Barrie's beginnings can be traced back to First Nations People using the western shores of Kempenfelt Bay as a place of rest before travelling the portage that ran between Lake Simcoe and the Nottawasaga River to Lake Huron. The War of 1812 resulted in increased use allowing for British troops and supplies to bypass the American forces at Detroit. At the war's end, settlers arrived and took up residence at the end of the portage, beginning the traces of Barrie's first community. The British military presence is reflected in many street names, and even in the name of the city itself, in honour of British Admiral Sir Robert Barrie.
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