. The seats ran down both sides of the building, and in one end was a warm room for kids, nursing mothers, and wusses.

The Arena's past history wasn't completely on display, but it was there. The Barrie Flyers' old Memorial Cup banners hung in one end, and some other memorabilia from Barrie's more recent minor hockey past was also here and there. Finally, in the arena office was the old Barrie Flyers' team portraits from the early 1950's, one of which featured an impossibly young-looking Don Cherry. I have no idea where the stuff has been moved to, but I would be interested in finding out.

Barrie Arena was never going to last forever, and the city bailed on the place when the maintenance bills grew too high. It's rubble now, but the memory will live on. Interestingly, the Colts actually played the first half of their first season out of the old barn, because the Molson Centre was behind schedule. The noise must have been out of this world. Whereas now, my memories are simply of listening to the raucous parents when the kids were on the ice and wondering why Barrie fans can't be that loud at the antiseptic Molson Centre.

How To Get There

From Hwy-400: Hwy-400 to Dunlop St. exit 96. East on Dunlop to Barrie Arena. The arena site is on the right side of the road and is now occupied by a fire station.
Inside Barrie Arena
Barrie Arena
What's it Used For Today?
Barrie Arena closed in December 2007 and was demolished the following summer. Click here and here for pictures, courtesy of Paul Morris.

Right up until recently, the arena was used around the clock for minor and community hockey, plus the competitive teams - the Barrie minor teams are still called the "Flyers". As for the OHL team, they were affiliated with the Boston Bruins and withdrew from Barrie in 1960 to become the Niagara Falls Flyers. They are now the Sudbury Wolves.

Barrie Arena was also briefly used by the Barrie Colts in their inaugural season. The Molson Centre didn't open until December and so the Arena was brought out for three months as a temporary home.

Feedback

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at Email and I'll update the guide.


 

 


Copyright Kevin Jordan 2002-09.
All rights reserved.
Last Revised: March 12, 2009