The Inspiration Behind an Angel’s Hometown

Blake St. house, Barrie, Ontario

The Inspiration Behind an Angel’s Hometown

The hometown of my main character in Angel of Mercy, Henrietta Steward, is Barrie, Ontario. Many real-life buildings were the inspiration for her family and friends’ homes and workplaces. Without leaving many spoilers, here are a sampling of photos that inspired places in the novel:

These houses were the model for the Steward home which was built in the 1890s.

Houses on Collingwood St., Barrie, Ontario
Houses on Collingwood St., Barrie, Ontario
Blake St. house, Barrie, Ontario
Blake St. house, Barrie, Ontario

This house in H Block, shown when it was nearing demolition, inspired the Bartlette home.

H Block house, Barrie, Ontario
H Block house, Barrie, Ontario

This duplex inspired the Bartlettes’ triplex.

A duplex on Peel St., Barrie, Ontario
A duplex on Peel St., Barrie, Ontario

A view of downtown.

Dunlop St., Barrie, Ontario
Dunlop St., Barrie, Ontario

The view of Barrie from Court House Hill.

Court House Hill, Barrie, Ontario
Court House Hill, Barrie, Ontario

This is the jail, the workplace of Henrietta’s brother, Frederick. This photo appears to have been taken about 50 years after the events in Angel of Mercy, however.

The Jail (Gaol) in Barrie, Ontario. The photo appears to be from the 1970s.
The Jail (Gaol) in Barrie, Ontario. The photo appears to be from the 1970s.

The family church. Although the neighborhood looks different, the church is little changed since it was built in the 1880s.

St. Andrew’s

The Steward children would have attended one of these schools.

Prince of Wales Public School
Prince of Wales Public School
A sketch of the Barrie Grammar School before it burned in 1916
A sketch of the Barrie Grammar School before it burned in 1916

The train station.

The Grand Trunk Railroad station and roundhouse, Barrie, Ontario, 1910
The Grand Trunk Railroad station and roundhouse, Barrie, Ontario, 1910

The bay.

The waterfront in Barrie, Ontario, in 1909
The waterfront in Barrie, Ontario, in 1909

Enjoy glimpses of the past? Visit my Pinterest board Barrie, Ontario.

These and many other photos also can be found on Tourism Barrie.

Have you ever been to Barrie, Ontario? Leave a comment below.

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Updated: 10 August 2010

Melina Druga
Most kids have an active imagination. My imagination has stayed strong into adulthood, and I’ve funneled that creativity into a successful writing career. I write history, both fiction and nonfiction, because although your school history classes may have been boring, the past is not. My goal is to bring the past to life in all its myriad of colors.
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