Add some local flavour to your Christmas list

MacLaren Art Centre and Simcoe County Museum have all your local history and Spirit Catcher needs

Dec 14, 2018 7:30 AM by: Shawn Gibson

As with many city shops that sell Barrie-centric items, there are always those unique Christmas gifts for the person in your life who is looking to have a very Barrie Christmas.

Barrie is a growing city and whether you’re a new resident or have been here your whole life, there is a certain pride that likely comes with living in the city by the bay.

For those looking to show off their love for Barrie, there are a couple spots in town that you can add to your Christmas list.

Jessica Comella, the gallery shop and facility rental bookings manager for the MacLaren Art Centre in downtown Barrie, says even though the art gallery isn’t known for its shopping, people still make their way up Mulcaster Street to check out what is available.

“We definitely see an increase of people coming into the store because of the holiday season and we often hear how they didn’t know we had a shop in the gallery,” Comella said.

The MacLaren gallery shop has many art piece items for sale, but also items that show off the city as best they can.

The Spirit Catcher is the city’s most known structure by far and only at the gallery shop can you get items with the image of the sculpture on them. For between 15 and 25 bucks, you can find Spirit Catcher travel mugs, water bottles, T-shirts and journals.

“The Spirit Catcher is very unique to Barrie and I think people find it to be very special, so when they see the many items in the shop that have the artwork on them, they certainly like to grab them up,” said Comella.

“There have been many times that I’ve wore my Spirit Catcher shirt outside and get questions as to where I got it, but I think the new journals will sell especially fast,” she added. 

If downtown isn’t your thing, you can also head to the Simcoe County Museum in Midhurst (1151 Highway 26) to find local gifts for people in the spirit of the area.

Forrest Patenaude, the museum’s supervisor of education and visitor engagement, says there’s something for everyone at the museum shop.

“We have so many local artisans who use our shop to sell their knitted hats and socks as well local food but our books are pretty cool, too,” Patenaude said. “Local history is such a great thing to read up on especially when the book is called Whiskey and Wickedness Barrie.”

For more information on the MacLaren Art Centre, head to, while the Simcoe County Museum can be found online at