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Intensification Policies &
Urban Design Guidelines

To address the increasing growth pressures on Barrie, the City has developed policies and guidelines that direct the type of development envisioned for some of Barrie’s currently built areas: the intensification areas.

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Barrie is growing with an expected 210,000 people calling it home by 2031. How we prepare to meet this growth will have lasting effects on our community.  Our collective vision is one key element that will help shape our community, improve the quality of life for residents, and build Barrie’s future today. Learn more and join the conversation at

Intensification in Barrie

Intensification means developing an area at a higher density than currently exists through development, redevelopment, infill and expansion or conversion of existing buildings.

In 2009, an Intensification Study completed which designates nodes and corridors throughout the City that have a capacity to achieve higher densities. Based on this analysis of intensification opportunities, the City’s Official Plan identifies four areas where intensification is encouraged:

  • Urban Growth Centre (UGC) comprised of downtown Barrie and Allandale Centre;
  • Primary and Secondary Corridors consisting of arterial road such as Bayfield Street, Dunlop Street, Essa Road, Duckworth Street and Yonge Street;
  • Primary and Secondary Nodes at significant intersections along the Primary and Secondary Corridors
  • Major Transit Station at the South Barrie GO Station (Yonge Street and Mapleview Drive East)

Intensification initiatives are an important step towards achieving the province’s and City’s long-term vision for high quality, sustainable growth.

Intensification Area Urban Design

Intensification Area Urban Design Guidelines were established in 2013 to help direct new development within the intensification areas. These guidelines are complementary to the existing City Urban Design Guidelines.

The framework and principles set out will ensure proposed intensification:

  • respectfully blends into the existing built fabric
  • creates an attractive and safe pedestrian realm
  • supports transportation of all types
  • results in a thoughtful and attractive design that contributes to the local neighbourhoods and the City as a whole

Re-zoning for Intensification

In 2014, the intensification areas were re-zoned to facilitate the development of medium and high density uses to contribute towards achieving the growth targets set by the province’s Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The zones permit a variety of residential and commercial land uses, allowing residents a mix of living, working, shopping and leisure opportunities within their neighbourhoods.

The built-form will be designed to create a pedestrian-oriented realm that is not dominated by the car, featuring setbacks and building envelopes that are characteristic of urban environments.

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