Built through dense unbroken forest, Innisfil was home to the Hurons until the 1820s. The area was a vast 69, 000 acres that included the villages of Allandale, Tollendale, Painswick, Minets Point, and Holly.
The first families to settle in the region were, the Hewsons in March of 1820. They named the region Hewson’s Point before later naming it Big Bay Point. The Soules followed in 1822, and finally The Warnica family in 1823.
Following the completion of Yonge Street in the fall of 1825, settlers cleared the lands along the roads and developed farms. Those who travelled by river settled along the shored of Lake Simcoe and Kempenfelt Bay. Much of the farms were self sustaining as the closest market was in the nearby village of Barrie. During the winter snow and ice made York (Toronto) more accessible by road.
During this era of development, post offices, churches and stores were established in the town. The first post office was built at the present Barclay’s Corner, and the first school was built in 1838.
The earliest census recording shows that Innisfail’s population was 762 people by 1842. By 1850 the population had nearly tripled and the Township of Innisfil was established. The Allandale village grew significantly following the construction of the Ontario, Simcoe and Huron Railway (later named the Northern Railway). The railway led to further construction of public roads and eventually smaller hamlets within Innisfil. Belle Ewart in 1854, Henry’s Corner (Thornton) in 1833, Perry’s Corners (Cookstown) in 1859. Part of Innisfail was incorporated into the Village of Allandale and eventually Barrie.
Innisfil’s population flourished to 3,500 and by the 1950s, however low cost housing and the price of fuel outside Toronto encouraged commuter residents. This influenced the season residences on the shoreline as many quickly evolved into permanent residences.