Spirit Catcher is a sculpture located in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. It was created by Ron Baird and installed in 1986. The sculpture is made of welded steel and painted bright red. Its unique design features two large steel arcs that intersect at the top to form a giant “X” shape, with a spherical shape suspended in the middle. The sculpture stands 70 feet tall and weighs approximately 20 tons.
The Spirit Catcher has become an iconic landmark in Barrie and a symbol of the city’s artistic and cultural identity. It is situated on the shore of Kempenfelt Bay, providing stunning views of the lake and surrounding area.
Over the years, the Spirit Catcher has undergone several restorations and renovations to ensure its longevity and preservation. Despite the challenges posed by weather and time, the sculpture remains a cherished part of Barrie’s landscape.
The idea for the Spirit Catcher sculpture was first proposed in 1984 by the City of Barrie’s Arts Council. The council wanted to commission a public artwork that would reflect the city’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. Ron Baird, a renowned Canadian artist, was selected to create the sculpture.
Baird drew inspiration from the Ojibwe legend of the dreamcatcher, a woven hoop that is said to filter out bad dreams and allow only good dreams to pass through. He wanted to create a modern interpretation of this concept that would capture the spirit of the city and its people.
The Spirit Catcher was unveiled on July 1, 1986, as part of the celebrations for Canada’s 119th birthday. It has been featured in numerous publications, TV shows, and movies, and has even served as the backdrop for concerts and other events.
If you are driving up from Toronto, you can take Highway 400 northbound for approximately 90 kilometers until you reach Barrie. The drive takes about an hour and a half, depending on traffic. Alternatively, you can take the GO Train from Union Station in downtown Toronto to Barrie’s Allandale Waterfront GO Station. The train ride takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes and offers stunning views of Lake Simcoe along the way. Once you arrive in Barrie, you can take a taxi or public transit to the Spirit Catcher sculpture, which is located on the waterfront near the city’s downtown core.
Nearby the Spirit Catcher, there are a variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops located in the downtown core of Barrie. Visitors can take a stroll along the waterfront and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Kempenfelt Bay, or visit Heritage Park and explore the historic buildings and artifacts on display. The MacLaren Art Centre, located just a short walk from the Spirit Catcher, features a wide range of contemporary and historical art exhibitions from local and international artists. For those interested in outdoor activities, there are several parks and trails in the area for hiking, cycling, and picnicking, including Arboretum Sunnidale Park, Barrie’s largest park ground. In the winter months, visitors can enjoy skiing and snowboarding at nearby resorts like Horseshoe Valley and Snow Valley.