Barrie Uncovered

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Spotlight on Barrie Restaurants & Chefs: Kevin Isherwood, Common Good Cafe & Social House

Spotlight on Barrie Restaurants & Chefs: Common Good

This story really started when Kevin Isherwood was in Grade 10.  Young Kevin signed up for Home Economics because of, well you know; ratios.  The ratio was 26 – 2. Not bad odds for a young man full of passion with plenty of love to give.  We aren’t really sure what happened with the success of the girl to boy ratio, but what we are sure of is that Kevin discovered more passion than he was expecting.  Passion of cooking is what he took away.  We are so very thankful for that!

Read moreSpotlight on Barrie Restaurants & Chefs: Kevin Isherwood, Common Good Cafe & Social House

Test Week Before Reading Week at Georgian College

Okay guys, our hearts go out to you right now.  You are at Georgian College and plan an exciting future with your new diploma in your hand……you can almost feel that paper scroll in your grip.  But (and there is always a but), you aren’t quite there yet.  We took poetic license with MC Hammer’s lyrics, but the sentiment is real!  You gotta study and leave all else alone.

Right now you are coming up to your first tests all this week.  (insert loud sigh)  We know its tough times and we really want to help you focus.  So here’s how we can help!


Oh yeah….honestly – studying is made so much easier if you’ve got some good music to listen to.  Did you know that listening to music while studying helps you visualize better?  Music also helps you feel less anxious.  So here’s what we’ve done for you – we’ve put together a Slay Your Studying Playlist. This is absolutely going to help you get your focus on!



Don’t study right through the night until you can no longer tell black from white.  You’ve got to pace yourself and take some small breaks to refresh. You shouldn’t just be all hunched over your computer or books for hours on end.  We suggest a short drive over to any of our cozy coffee shops in Barrie.  Get yourself a sweet snack too!  Just make sure that you don’t take too long though!  We want to make sure that you don’t burn yourself out.  A good coffee and a little sugar should hit you just right!


Okay, I know we said coffee and something sweet but man cannot survive on that alone.  You know what we are thinking? We are thinking soup.  A hot bowl of soup will help you focus on your studies.  Did you see our post on 4 places to ladle up in Barrie?   You want to get your blood flowing and shouldn’t eat a heavy meal if you want to stay awake to study.  A bowl of soup is a great compromise.

Barrie Soup

We are going to keep it to just 3 things, keeping it simple with all the studying you have to do.  For all your Georgian Students, there is an end in sight – finish up this week so that you can enjoy Reading Week from the 21st to the 25th.  We know that after Reading Week, the studying starts all over again and the tests and…and….and.  Sigh.  But take heart knowing that every week is one week closer to your goal.  You’ve got this!

Written by Sharon Johnston | images by Stephen Elliot

Uncovering Barrie: Tiffin Street

Free Events in Barrie

We are creatures of habit.  We really are, when you think about it.  Our morning usually has some semblance of a routine and often times we do the same ole, same ole.   We live day in and day out and days turn into weeks, turn into months…….blah blah blah.  OMG, all that sounds sort of depressing, eh? Let’s change it up a little.  Let’s do just one thing different and turn our backs on doldrum.

It’s time to discover something new in Barrie and here is how we are going to facilitate that.  We are going to focus on treasures untold on certain streets and drives in Barrie.  Maybe its time to stop shopping at the big “catch all” box stores and finding the little stores that could really use your business.

This month we decided to focus on Tiffin Street.  There are 3 awesome places that we wanted to point out to you.


Barrie Do it yourself Garage

Have you even heard of this place?  If you are mechanically inclined and just need a place to do some repairs then perhaps this is the place to check out.  At the Barrie do it yourself Garage, they provide a 330 piece tool set with each bay rental.  You don’t even have to bring your own tools!  Located at 84 Tiffen Street, the garage is in a great central location of Barrie. Another service provided by Barrie DIY garage is professional help.  You can “rent” a staff mechanic to help out.


Struthmann Enterprises Limited

There is so much to tell you about Struthmann Enterprises that we don’t even know where to start! Struthmann sells an amazing amount of products. You are going to be glad we told you about them.  If you are looking for Auto detailing supplies, janitorial supplies, pool and Spa supplies and even just sundry items.  You don’t have to be a big business to shop here.  All of your cleaning and maintenance products can be found at one location – 287 Tiffin Street, Unit 13 in Barrie! Take a read HERE to learn about how Struthmann Enterprises started.


Simcoe Masonry Centre

Yet another family owned and operated business in Barrie.  Simcoe Masonry has been serving Barrie for over 65 years.  But what do they offer us?  Stone, brick, chimney supplies and fireplaces! If you are looking to update some elements of your home – you would do well to check out this family owned business.  Something that Barrie Uncovered holds dearly is the fact that Simcoe Masonry also supports and gives back to the Barrie Community.  Did you know when they had their 25th anniversary, they also gave away $25,000 in donations to local organizations?  Tip of the Imaginary Hat to you!  Check out the local organizations HERE that Simcoe Masonry has supported.

There you have it! 3 Awesome opportunities to discover Tiffin Street in Barrie.  You have choices, Friend!  Remember there are plenty of local businesses in Barrie that could benefit from your buying power.  We plan on helping you uncover the local community – the Father’s, the Mothers, the Sisters and Brothers.  Maybe even your neighbour.  Let’s make Barrie a smaller community, one local business at a time.

Written by Sharon Johnston | image by Sharon Johnston

Like what you’ve read?  If you’d like your local business to be featured in our Uncover Barrie: Street Spotlight, please reach out to us at [email protected]

Braining and Adulting. Yeah, we said it.

Have you ever been stuck in a fuzz?  Braining is hard work, and it goes hand in hand with Adulting.  Some days you’ve got the brain and some days you just don’t.  This is where we step in and help you keep your brain active and healthy in Barrie. After doing some research, we found that there are 5 sure fire ways to keep your brain at its top form. Let’s go thru them:

#1 Werk your body!

Exercise gets the blood flowing and that translates to more oxygen to your brain cells.  Last we heard; oxygen is a good thing.  There are many places to go for a vigorous walk in Barrie.  Try Sunnidale Arboretum.

9 Things To Do in Barrie This October

It’s looking gorgeous this time of year.  If indoor is more of your workout plan,  then maybe it is time to build that home gym that you’ve always thought about.  Have you checked out Fitness Avenue?  Head down to Bryne Drive and check them out for all your home gym needs.  They’ve got it all!

#2 Learn to play an instrument

This is a great idea!  Look, we aren’t saying learn to play piano and go all Mozart on us – what we are saying, is that you have got to start somewhere. 

Guitar or even Ukulele is a decent idea to start with.  If Kazoo is more of what you are thinking, then go ahead and go all Kazoo!  We have heard all sorts of good stuff about Spaulding School of Music, so how about starting by giving them a call? Just a little Uncovered Secret to share – you can also sign up for their online programs.

#3 Go to School! (Or back to it!)

With the myriad of courses that you can take at Georgian College, there really is no excuse.  You have to be able to find SOMETHING that gets your Noggin’ nourished! Think about it for a little while and perhaps sign up for Experience Georgian on Saturday, Nov 16th, 2019, and attend the Open House.  You could win up to $5,000 towards tuition!  Also, don’t forget about Liaison College on Dunlop Street!  They call themselves Ontario’s Largest Trainer of Chefs & Cooks!  Is it time for you to discover the Culinary Arts?

#4  Ssshhhhhh, catch some zzzzzzz’s!

Did you know that while you are sleeping that neural connections are physically made?  You’ve got to get enough sleep!  Here’s what we suggest, Head over to Spotify and listen to the Barrie Uncovered Set List to help you relax.  What’s better than listening to music comprised entirely of local artists?  Not much, if you ask us.

#5  Get out with friends!

Socialize.  Us humans are social creatures and we need to be connected with others to maintain good mental health.  Check out our article on “9 Things To Do in Barrie This October”.

Studies have shown that socializing improves cognitive performance.  Hanging out with Friends and Family will release all them good Endorphins! Why not do something different!  You got this!

Barrie has a lot to offer and all it takes is a thorough read thru our blog to realize it.  We haven’t even tipped the iceberg yet! (Is that the right phrase?) Get out into Barrie and discover all that this wonderful city holds.  If you find something new, send us a line so that we can check it out.  (we love NEW things!)  That’s all we’ve got to say about that!  For the time being, we are going to better research point # 4.  Zzzzzzzz……….

Written by Sharon Johnston | Images by Stephen Elliot

And on that day, a Star did rise.

Okay, so technically, it was two stars.  A huge congratulations to the DeMelo sisters, (formerly known as Ainsley & Alyssa) who really blew everyone away with their vocal skills and prowess.

But actually, we got a little ahead of ourselves – so lets start at the beginning and talk about Simcoe Rising Star.  This popular local talent show has been running for two years now.  The mastermind behind Simcoe Rising Star is Karen MacIntosh and Barrie Uncovered had an awesome opportunity to sit down with her.  You can find that interview HERE  Do you remember Karen’s answer to, “Why Simcoe Rising Star?”  Karen told us, “I saw so many talented people in our community and wanted to give everyone a platform to shine.  It’s about relationships, friendships and community.” 

Let’s fast forward from that interview to the day of September 21st – the finals of Simcoe Rising Star.  All contestants met up at Karit, a design / remodel business owned by Karen.  Once contestants stepped inside Karit, many things happened.  First of all, there were snacks waiting but more importantly, contestants participated in Talent Coaching with Maria Ellis.  What a great way to calm those pre performance jitters!  It didn’t stop there, hair and makeup for all contestants was provided by a fantastic team.  Feeling confident and beautiful (or good looking), contestants had a light meal and then headed over to Ferndale Banquet Hall to perform. (insert nerves here)  This is where they got a few moments to talk to all the judges.  Jay Lewis, Danielle Quesnel, John Anderson and Lisa Morgan.

So this is where it gets exciting – Barrie Uncovered was really invested in Simcoe Rising Star for more than just one reason.  For three reasons, in fact.

#1  Barrie Uncovered sponsored 2nd and 3rd prize.

#2  Danielle Quesnel of Barrie Uncovered, was a judge.

#3  Sharon Johnston of Barrie Uncovered, was a contestant.

Three fantastic reasons to be invested, don’t you think?

Alright, lets get to the good stuff – the Ultimate winners.  We say “Ultimate Winners” because all the contestants that participated were already winners in our eyes.  You just had to be present to hear and see the talent in front of you to realize how talented the people in Simcoe are.  Tip of the Imaginary Hat to you all.


DRUM ROLL!  The DeMelo Sisters!  Woot woot!  These girls have been in Simcoe Rising Star for both years it has been active.  It was with pride and delight, that Karen MacIntosh announced the girls had won.  (and a couple of tears)  Check out their YOUTUBE channel.  Aren’t they amazing?


Francesca Panetta!  YAY!  Francesca sang a beautiful rendition of, “From this moment”, by Shania Twain.  Check out her YOUTUBE channel HERE.  Well done, Francesca!


Scene stealer and a talent that you had better keep your eye on – Camden Cryderman!  Again, we have a YOUTUBE channel that you will definitely want to check out.

If you’d like to see Camden’s Final Performance and cover of Bohemian Rhapsody, click right HERE.  Dedicated to his best friend, Cole. How awesome is that?

There you have it, friends.  The completion of the second year of Simcoe Rising Star.  At Barrie Uncovered, we would like to give our congratulations and yet another round of applause to all those who competed.  We look forward to Year 3.


Written by Sharon Johnston | Images by Stephen Elliot