The Town of Innisfil is located on the western shore of Cooks Bay, the most southern arm of Lake Simcoe. It is south of Barrie and Kempenfelt Bay, east of County Rd 27 (previously Hwy 27) and 80 km north of Toronto.
Innisfil’s roots are as a prosperous rural agricultural community and the villages scattered throughout the township were part of the family farm era with one room schools and at least one church and a general store in each. Cookstown, Stroud, Churchill, Belle Ewart, Lefroy and Gilford were all part of the rich history that formed this community.
But with progress comes change and the rapid growth experienced in Barrie and the GTA has meant greater residential development in Innisfil, as well.. Hewn from unbroken virgin forests which had been home to the Huron Indians, Innisfil’s history spans more than 170 years. Through a series of annexations between 1967 and 2010, the City of Barrie inherited several tracts of land enabling it to expand as part of the Province of Ontario’s “Places to Grow” strategy.
By 2006, Innisfil had a total permanent population of 31,175 and estimated seasonal population of 4,000 people. Enjoying the benefits of an unbroken Lake Simcoe shoreline from Gilford north to Big Bay Point and west to the 20th Sideroad (Barrie city limits), it has long been a community of seasonal homes for people living in Toronto. Today, however, it has seen massive residential and commercial development in Alcona, (Innisfil Beach Rd east of 20th Sideroad to the lake). The other massive initiative in the past decade has been the Friday Harbour development in Big Bay Point a planned community, harbour and executive golf course.
Many of those who call Innisfil home today are commuting to Barrie, Alliston or the GTA to work. New home construction has been primarily focused on larger family homes for those willing to trade the commute for the home of their dreams. Smaller bungalows catering to the empty nesters are dotted throughout these new developments providing a very integrated community feeling. Over the past 20 years, most of the "cottages" along the lake shore have been converted into year-round homes further expanding the housing inventory in the area.
The Sandy Cove Adult Lifestyle community, which was the first and largest retirement community in Southern Ontario was purchased by Parkbridge as one the 58 adult communities they operate across Canada. Situated a few blocks from Lake Simcoe on 300 acres of land, as a pioneer it has attracted midlifers for more than 40 years in providing purpose-built adult communities and amenities.
For those who love the thrill of racing, Innisfil has 2 tracks offering those who love the thrill of horse racing or NASCAR automobile racing the best of both worlds. Georgian Downs opened in 2001 as a dual venue with horse racing and a full casino. Since opening as a dirt track for local stock car racing more than 30 years ago, Sunset Speedway has evolved into a world-class NASCAR-approved track attracting major race teams. And for those who love to compete with themselves, there are several championship golf courses available, as well.
Finally, being minutes from Barrie and the amenities it has to offer, those who choose to make Innisfil their home have all the conveniences of the city nearby and come back to the more relaxed lifestyle of their waterside community. You owe it to yourself and your family to explore Innisfil and see if it feels right…
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