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City Centre Revitalization

City Centre renewal focuses on economic development opportunities, culture, arts, entertainment and lifestyle to attract a greater number of residents, tourists, and new business.

A Designated Urban Growth Centre (UGC)

In 2006, the Provincial Growth Plan approved targets for a population of 210,000 and 101,000 jobs in Barrie by the year 2031. Of this, 40% of residential growth is to occur in the built boundary. Intensification within the downtown, classified as an Urban Growth Centre (UGC), will allow the City to meet these targets.

Year UGC Population UGC Density
2006 12,000 77 persons & jobs / hectare
2012 / 2013 13,849  84.12 persons & jobs / hectare
2031 (expected) 23,400 150 persons & jobs / hectare

Downtown Revitalization: Related Studies & Reports

Downtown Barrie: The Next Wave (June 2004)

Downtown Barrie: The Next Wave represents the City's Downtown revitalization plan for the next 20 years. The report focused on policy initiatives, financial programs and incentives intended to stimulate private sector participation in downtown revitalization.

Vision Statement: To create a downtown that reflects the City of Barrie’s role as Central Ontario’s premiere waterfront community, offering the urban amenities of a regional centre, in an environmental setting that showcases Kempenfelt Bay, making Downtown Barrie the City’s address of choice to live, do business, and enjoy social and cultural activities.

Founding Principles:

  • The Downtown’s viability lies in the diversity of its land uses
  • The waterfront is the City’s greatest asset and the linkage between the downtown and the waterfront is paramount
  • The Downtown represents a major link to the City’s Heritage worth of preserving
  • The Downtown needs a strong and diverse resident population base
  • The Downtown must become the social and cultural centre of the community again
  • The Downtown must be clean and safe
  • The Downtown is a unique community asset that warrants investment from beyond its geographic boundaries

The study area includes the City Centre Planning Area. The Revitalization Plan provides design objectives and action items on land uses, culture and social amenities, public spaces, heritage conservation, urban design, transportation, and parking.

The plan also provides:

  • development and redevelopment opportunities, and suggested implementation for specific sites.
  • promotion opportunities (marketing strategy and promoting special events).
  • financial incentives program aimed at stimulating redevelopment opportunities and initiatives that support and further economic development and restructuring.
Downtown Commercial Master Plan (January 2006)

The Downtown Commercial Master Plan (DCMP) serves as a guideline for development and revitalization of Barrie’s historic downtown and the City’s waterfront. The plan provides a vision made up various Neighbourhoods or Districts as the basis to focus revitalization efforts:

  • Arrival: Bayfield St. between Ross and Simcoe
  • Cultural: Bordered by Maple, Bayfield, Ross and Dunlop
  • Professional Services / Financial: Collier Street between Bayfield and Mulcaster
  • Main Shopping: Dunlop Street between Bayfield and Mulcaster Street
  • Entertainment: Dunlop Street between Bayfield and Toronto Street
  • Artistic: Mulcaster Street from Collier to Simcoe Street
  • The Market Square: Northeast corner of Collier and Mulcaster Street
  • The Plaza: Memorial Square between Dunlop and Simcoe Street
  • Specialty: New courtyard, behind Dunlop Street East
  • Promenade: Along the realigned Simcoe Street and Heritage Park

The neighbourhoods provide a vision / context within which to direct and phase public / private sector investment. The lack of such a master plan was seen as a weakness with past revitalization efforts. Additionally, the opportunity to convey an understanding of targeted neighbourhoods to potential investors is seen as a strength of the current planning process.

The DCMP includes a land use and potential development map, suggesting a series of uses considered ideal for each designated location. This is intended to provide direction and support for each neighbourhood and provide an insight into the potential future of the commercial landscape of Downtown Barrie.

The DCMP also identifies strategic icon buildings and attractions of particular interest such as a destination restaurant on the proposed Bayfield Pier (page 76), the relocation of the Spirit Catcher (page 74), and the boat store/restaurant in the proposed Marina building on Mulcaster Pier (page 80).

Building a Creative Future: a Plan for Culture (April 2006)

Building a Creative Future: A Plan for Culture outlines a strategy for building a strong cultural sector in Barrie, one that will greatly enhance the quality of life of residents and contribute to the economic development of the community.

Intensification Study (April 2009)

The Intensification Study makes recommendations on intensification initiatives to encourage growth through increased residential density and mixed-use development. The strategy encourages intensification in the Urban Growth Centre comprised of Downtown Barrie and Allandale Centre.

Parking Study (December 2011)

The 2011 Parking Study (Multi-modal Active Transportation Master Plan – Technical Memorandum) focuses on annexation and intensification lands, including the waterfront and downtown. The study updates previous parking studies to reflect 2011 conditions and considers future demand generated by intensification and dense development within the area.

Intensification Area Urban Design Guidelines (October 2012)

The Intensification Area Urban Design Guidelines provide a vision, set of priority directions, and detailed design guidelines to direct new development within the Intensification areas, including the City Centre (Urban Growth Centre) as identified in Barrie’s Official Plan.

Waterfront and Marina Strategic Plan (June 2013)

The Waterfront and Marina Strategic Plan is currently under review and update. The main objectives are to increase the capacity of the waterfront as a destination, meeting place and recreational resource, while solidifying the role of the waterfront within the City as an integrated component of the downtown where people live, work and play.

City Centre Illustration   City Centre Illustration   City Centre Illustration   City Centre Illustration

Allandale Train Station Restoration

The City invested $6.24M in infrastructure improvement works to make the Allandale Station lands development-ready. The City, in partnership with Metrolinx, installed the Allandale Waterfront platform, public parking on Gowan Street, and a pedestrian underpass tunnel. Related page: GO Transit in Barrie.

The station buildings have been restored to a base building design, including: exterior renovations; reinforcement of the building foundation; replacement of the sub-floors; partial restoration of the interior walls (insulation and vapour barrier); base mechanical and electrical systems; and site services. Additional interior "fit out" renovations are required to suit tenant uses (drywall, non-structural walls, floor finishing, etc).

The City prepared a master site servicing plan that included the construction of an internal road network, traffic signals on Lakeshore Drive, and the installation of sanitary, water and utility services. Improvements to Lakeshore Drive also include replacement of culverts, sidewalks, curb and gutter, and grading works.

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