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Firefighters battled the blaze well into the following morning, requiring assistance from other Simcoe County fire services. Barrie is located in the central portion of Southern Ontario, approximately 90 km (56 mi) north of Toronto within the Greater Golden Horseshoe subregion. Barrie's historic downtown area is situated in a distinct curved or wrapped valley, surrounding the western edge of Kempenfelt Bay (part of Lake Simcoe. Moving up the valley slopes toward the city's north and south ends, the terrain can be rather steep in some areas.Officials estimated the damages to be in the millions. The city does not have any major rivers within its limits, but does have numerous creeks and streams, most of which empty into Kempenfelt Bay.The success of the concert contributed to the resistance to a plan to convert the concert area to a commercial district.
An average of 238 centimetres (94 in) of snow falls annually, with at least 50% due to the lake effect.
In January 2004, Barrie made international news when its city police raided the former Molson brewery, and found Canada's largest illegal cannabis grow operation.
Barrie's Park Place (formerly Molson Park) was chosen to host Live 8 Canada on 2 July 2005.
In late spring and summer months, the Barrie area is known for heavy thunderstorm activity, due to its location within a convergence of breezes originating from Georgian Bay, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.
In the winter months, the proximity to the Great Lakes moderates winter temperatures but also results in significant snowfall in the general area.
In 1846, the population was about 500, mostly from England, Ireland and Scotland.