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Barrie Raceway was a half mile track that opened in December of 1973. It was built for winter racing and a good thing it was, as the tracks inaugural was held during a snowstorm. In the seventies race tracks were having a kind of re-birth and that was good, but would it last.

In May of 1985, a tornado of all things rolled into Barrie, Ontario causing major damage to Barrie Raceway. It would take sixteen months of rebuilding before the track would re-open. When racing did return it wasn't the same, the old fans weren't showing up. After some lean years the track ceased operation in 2001, the grandstand would eventually be demolished.

You could blame the tornado, you could blame Georgian Downs, but the reality is horse racing started to lose it's appeal, having to compete with lotteries and casinos. 

speaking of tornados, they can do some pretty bizarre things, like imbedding drinking straws into tree trunks, well the Barrie twister was no exception. In the aftermath of the storm a horse was found wandering across the 401, a major four lane highway in Ontario. The handlers figured the horse got spooked and ran off during the storm. Having identified the animal, it was led back to it's stall, when the group reached the barn, they found the roof had been blown off and the stall door still securely locked. It seems our horse got vacuumed up and then gently put back to earth on the other side of the highway. Guess it won that race!