2012 Waterfront and Marina
The City of Barrie is updating its twelve year old Waterfront Master Plan through the Barrie Waterfront and Marina Strategic Plan project being completed in 2012. Over the past several months, a consulting team has carried out a number of stakeholder meetings, that have lead the Design Team to key issues and opportunities that require exploration during this master plan update process.
Waterfront and Marina Public Open House
Held on Wednesday, November 7, 2012
South Shore Community Centre
The Study currently underway encompasses the entire length of Barrie’s waterfront, starting from Johnson’s Beach and the easterly limits of the North Shore Trail at Penetanguishene Road, including the westerly, southerly and easterly surroundings of Kempenfelt Bay and the City of Barrie marina, all the way to Wilkin’s Beach near the City’s easterly boundary with the Town of Innisfil.
The stakeholder meetings revealed that conflicting visions exist for the future of the Barrie Waterfront. Is the Barrie Waterfront a recreational resource for City residents? Is it a tourist attraction and economic development engine? Is it a cultural resource and the location for various festivals and events? Is it a natural heritage resource that requires protection from all of this activity? Can it be all things to all people? These questions indicate that a clear vision is needed that will promote long-term decision-making that conforms to that vision.
Also, it was found that Barrie’s waterfront is truly cherished by our residents. Some key features that emphasize its popularity are its scale, its tremendous connectivity to our City, and its ability to provide and accommodate multiple functions, events and programs. With these in mind, the City has avoided the reliance on a one-dimensional mega-project, opting instead for a multi-faceted waterfront that offers recreational and cultural opportunities to an array of residents and tourists.
Despite its established popularity, there is still room for improvement as our community grows. Quite simply, the demand for use of the waterfront is expected to increase significantly over the next 20 years. It will need to be managed carefully to ensure the existing high quality experience is maintained and that its natural functions are protected in consideration of its other functions as a recreational resource to the local and regional community, an economic development generator and tourist attraction, and its cultural functions as the host of numerous events and festivals.
Furthermore, future plans will be part of the growth and development context within the City, complying with the Provincial Growth Plan, with a focus on intensification in the Urban Growth Centre and other identified nodes and corridors in the City, and the accommodation of substantial growth in the annexed lands in the southern part of the City.
As a result, the City is developing a vision and principles that will guide the opportunities along the waterfront for the next 20 years. The purpose of establishing a vision and principles for a planning area, such as Barrie’s waterfront, is to identify the core qualities that define (or will define) the area, and key directions for protecting and/or enhancing those qualities over time. The vision and principles also act as criteria for evaluating all other elements of the Plan to ensure consistency, coherence, and purpose.
Master Plan Approvals
On March 21, 2011, Barrie City Council approved the Bayview Park Conceptual Design in principle through Motion 11-G-053.
On April 18, 2011, Barrie City Council approved the Memorial Square Conceptual Design in principle through Motion 11-G-091.
On June 27, 2011, City Council approved the Centennial Park Conceptual Design in principle through Motion 11-G-210.