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Intensification Policies &
Urban Design Guidelines

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

Building Barrie: Your Input Matters!

Barrie is growing with an expected 298,000 people calling it home by 2051. 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.

The City's adopted Official Plan provides policies for intensification, and directs where intensification will occur across Barrie. The areas earmarked for the greatest intensification are:

  • Urban Growth Centre (UGC) comprised of downtown Barrie
  • Strategic Growth Areas (SGAs), which are situated along focal points/key intersections throughout the city;
  • Major Transit Station Areas (MTSAs), which are growth communities anchored by Barrie's two GO stations (Allandale GO and Barrie South GO); and,
  • Intensification Corridors, which are arterial streets planned for higher-density and mixed-use development, including Essa Road, Yonge Street and Bayfield Street

Intensification initiatives are an important step towards achieving the province’s and City’s long-term vision for high quality, sustainable growth. Doing so successfully means planning for complete communities that are walkable and transit-oriented, and include places to live, work, shop and play. 

Intensification Area Urban Design

Intensification Area Urban Design Guidelines were established in 2013 to help direct new development within the intensification areas.

The framework and principles set out how intensification can:

  • respectfully blend into the existing built fabric
  • create an attractive and safe pedestrian realm
  • support transportation of all types
  • result in a thoughtful and attractive design that contributes to the local neighbourhoods and the City as a whole
Further and updated policies to guide intensification are being created through the development of

  • ​new city-wide urban design guidelines, and
  • a new comprehensive zoning by-law.
Consultation opportunities on both will be available through

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