Fire guts library, investigation closes building


Barrie, Monday, February 20, 2023 – Just after 10:30 p.m. yesterday, Barrie Fire responded to a fire at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on Owen St. in downtown Barrie.

The fire in the Christian education wing was quickly contained and there were no injuries.

The Ontario Fire Marshal is investigating the fire. Our building is therefore closed for church and community meetings until further notice.

We expect our office will be closed on Tuesday, February 21st.

“This is devastating to our church family – but we will work through this with faith and hope,” said Rev. Joanne Lee. “We know the God who has been sufficient until now should be trusted to the end.”

St. Andrew’s Barrie opened its sanctuary on the corner of Owen and Worsley streets on Feb. 25, 1883, and added a Christian education wing after the First World War. It is in that addition where the library is located. The library was where many church artifacts were housed, including the original wooden doors from the church’s Owen Street entrance.

“This could have been much, much worse” said Board of Managers chairman Mark Hoffman. “This is our life at this moment, but better days are ahead and we trust God to get us through it.”