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A Brief History Of Barrie’s Music Hall

A Brief History Of Barrie’s Music Hall

Uncovering the story of Mavrick’s, The Roxy and 46 Dunlop Street

Barrie’s history of live entertainment venues stretches back almost a century. And none are better known than the cool and historic house of music we know today as Mavrick’s Music Hall.

Originally called the Roxy theatre, ground broke at the Dunlop Street site in 1931. The venue was the brainchild of Italian born John Saso, who came to Barrie in the ’20s, and was the owner of fruit and vegetable stand. A descendant of his wife Stella was Sam Cancilla, the Barrie alderman and owner of Cancilla Fruit stand on Collier.

Saso saw the potential in the future of “talkies” and wanted to build a cinema for Barrie movie fans. He undertook the project at a cost of $100,000 and by 1931, the Roxy was up and running.

The original layout was of an atmospheric style auditorium with clouds ‘floating’ across the ceiling. It was a one-screen movie theatre with room for over 700 patrons to see a flick or a live show.

Moreover, the Roxy was the first of a trio of venues in the downtown core. The Granada (41 Dunlop) and the Imperial (the recently closed Uptown) soon emerged, making Barrie a vibrant theatre town.

In 1937 The Northern Advance reported that: “Barrie went on record as the only town of its size in the district to have three theatres which are placed within a hundred square yards of each other.”

Movies to Music

The Roxy eventually became home to the The Roxx nightclub, in 1988. The Roxx was known around the region for all age nights and saw many summer performances from high end talent, both Canadian and international.

Aaron Pritchett, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and Method Man have all brought the noise to the Dunlop street locale over the years. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star DJ Jazzy Jeff even hosted a Halloween show called A Nightmare on Dunlop Street.

Later, it became a nightclub named Sound Empire, which opened September 14, 2013. In 2016 it reopened as Mavrick’s, and has continued to showcase talented performers.

Although it’s gone through different owners and different eras, the bones of the venue have remained in place. In fact, the domed ceiling is still there from the original design of the building, and legend has it the second largest disco ball in Canada sits in a closet somewhere inside.

What Did you think of A Brief History Of Barrie’s Music Hall? Let us know in the comments! And if you are a Barrie based business looking to expand your digital footprint with unique, locally driven content, reach out today! We will get you Uncovered.

A Brief History of the Barrie Colts

A Brief History of the Barrie Colts

Remember, like 1000 years ago, when we had live hockey in town?

It’s been a tough, non-sporting year in Barrie. And even though we at least have the NHL back, there is no substitute for the electric energy of being in the building when the puck drops.

There will be a day soon when we can all gather at the Sadlon arena again to watch the Colts. For now, we can re-live the glory days on YouTube and through podcasts. Moreover, we can look back on a brief history of the OHL club we call the Colts.

A Brief History of the Barrie Colts

Early Days

The first version of the Barrie Colts goes way back to the early 20th century, playing in the junior division of the OHA from 1907 until 1910. Among the notable alumni from the early days is Gordon Meeking, who played for the Ottawa Senators. (Another team that folded and eventually came back)

The Colts were resurrected in 1921 and played in the Ontario Hockey Association until 1944. In fact, there was another local team at the time, the Barrie Flyers, who played in the old Dunlop arena until 1960.

The Colts started as a Junior-B team, then were promoted to Junior-A around the start of World War II. The Junior B Colts won the Sutherland Cup Championship in 1934–35. Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Harry Lumley played for this team around this time.

Modern Version Of The Colts

The modern Barrie Colts began as a Junior C team in the Georgia Bay league. In 1970 they moved up to Junior B hockey in the Mid-Ontario Jr. B league, then transferred to the Central Junior B Hockey League in 1978 when the Mid-Ontario league folded.

This version of the Junior B Colts won the Sutherland Cup (OHA chamionship) in 1992–93. For the next few seasons, the Colts played at the Junior A Tier II level. They were finally granted permission to join the Ontario Hockey League as an expansion franchise on May 6, 1994.

As fans here know, the Colts have been very successful since their modern inception. Barrie was the first OHL team to make the post-season in their inaugural year, and has never missed the playoffs in team history. By far the best season in the modern era was 1999-2000, when the Colts won the OHL playoff championship over the Plymouth Whalers. The team competed in the Memorial Cup in Halifax that year, losing to the Rimouski Oceanic. (Yeah, we’re still bitter about it too)


Impressive Alumni

Besides some of the previously mentioned players, the Colts have seen several high end prospects play their way up to the NHL.

Aaron Ekblad, Defenseman

Called the “tower of power” Ekblad skated in 175 games as a member of the Colts from 2011 to 2014. Over his 3 seasons he racked up 40 goals, 76 assists, and 116 points. Ekblad is now a member of the Florida Panthers and is often mentioned as a potential rearguard for Team Canada’s 2022 Olympic squad.

Mark Scheifele, Center

Mark Scheifele, quite simply, was a monster when he played for the Colts. The current Winnipeg Jet scored a ridiculous 84 goals, 133 assists, and 217 points, in just 158 games with the club. He’s a top 10 NHL scorer and a lock to make Team Canada in 2022.

Bryan Little, Center

Little was drafted 12th overall in 2005 and carved out a terrific NHL career with the Atlanta Thrashers and the Winnipeg Jets. While here in Barrie, he collected 342 points in 247 games played.

And even though the Colts can’t play on the ice, you can still support them! The team is providing daily meals for delivery or pickup from the Horsepower Grill.

What Did You Think of A Brief History of the Barrie Colts? Let us know! And if you are a Barrie based business looking to expand your digital footprint, reach out today! We will help get you Uncovered.