Well, it wasn’t thaaaaaat long ago. But still, it’s been almost a decade since the old Barrie Arena (or Dunlop arena) still stood on the corner of Dunlop Street and Mulcaster.
Prior to the Barrie Colts, the arena was used for recreational hockey, and the Barrie Flyers Ball Hockey team. The feel of the arena detailed by Kevin Jordan on OHLArenaGuide.com:
“When we went to the Barrie Arena to visit, we walked in the front door and the place was absolutely rocking with crowd noise. What could be causing that noise? Try about a hundred parents at a kids’ game. Barrie Arena is designed for sound, and the roar must have unbelievable with a full house. Structurally speaking, the arena was virtually falling apart. The wooden seats were all long wooden benches with backrests, painted dark green and bolted to wooden floorboards. The arena seemed to glow in the dim light. The score-clock was essentially non-existent. The seats ran down both sides of the building, and in one end was a warm room for kids, nursing mothers, and wusses.”
The addition of the Barrie Colts to the OHL in 1995 necessitated the construction of a new arena, which we now know today as the BMC. While it was constructed, the Colts would play their inaugural season inside the Barrie Arena, a roster that included later NHL mainstay Jeff Cowan.
Barrie City Council approved the demolition of the Barrie Arena in March 2008, citing the building’s deteriorating condition and need for a new flagship fire hall. Deconstruction of the Arena would only take a few months, and Barrie’s Fire Hall No. 1 would take it’s place on the site.
For more info on the old Barrie/Dunop Arena, as well as other OHL arenas past and present, visit OHLArenaGuide.com