MacLaren Art Centre

The MacLaren Art Centre is a public art gallery located in Barrie, Ontario. The gallery was founded in 2001 and has since become a hub for contemporary art in the region, hosting exhibitions and events that showcase the work of both local and international artists. The MacLaren Art Centre features a diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, and other forms of visual art, as well as a number of educational programs designed to engage visitors of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you’re an art lover or simply curious about the world of contemporary art, the MacLaren Art Centre is definitely worth a visit.


The MacLaren Art Centre was established in 2001 after the merger of the Barrie Art Club and the Kempenfelt Community Players. The newly formed organization was named after the late Tom MacLaren, a local philanthropist and art collector who had donated a significant amount of money and artwork to the gallery over the years. Since its inception, the MacLaren Art Centre has become a cultural hub for the region, attracting visitors from all over Ontario and beyond. The gallery’s staff and volunteers work tirelessly to promote the arts and to foster a sense of community through their various outreach initiatives. Today, the MacLaren Art Centre is widely regarded as one of the top public art galleries in the province, and it continues to grow and evolve with each passing year.

Things to Do

Visitors to the MacLaren Art Centre can explore the gallery’s extensive collection of artworks, which includes everything from traditional oil paintings to cutting-edge installations. In addition to its permanent collection, the gallery also offers a rotating series of temporary exhibitions, providing visitors with the opportunity to see new and exciting works of art on a regular basis. The MacLaren Art Centre also hosts a variety of events and programs throughout the year, including artist talks, workshops, and film screenings. These events are designed to engage visitors of all ages and backgrounds and to encourage a greater appreciation of the arts. For those who are interested in further exploring the local arts scene, the MacLaren Art Centre is just one of many cultural institutions located in the Barrie area. Other notable attractions include the Georgian Theatre, the Barrie Farmers Market, and the Barrie Public Library.

Getting There

The MacLaren Art Centre is located in Barrie’s downtown core. For those who are driving, there is ample parking available nearby, including a large parking lot located directly behind the gallery. The gallery is also accessible by public transit, with several bus routes stopping just a short walk away.

If you’re coming from Toronto, take the Gardiner Expressway west to Highway 400 North. Follow Highway 400 North for approximately 80 kilometres, then take the Dunlop Street East exit. Continue on Dunlop Street for about one kilometre until you reach Mulcaster Street. Turn left onto Mulcaster and continue for two blocks until you reach the gallery. If you’re travelling by public transit, take the Barrie GO Train to the Allandale Waterfront Station. From there, you can either walk or take a bus to the gallery. The MacLaren Art Centre is located within walking distance of many of Barrie’s downtown attractions, so it’s easy to make a day of exploring the area. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply looking for a fun and educational way to spend an afternoon, the MacLaren Art Centre is definitely worth a visit.

Nearby Attractions

In addition to the MacLaren Art Centre, there are many other interesting attractions to explore in the Barrie area. For those who love the outdoors, there are several beautiful parks and nature reserves nearby, including Sunnidale Park and the Ardagh Bluffs. These areas offer miles of scenic walking trails, as well as opportunities for birdwatching, picnicking, and more. If you’re interested in history, be sure to check out the Simcoe County Museum, which features exhibits on local heritage and culture. And if you’re looking for a fun family outing, consider visiting the nearby Splash Canyon Water Park or the popular Sky Zone Trampoline Park. Finally, wine aficionados will want to visit the Heritage Estate Winery and Events.