"Simcoe District" was established in 1843 by the Legislature of Upper Canada. In 1994 the Corporation of the County of Simcoe was restructured into sixteen local municipalities, including the Cities of Barrie and Orillia. Home to the longest freshwater beach in the world, the County of Simcoe offers live theatre, boating, fishing, sporting events, concerts, festivals and events, museums, hiking trails....the list goes on. A four season destination with something for everyone!
The Old Simcoe Hotel at 31 Bayfield St Barrie has a tale to tell.
People have sworn they’ve seen a woman wearing a long dress standing motionless and deathly pale standing amidst the shadows of the historic building, or that sudden cold breezes without obvious source can suddenly caress one’s face.
On one occasion, an ethereal woman was momentarily seen stretched out on the floor stretched out on the floor inside the hotel. What these eyewitnesses couldn’t possibly know is that in the bitterly cold winter of 1872 a woman named Elizabeth Meyer had frozen to death outside the hotel after a lengthy bout of drinking and her corpse was brought into the Simcoe Hotel to be examined by the coroner. It seems the poor woman is bound to the spot where she died more than a century ago.
The beautiful facade of the Thornton Village Inn at 238 Barrie St in Thornton hides a dark secret.
During the 19th century, the building was host to many travelers, but among the masses one pair, a young couple, stood out. She was beautiful and gentle, he abusive and unfeeling. One night, the woman and her cruel husband began to quarrel, and as it often did, the fight soon turned violent. The woman fell under a rain of insults and punches that left her body and spirit bruised. She was either thrown down the stairs from the second floor or fell as she ran from the assault. In either case, by the time her body had come to rest at the bottom, it was broken and lifeless.
Since then, “The Lady of the Stairs” is said to haunt the second floor of the restaurant. She can be seen standing atop the staircase, walking along the second-floor mezzanine, and looking mournfully down upon the village below from the second-floor balcony. Tradition states she appears most often on the anniversary of her death.