Nearly one year after a tornado devastated multiple neighborhoods in the south end of Barrie, a community cleanup effort was underway Sunday.

On July 15, 2021, an EF-2 Tornado devastated parts of Barrie’s south end. On Sunday, city councilor Natalie Harris and Barrie-Innisfil MP Andrea Khanjin led a group of volunteers cleaning up some of the hardest-hit neighborhoods after a winter of reconstruction efforts.

“I hope they just know that we haven’t forgotten them, and winter was hard, and now that the snow is gone, we’re going to put our hands where they need to be, pick up the garbage,” said Harris. “We heard a sad story that kids were counting nails and making a game with how many nails they could get, so then immediately we were like we need to do this right away, and that’s why we’re here!”

Harris was visiting her son at his father’s home, which was hit hard when the tornado hit that day last July.

“There are still homes that are waiting for insurance adjustors to finish claims and rebuild their homes. So some have come a long way,” says Harris. “It’s still a really long journey for this community, so even to have them see that we’re out there and we haven’t forgotten about them, and we’re trying our best to support them.”

The group’s efforts on Sunday were concentrated on Sun King Crescent and Prince William Way.

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