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THEN & NOW: Foot of Mulcaster Street

The corner of Mulcaster and Dunlop streets in downtown Barrie has always been busy

This ongoing series from Barrie Historical Archive curator Deb Exel shows old photos from the collection and one from the present day.

Newspaper Printing Offices

In the 1800s, there were three newspapers in Barrie: the Northern Advance, the Examiner and the Gazette.

In 1876, two of them resided down the hill from Market Square at the south east corner of Dunlop and Mulcaster streets: the Examiner Printing Office and next door to the east, the Advance Printing Office.

Underneath the Examiner, facing Mulcaster Street, was the Barrie Paint Shop and right across the street on Dunlop Street was the Clarkson House Hotel.

At that time, the roads were still dirt and sidewalks were wooden. Records of this block from 1888  to 1904 show a painter and glazier at the corner (we know that the Examiner office had moved farther west on Dunlop Street by 1900), a two-storey livery with an attached rough cast office and another rough cast building with some greenhouses – likely owned by William Taylor who had moved his flower store and three of his greenhouses to Dunlop Street in 1897. Beyond this would be the spot where a gazebo would be built.

This corner has always been busy. In 1956, the Jackson family opened a Studebaker dealership and service station on this spot and the car lot was later known as Park Motors in the 1960s.

In the 1970s, Mike’s Milk, CAA and the Hamburger Shoppe were part of the little plaza and there have been many tenants in this busy location since.