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POSTCARD MEMORIES: Minet's Point once a hotspot for the young

During the Second World War, a dance pavilion was a frequent haunt for young soldiers training at Camp Borden

Some communities have been lost to Innisfil when businesses closed, people moved away, and time passed them by. And then there is Minet's Point, which was lost due to annexation.

For more than a century and half, Minet’s Point was very much a part of the Innisfil story.

Minet’s Point traces its origins back to the arrival of Peter Monett in 1833. Monett had served in the British army in defence of Canada during the War of 1812 and was given a land grant as thanks for his service. Monett settled the land and established a farm in what was then largely still wilderness.

Other settlers followed, carving their own farms from the forest.

The place was initially called Monett’s Point in honour of the first settler, but over time errors in transcription saw it evolve to Manett’s Point, then Minett’s Point, and finally Minet’s Point.

For seven decades, regardless of the name it went by, the little community remained sleepy and agricultural. Around the dawn of the new century, however, wealthy people from Toronto began to take note of the sandy beaches and stunning vista viewed from the waterfront. Soon enough, stately cottages, many of which were larger than the homes of full-time residents, began to spring up along the shoreline. Its sleepy existence was over.

Decades passed, and then there was yet another evolution. The Strathy family arrived with an ambitious plan to turn their lakeside property into a Wasaga Beach-style attraction. They built a boardwalk with refreshment booths, a dance pavilion, a park, and bathing beach, and 54 cottages for summer rental. Thanks to the Strathy family and their success, Minet’s Point began to turn away from the wealthy and cultured crowd, becoming a hotspot for the youthful and boisterous.

During the Second World War, the dance pavilion was a frequent haunt for young soldiers training at Camp Borden. They would take a ferry from the government dock in Barrie to Minet’s Point, there to hook up to attractive young girls for an evening of carefree revelry, perhaps their last before being shipped overseas to face the harsh realities of war.

The good times continued in the immediate post-war period. By this time Minet’s Point boasted more than 100 cottages, a summer population of 1,200, and many thousands more day visitors.

Much of the excitement went up in smoke when the dance pavilion burned on July 10, 1958. Minet’s Point was never the same. 

Modern homes began proliferating in the area as Minet’s Point slowly became a suburban community. On Jan 1, 1982, Barrie officially annexed Minet’s Point from Innisfil.