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The City of Barrie counted 153,356 residents in 2017. This seasonal hotspot sits on the west shore of Lake Simcoe and is known for its ski resorts and its proximity to Muskoka Region lakes and cottages. City Council consists of the Mayor and 10 Members of Council, one representing each of the City’s wards. The city is located geographically within Simcoe County, however, it is a politically independent single-tier municipality. It is part of the historically significant Huronia region of Central Ontario and is within the northern part of the Greater Golden Horseshoe, a densely populated and industrialized region of Ontario. Throughout the humid summer months, Barrie transforms into a city of gardens. People migrate to the waterfront to bask on the beaches, swim in the waters and boat in the lake. The city’s historic downtown core also comes to life in the warmer months as shops, restaurants and boutiques all fill with visitors from the surrounding cottages. Centennial Park has trails, a playground and a sandy beach. Other beaches include smaller Johnson’s Beach and Minet’s Point, across Kempenfelt Bay. The “Spirit Catcher” is a large, birdlike sculpture on the waterfront. The Simcoe County Museum has local history displays, including a furnished 1920s cottage. Barrie is home to numerous annual festivals and events such as The Barrie Waterfront Festival, Barrielicious, Winterfest, Celebrate Barrie, Ecofest, Jazz & Blues Festival, Promenade Days, Ribfest and Craft Beer Show, Caribfest, Lawnchair Luminata, and Kempenfest.