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Cultural Heritage Strategy

The Cultural Heritage Strategy was officially approved on September 17, 2018 following Council's motion. The document stems from feedback collected through local communities, associations and interested members of the public during the consultation period.


The Heritage Strategy is intended to guide Heritage Barrie in advising City Council on Heritage matters and will assist Council in its decision making to meet provincial obligations regarding heritage under the Ontario Heritage Act, the Planning Act and various Provincial Policy documents. In addition, the heritage strategy will support networking and interaction between a variety of community heritage interest groups and stakeholders.


As the City continues to evolve, there is an opportunity to protect and share these heritage assets in a way that celebrates the past while embracing a rich urban experience. The strategy is intended to be an initial step towards:

  • Continued understanding of the history and surrounding area;
  • Protecting resources;
  • Supporting and encouraging stewardship and conservation of heritage resources; and
  • Building public awareness

Prior to developing the final strategy, background research was executed, considering feedback accepted from local communities, associations and interested members.

To get to this point, feedback was facilitated by the Heritage Committee along with Planning and Communications Staff. Three drop in sessions were held to seek targeted feedback, an online platform was also accessible. Participants were asked to prioritize themed action items relative to each of the following goals:

  1. Knowing
  2. Protecting
  3. Managing
  4. Communicating

The strategy recommends a number of actions to support retention, protection and enhancement of these heritage resources within an ever changing urban context. Each/these action(s) outlines the direction of implementation to follow.


To aid staff in implementation, an action item matrix was created. This matrix, attached to the Cultural Heritage Strategy, serves as a guide for Heritage Barrie and City staff to work alongside the community within available resources. Such items include:

  • Continuing to utilize existing built heritage resources, public facilities and public parks or spaces for interpretive signage to tell the story of the diverse cultures of Barrie.
  • Identifying additional potential Heritage Resources to add to the Municipal Heritage Register, supported by informational workshops with stakeholders.
  • Amending the Cultural Heritage Policies and mapping in the Official Plan to address gaps identified in the Cultural Heritage Background Study
  • Monitor current incentives for renovating listed properties and develop more detailed guidelines to help evaluate these renovations
  • Promotion of Heritage Barrie, Heritage Barrie Programs, Events and Heritage Barrie activities and achievements through web page, informational flyers; annual reporting, feature newspaper articles and attendance at events

​City of Barrie Official Plan

The cultural heritage policies of the Official Plan are partially informed by an existing document referred to as the Historic Neighbourhoods Strategy (HNS). The HNS was endorsed by Council and led to the establishment of the Allandale Historic Urban Design guidelines as well as a special development control area for historic Allandale. The HNS was directed by the HNS Committee. The HNS committee, now incorporated into the Heritage Barrie Committee, led a comprehensive public engagement initiative to ensure the HNS represents residents’ vision for Barrie’s historic neighbourhoods. However, Barrie’s historic neighbourhoods are undergoing change and facing growth pressure. To ensure this change occurs in a manner that reflects the community’s vision staff are working closely with Heritage Barrie to prepare a new Official Plan for the City of Barrie.

Staff are currently reviewing how the recommendations contained within the Cultural Heritage Strategy can help inform the City’s new Official Plan, which is currently in development. For more information about the City’s Official Plan, visit

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