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Skip Navigation LinksBarn-Quilt-Trail Simcoe County Barn Quilts

Simcoe County Barn Quilts

​​​​What are the Simcoe County Barn Quilts?

This initiative was originally conceived of​ by the County of Simcoe and the Simcoe County Federation of Agriculture, with the original idea to celebrate Canada's Sesquicentennial, the 150th Anniversary of Canada's Confederation.

Simcoe County Barn Quilts are made up of over 150 quilts.  This self-guided experience provides a new approach to exploring the area.  It highlights the County's many farm-based businesses and tell stories that are intrinsic to the rich fabric of Simcoe County.  Each quilt pattern is different and many represent family traditions and local heritage. 

Each quilt block is painted on two 4x8' aluminum panels, not plywood, to create an 8x8' square.  Using aluminum instead of plywood ensures a longer lasting and more durable final product and also one that's a little bit lighter (the installation company likes that!). 

Each pattern was chosen by the quilt host in collaboration with the project's Artistic Coordinator and drawn onto the two aluminum panels.  The design was then painted by either the host and their friends and family, volunteer painters, or at various community paint sessions that were held in different locations throughout the County.  

Use the interactive map below to view the locations of the 156​ barn quilt locations in Simcoe County.  A printed map  is now available. Contact tourism@simcoe.ca to request one or download a copy here:​  Simcoe County Barn Simcoe County Barn Quilt map.PDF

​ ​**Please note: Camphill Communities' Barn Quilts are NOT accessible to the public currently due to CoVid-19 and Camphill's congregate care setting.  Please check back soon to plan your visit to see their quilts! 
** Disclaimer - Drive Safely and Respect Privacy. When viewing barn quilts please use caution when stopping or slowing down.
Please remember that most barns are on private property and the quilts must only be viewed from the safety of your vehicle.       

Use #SimcoeCountyBarnQuilts to show off your favourite! 

County Cookstown

What is a Barn Quilt?

Barn quilts are said to have been founded by Donna Sue Groves of Adams County, Ohio in 2001.  Quilt patterns were generally painted onto 8x8' square pieces of plywood and installed on barns, but some decided to go a bit smaller and create 2x2' and 4x4' barn quilt squares and display them on fence poles, utility sheds or anywhere else that they would be visible to those that passed by.  In the 35 years since the first barn quilt appeared in in Adams County over 7000 barn quilts have been created and proudly displayed throughout North America. 

Our Goal

Our goal was to have over 150 barn quilts installed throughout the County in each of the 16 member municipalities. 

Where are the quilts?

Barn quilts can be found in all 16 of Simcoe County's member municipalities.  

Who was involved?  Painting

QUILT HOSTS: Land owners who have barns or implement sheds located in Simcoe County.  The selected building must be visible from the road, unless located at a business where the public is welcome, and maintained for 5 years.

PAINTERS: Tourism Simcoe County has worked with volunteers from all around the County including individuals, groups of friends, Camphill Communities Companions, residents at County run Long Term Care Homes, and at community events.  

Cost to Participate?

There was NO COST to participate. Hosts may have had to purchase their own paint if they desired a specific colour that was not already available. 

•Tourism Simcoe County and Simcoe County Federation of Agriculture are the sponsors for this project.

•Dulux Paint has supplied 25 colours of paint through their Colourful Communities sponsorship program.


Who Decided What the Quilt Pattern Will Be?

  • Barn owners decided what quilt design they wanted to display on their barns.  They were allotted a 3 hour consultation with the project's Artistic Coordinator, Ruth Hurdle (ruthpaints@rogers.com)
  • Barn owners that didn't have a preference regarding quilt pattern were assigned a quilt pattern
  • 25 different paint colours have been provided by Dulux through their Colourful Communities program.  *Hosts may have had to purchase their own paint if they wanted a specific colour.
  • All designs had to be approved by the Project Coordinator and Artistic Coordinator.

Who Did the Painting?Painting

  • Barn owners
  • Volunteer painters
  • Artists
  • Community groups

*There was no remuneration for painting, as this is a volunteer project.*

​The Quilts are Painted, Now What?

  • The quilt panels are attached to a 2"x4" pressure treated frames
  • The quilts are installed on the barns by a professional sign installer (Signz N Designz)

Once all quilts have been installed, promotional material will be created that will guide visitors to each location throughout Simcoe County and provide background about the hosts, the quilt design and the painters.


Can I Participate?

Ruth Sawyer ruth.sawyer@simcoe.ca, (705) 726-9300 ext. 1408


Our Partners ​

Our partners 


What's Nearby

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