By Sonya Anderson
Three Barrie recreation centres celebrated milestone anniversaries this fall. Allandale turned 35, East Bayfield celebrated its 15th year, and the Holly Community Centre marked its 10th year serving Barrie and area residents.
Barrie/Innisfil MP John Brassard was the Ward 7 councillor a decade ago when the Holly Community Centre opened and did the honours of cutting the anniversary cake.
“I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since the community centre opened,” he said. “It seems like yesterday. I remember the day it opened and the excitement that came with it.
“As we knew it would, the centre has become a vibrant gathering place for the Holly Community. I remember how under-serviced this area was when it came to a facility like this. Residents of Holly would have to go to the Allandale Recreation Centre to access city services but as soon as Holly opened, young people, families and seniors embraced it with open arms and it’s been a busy place ever since.”
Brassard is especially proud of the accolades city facilities receive from out of town visitors.
“Sometimes, when I was here, I could overhear people, who were here from other cities for hockey games, talk about how beautiful Holly Recreation Centre is and how they wished they had one of these back home,” he said.
Each facility’s celebrations featured a variety of fun activities for participants of all ages to enjoy. The Holly event included face painting, arts and crafts, a photo booth, open gym and swim times, along with hours of games and songs. The festivities also coincided with the third annual Fall Market, which featured numerous local artisans and vendors selling fresh baked goods, jewelry, furniture clothing and home decor.
Celebration attendees signed a book of memories and were encouraged to bring an item reflective of 2018 to be included in a time capsule that will be sealed and opened in 10 year’s time for Holly’s 20th anniversary celebration in 2028.
All of the city’s community centres offer hundreds of programs and are thriving hubs of activity throughout the year.
Main photo: Twin sisters, Chloe and Michelle, play Spin to Win.
Inset photo: City of Barrie staffer, Kim Forster, displays the book of signatures and memories to be included in the time capsule. Sonya Anderson photos