Feature Exhibit


"Historic Sites Throughout Simcoe County"

Established in 1966, the Simcoe County Archives was the first county archives in Ontario. The Archives collects, preserves, and makes available the documentary heritage of the County of Simcoe, which includes:


  • The permanent records of the County of Simcoe
  • The permanent records of County lower-tier municipalities
  • The permanent records of the City of Barrie
  • A large collection of historical material relating to the County of Simcoe, including photographs, maps, genealogical material, original manuscripts, sound recordings and moving images, newspapers, and books.  

The Archives has grown into an 18,000 square foot facility. It is staffed by 6 full-time employees and contains seven climate-controlled records storage vaults for the long-term preservation of an ever-growing collection. The Archives’ records currently fill more than 2.7 linear kilometers of shelf space.  

The Archives collects digital records as well as physical ones. Born-digital and digitized records can present more significant problems for long-term preservation than do physical records. Staff are working to implement a digital preservation program to effectively preserve the digital records we acquire. 

The Archives is also interested in collecting modern records as well as old materials. The records we create now, in the course of our lives and work, whether for business or personal purposes, in analog or digital, textual or other media, will one day be raw resource material for researchers.  

If you think you have records which shed light on the on-going history of the County of Simcoe’s communities, residents, and visitors, and which reflect the richness of its cultural diversity, please contact the Archives to discuss donation.   

One important highlight of the Archives is its collection of thousands of photographs documenting a century and a half of County history.  

Collections include photographs of many sizes and types:

  • Ambrotypes
  • Daguerreotypes
  • Tintypes
  • Cyanotypes
  • Silver emulsion
  • Various sizes of film and glass plate negatives  

A wide variety of subjects can be found: 

  • Street scenes and buildings 
  • Portraits and snapshots
  • Agriculture and industry
  • Businesses and workplaces
  • Vistas and landscapes 
  • And more 

Photographs open a window into the past. Seeing people, places, and details in photographs can produce an immediate and visceral response and be a gateway to a love of history. By studying archival records, you can see how previous social, political, and economic activities created the County we celebrate today. 

The Archives is pleased to be participating in the Focus on Simcoe photography festival. As you take in these exhibits, give some thought as to how contemporary photographs can capture the unfolding history of the County of Simcoe. 

If you’d like to browse the Simcoe County Archives’ extensive collection of photographs, or if you’re interested in local history or genealogy, please visit! The Archives is open to the public Monday through Friday. 

Matthew Fells

County Archivist

Simcoe County Archives 

1149 Highway 26, Minesing ON L9X 0Z7 

Phone: 705-726-9300

 Fax: 705-725-5341 

E-mail:  archives@simcoe.ca 

Web:  https://www.simcoe.ca/dpt/arc


St. Ignace – Original Canadian Martyrs’ Shrine 1914

In 1907, Dennis O'Connor, Archbishop of Toronto, consecrated a small chapel at Waubaushene, near the site where Sts. Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lalemant were martyred. In 1925, Fr. John M. Filion, provincial superior of Jesuits in Canada, decided to pursue the construction of a larger church closer to the mission.  


African Methodist Episcopal Church, Oro (constructed 1847)

In 1838, Rev. Ari Raymond, a graduate of Oberlin College and an abolitionist, was sent to minister to the black population of Oro Township. In 1849, he helped the community to build the African Methodist Episcopal Church near Edgar. The first black minister was Rev. R.S.W. Sorrick, who served until 1847. After the families moved out of the area, the church fell into a state of disrepair.

Location and Hours

Located at the beautiful Five Points (Previously The Mady Center)


1 Dunlop St W, Barrie, ON L4N 1A1

 Reception: May 31 - 7pm - 9pm