Barrie went onto half pay after the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. He married Julia Wharton Ingilby on 24 October 1816 and went to live in France. He returned to service in January 1819, with the post of commissioner of the dockyard at Kingston, Upper Canada. The post made him senior naval officer in the Canadas, with control over the inland waterways and the port at Quebec. He settled at Point Frederick, Kingston, and among his achievements was the construction of a three-storey stone warehouse between 1819 and 1820. The building held the equipment of the ships reduced to the reserve under the Rush-Bagot Agreement of 1817. It was used briefly as a barracks, and then refitted to become part of the Royal Military College of Canada by 1876. It still survives, and is known as the Stone Frigate.
Barrie exerted himself in a number of maritime-related matters, including the International Boundary Commission. He promoted a hydrographic survey of the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes, the building of the Rideau and Welland canals, and relations with the United States. He became particular friends with a number of politicians, including Governors Lord Dalhousie and his successor Lord Aylmer, and Sir Peregrine Maitland and his wife Lady Sarah. During his later in Canada Barrie considered the possibility of a seat on the executive councils of the Canadas, but received an unpromising response from Sir George Cockburn.
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