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Meridian Place & Memorial Square

The City is working in partnership with the Downtown Business Association (BIA) on the redevelopment of this space to create a “people place” in the heart of downtown Barrie.

This space will be a vibrant, multi-use civic public place that connects the downtown with Barrie's beautiful waterfront. The proposed work will also allow for the opportunity to upgrade existing infrastructure within the square.

Project Updates

September 7, 2017

  • Work continues on site servicing, installation of storm sewers and remaining water main and water service work as well as concrete work for the stairs that lead from Memorial Square to Meridian Place.
  • Rough grading and excavation work is also underway.
  • In September, major site infrastructure for storm works will be completed (installation of a large box culvert, and associated connections).
August 17, 2017

On Friday, August 18, the cenotaph will be moved to its central location on the site. As a result of the large equipment that is required for the cenotaph move, other work on the site will stop for the day. Work will resume on Monday. Interesting facts about the cenotaph move:

  • The middle piece of the cenotaph weighs 195,000 lbs
  • Few companies are capable of moving something this heavy. Local company Western Mechanical has been hired as the sub-contractor for this job.
August 11, 2017
  • Work continues on site servicing (installation of storm sewers and remaining water main and water service work).
  • Electrical underground disconnections/removals to isolate from the existing street and signal lights.
  • Preparation for the Cenotaph move continues. The two ends have been separated and placed to the side to prepare for their final placement. A new foundation will be poured and bracing installed on the center section to ensure its stability. The move will take place the week of Aug. 14th.
July 24, 2017

Demolition is well underway and we are on track for completion by summer 2018. This week's scope includes:

  • Install sanitary sewer to Chase McEachern Way
  • Install 150mm watermain to Chase McEachern Way
  • Finish any underground removals and grouting of abandoned sewers and backfill and compact open trenches back to subgrade.

Project Features

  • The installation of storm sewers and sanitary sewers; Earthworks and Grading;
  •  A turning circle at the end of Chase McEachern Way;
  • Poured concrete structures including retaining walls, planters and walking surfaces;
  • Historic reference to the 9 Mile Portage;
  • The relocation of the cenotaph to make it the central focus of the square;
  • Construction of a stage and canopy
  • Landscaping

    Construction will involve clearing and leveling the entire area to manage the significant grade change from Dunlop Street to Simcoe Street. All hard and soft surfaces, infrastructure and trees will be removed, including two large coniferous trees. An arborist has confirmed these trees would not survive a ‘build out’ around them or a 'transplant’ to a new location; furthermore, because of the urban environment they are currently in, the overall health of the trees is poor.

    30 new trees will be planted in place of the original conifers, placed to ensure optimal long term growth and health of the trees. Placement will respect the design esthetics and the function of the new venue, including sight lines and shade provision.

The new Meridian Place & Memorial Square will be the ‘event epicentre’ of the Downtown throughout all seasons. This will include the kickoff to the festive season with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Over the past two years, and in anticipation of this new space, the Downtown Barrie BIA has begun planning for an enhanced Tree & Festive Lighting Ceremony and Santa Claus Parade, which will all be part of Noella!

The Downtown Barrie BIA is looking forward to featuring an iconic fully lit Christmas tree each festive season, working with The Rotary Club of Barrie to expand their beautiful animated light displays into Meridian Place, and with The Chamber of Commerce to enhance the Santa Claus parade. Bolstered by the City of Barrie’s festive fireworks, Noella will become a signature festival for our region and beyond!

Schedule

The project started in June 2017 and is expected to be completed by summer 2018. Fred Grant Street was permanently closed on June 1.

Memorial Square

As part of the project, Memorial Square will significantly increase in size to accommodate larger ceremonial procedures, and the cenotaph will be relocated to make it the central focus of the square.

Meridian Place

This new gathering space will become a central part of Barrie. It will be a place that accommodates large events, showcases local talent and connects our downtown to the waterfront.

The name was chosen through Meridian’s ‘Name your City Space’ online vote, in which Barrie residents were asked to pick their favourite name from a list of three options. Meridian paid for exclusive naming rights of the space that stretches from the Memorial Square cenotaph area to Simcoe Street for a period of 25 years. The agreement allows for the cenotaph area to continue to be known as Memorial Square.  

Why was this project delayed?

All of the bids received through the first Request for Proposal (RFP) were over the budget approved by Council. To ensure the project remains within the approved budget, the City conducted another procurement process. This time, a design/build approach was used in which the bidders were asked to come up with a modified design that meets all of the elements in the square concept that was approved by Council, within the approved budget amount.

Affected Services

Properties fronting Fred Grant Street should place all materials that receive curbside collection at the front of the property as usual on collection day by 7am. The construction contractor will remove these items, taking them to outside of the construction zone for appropriate pickup and returning them later that day. Please mark your address on all of your containers!

Water services will not be affected. Sanitary sewer, hydro, telephone, cable TV, and gas services should not be affected by the construction, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Access for emergency vehicles will be maintained at all times. Barrie Transit will not be impacted.

Traffic Impacts

Fred Grant Street will be permanently closed for the redevelopment of this space. A turning circle will be constructed at the end of Chase McEachen Way. Some delays are expected on Dunlop Street and Simcoe Street as a result of servicing and road work. These roads will remain open to traffic but some delays while driving through the construction area can be expected for a short period of time.

Parking: A total of 15 spots (within Fred Grant Square) are being permanently removed as a result of this project. During construction only, two rows of parking off Chase McEachern Way will be removed (where the contractor needs a staging area).

Access to Properties

Pedestrian access will remain open to adjacent businesses fronting on the proposed works. On occasion, however, direct access may be interrupted. The Contractor must give prior notice of any imminent access restrictions. This interruption is to allow for the installation of infrastructure and concrete sidewalks. Access will be restored as quickly as possible after the work is completed.

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