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ITINERARIES - SIMCOE SPIRITUALITY
(Recommended May to October)

Simcoe County is home to many spiritually significant locations.  Whatever your beliefs or denomination, these sites offer opportunities to connect with something bigger than oneself, or time for quiet reflection to look inward and appreciate spirituality of all kinds.

Thousands of people have made pilgrimages to Martyr's Shrine in Midland.  Built to honour the memory of Canadian martyrs and missionaries, the Shrine stands as sacred ground where people of many nations and cultures gather to inspire hope and to build a civilization of love for everyone.  The Shrine is an architectural masterpiece, and offers many points of interest.

After visiting the Shrine, travel across the street to experience the spirituality of nature at Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre.  Open year-round, the Centre is a haven for all types of wildlife.  Walk through the beautiful plant life to observe the behaviour of mammals like beaver, porcupine, mink, and river otter.  Spot snakes, turtles, and frogs basking in the afternoon sun, and witness the majestic flight of the Trumpeter Swan.  Take advantage of many points of interest and rest spots along the trails to truly tune into the sights and sounds of nature.

Travel to Barrie for a delicious lunch before your next spiritual experience at the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Oro.  Located at Old Barrie Road West and Line 3 North, the heritage church tells the story of retired African-American and British soldiers from the War of 1812, as well as those fleeing slavery in the United States.  These pioneers were encouraged to settle in Oro after the war, where they built the Church in 1849.  The Church itself has been preserved and restored, and the pulpit, a table, a penitence bench, and numerous rough-cut plank benches still remain, the actual date of their construction unknown.  This important historic site predates other well-known Black Canadian heritage sites.  It marks and celebrates the first section of land especially set aside for Black ownership in Canada, at a time when other nations were not encouraging ownership for Black settlers.  The essence of the pioneer church is palpable, and both the building and a nearby stone cairn stand as monuments to those who worshipped in the Church for years and were buried beside it.

For some quiet time to reflect, be sure to visit Barrie's Sunnidale Park.  Enjoy hundreds of beautiful flowers in Barrie's beautiful arboretum.  Take some time to sit in the Tranquility Garden, where benches and a soothing water feature provides a quiet refuge for rest and contemplation.  In the spring, the Lilac Dell is bursting with the scent and colour of over 60 varieties of lilacs. Walk the labyrinth cut in the grass, a pattern used for centuries to aid in meditation and quiet reflection.  Surrounded by nature, you can find peace and tranquility.

If you would like to visit a church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other place of worship in Barrie, please go to www.tourismbarrie.com for a complete list of places of worship.

In our busy and hectic life, let Simcoe County's spiritual sites offer you tranquility and serenity.

**Please note all Itineraries are simply suggestions, are self-guided and not preset. Organizers must contact the individual attractions for admission, restaurants for reservations and hotels for available accommodations**