Flags at half-mast in honour of Willard Kinzie, the City of Barrie’s first mayor

Flags at Barrie City Hall are being flown at half-mast in honour of Willard Kinzie, the city’s first mayor who passed away Nov. 25.
Kinzie served as mayor from 1957 to 1961. Barrie officially became a city during his term, in 1959.
“Barrie has lost one of its greatest leaders, and one of its greatest champions,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “Willard Kinzie was the first Mayor of the City of Barrie and truly one of its finest. A man who’s love of Barrie and belief in its potential were unlimited.
“It is not an exaggeration to call Willard Kinzie the father of our waterfront. He saw the possibility to create a park and beach, a place for all the people of Barrie. This legacy not only delights us, it defines us.
“That the first thing about Barrie that most of us mention is our waterfront, is due to Willard’s vision. In more recent years, he brought the concept of a waterfront heritage trail to the City, now enjoyed by residents and visitors as they walk around Kempenfelt Bay.”
Kinzie’s bronzed handprint, cast in 2016, waits at the end of the Waterfront Heritage Trail at Penetanguishene Road to offer a ‘high five’ to those who complete the trail. An avid trail user, Kinzie envisioned a way for residents to learn about Barrie’s history while enjoying an open air, self-guided interpretative experience on the city’s s waterfront.

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