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The recent census put Barrie's population at 136,000, up 19% from just 5 years ago and making it the 21st largest metro area in Canada. Despite this torrid growth rate, getting around Barrie is usually painless — unless you're on Highway 400, which carves through the centre of town and is the main road leading to Toronto and up to cottage country.

That means the 400 is usually busy and packed with lots of traffic, especially on holiday weekends. But whether you're a weekend warrior, a daily commuter, or an occasional driver, you need auto insurance. At, you'll be able to get the most competitive quotes from all the top providers quickly and easily.

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Driving in Barrie

Most popular cars in Barrie.

According to our data, Barrie drivers seem to prefer Japanese automakers, with Honda, Toyota, and Nissan being the top three most popular brands. Ford comes in 4th and Mazda, 5th.

Popular Brands

  1. Honda
  2. Toyota
  3. Nissan
  4. Ford
  5. Mazda

Who shops for auto insurance in Barrie?

Based on our data, here's who's shopping for car insurance in Barrie.

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Your questions about driving in Barrie, answered.

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Facts and myths about driving in Barrie


  • Barrie's busiest intersection is arguably Mapleview Drive and Essa Road — more than 40,000 vehicles travel through it everyday.
  • Barrie hosts one of the biggest winter celebrations in all of Ontario: Winterfest. The festival, which takes place on a frozen Lake Simcoe, includes snow sculptures, dog sled races, ice fishing, and polar bear dips — what's not to love?
  • Owning and driving a vehicle is an important part of life in Barrie. According to the 2011 National Household Survey, 89.8% of Barrie residents commute to work by vehicle.


  • Barrie is merely a 'drive-by' city on the way to more vibrant locales like Muskoka and Collingwood. False. Barrie's downtown is actually one of the liveliest in all of Ontario, with bars, restaurants, and clubs dotting the streets.
  • Barrie doesn't have public transit options, so you have to drive if you want to go anywhere. False. Barrie Transit operates nine two-directional bus routes and boasts five transit hubs. Getting around Barrie is easy.
  • The 400 is the only way to quickly get in and out of Barrie. False. Highways 26 and 11 also service the Barrie region, and they're favourite routes among the locals.

Barrie driving tips

  1. If you're driving in Barrie during the winter, buy snow tires — now. Barrie lies in Ontario's snowbelt, and it regularly gets over 100 inches of snow annually — that's more than on some ski slopes.
  2. Beat the Barrie gridlock by cooling off at one of the city's beaches. Instead of roasting on the busy roads in the summertime, reroute to one of Barrie's downtown beaches on Lake Simcoe.
  3. Due to snow removal efforts, overnight parking isn't permitted on Barrie streets in the winter. The city's by-law states that from December 1 to March 31, between the hours of 12:01 AM and 7:00 AM, street parking is strictly prohibited. In the Downtown Business Improvement Area, the hours are slightly less restrictive and run from 3:00 AM to 6:00 AM.
  4. Drivers trekking to cottage country through Barrie can recharge at "On Route" rest stops along the way. The On Route stops are all newly-refurbished, and you can find one location in Barrie and one further south, in King City.

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