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Boulevard Gardens

The City of Barrie Boulevard Garden Program allows residents to beautify their streetscape on the municipal boulevard using alternatives to turfgrass.  

A boulevard is the area of city-owned land between the homeowner’s front property line and the street curb.

For homeowners who are interested in non-standard boulevard landscaping, simply register for free by submitting a Guidelines & Registration Form to Service Barrie, agreeing to the complete guidelines outlined in the Boulevard Garden Policy, and then get started. The boulevard garden program is an excellent way to beautify your neighborhood with ornamentals and support our ecosystem by planting native species. The main plant guidelines are:

  • Annuals or perennials up to 60cm tall are permitted
  • Shrubs up to 30 cm are permitted
  • Trees are not permitted
  • Noxious plants and invasive species are not permitted

Registration ensures that the homeowner is provided with the guidelines and gives the City a chance to notify about scheduled construction within their boulevard so the homeowner has time to salvage plants before construction begins. Note: No notice can be given for emergency works.

Following the guidelines helps reduce taxpayer costs for damages to City maintenance vehicles, staff time and avert potential injuries. Residents can choose to leverage their boulevard garden in the Communities in Bloom tour. Property owners are encouraged to maintain the standard turfgrass municipal boulevard.

City of Barrie Boulevard Garden Policy

Property owners are encouraged to maintain the standard turf grass municipal boulevard in front of their property. Property owners wishing to install alternatives to sod shall follow the non-standard boulevard landscape treatment guidelines.

Guidelines for Non-standard Boulevard Treatments

  1. The property owner shall sign this policy below to attest they have read and will follow these guidelines and shall submit their signed policy to the City for registration prior to commencing a boulevard garden (see below).
  2. It is the responsibility of the property owner to locate all servicing, such as gas, phone, Hydro, cable etc. prior to commencing any works on the boulevard.
  3. All boulevard gardens shall be limited to perennial or annual plant materials up to 60cm* tall except within street intersection lots where plants shall not exceed 30cm tall (in order to preserve driver sightlines over corner daylight triangles). Shrubs up to 30cm in height are permitted. Decomposable mulches are permitted. Noxious weeds and invasive plants are not permitted. PLEASE NOTE: PROPERTY OWNERS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO PLANT TREES ON THE MUNICIPAL BOULEVARD.
  4. A 30cm setback shall remain in place for all sidewalks, curbs and driveway edges to prevent tripping hazards.
  5. The landscape treatment shall maintain positive surface drainage.
  6. Property owners shall maintain their sidewalk free and clear of all debris in accordance with City of Barrie Municipal Code 88-260 Section and Nuisance By-law 2004-142 Section 2.
  7. The City of Barrie reserves the right with due notice to require that the boulevard be returned to turf grass at any time at the property owner's expense, failing which the City may remove all non-compliant material and restore the boulevard to the turf grass standard.
  8. It is the responsibility of the property owner to locate their property line through their legal survey. In accordance with Zoning By-law Section (Residential) retaining walls or fences shall be set back 0.3 metres from any lot line abutting a street. Hedges shall be set back 1.0 metres from the front lot line. In the case of a corner lot, hedges shall be also set back 1.0 metres from the side lot line abutting the street. Permanent installations such as in-ground irrigation systems, fencing or hard mulches such as pea gravel or small rocks are not permitted on the boulevard.
  9. In the event that emergency works are required that will disturb an existing boulevard garden, no notification will be provided. In the event of scheduled boulevard works, city staff will notify the homeowner two weeks in advance, giving them the opportunity to salvage plant material. Following any boulevard works, the boulevard will be restored to the sod standard unless the homeowner states their intent to reestablish the boulevard plantings within 30 days, weather permitting. Reestablished boulevard gardens should be in compliance with this policy. Following the 30 day period, if no homeowner plantings have taken place, the city will restore the boulevard to turf. The City of Barrie assumes no responsibility for the cost of repairs of any damages to the garden on the boulevard.
  10. The property owner shall maintain clear and easy access to all above ground and underground services including but not limited to fire hydrants and valves, Bell pedestals, and Hydro transformer boxes.

    * 1”= 2.54 cm

Muskoka Gardens

Muskoka Gardens is the term the City of Barrie uses to promote the use of native and low-water use plants that thrive in our climate. There are a great variety of plants that require only the water that Mother Nature provides in order to survive.

Some advantages of native plants are listed below:

  • They tolerate our weather better than non-native plants
  • They are more resistant to disease and thus require less fertilizer and pesticides
  • They require much less work; you simply let Mother Nature take its course. ​

Suggested Plants List


Common NameLatin Name(N)- Native (O) Ornamental (P) Supports pollinators
BeebalmMonarda didymaN, O, P
Black-eyed SusanRudbeckia hirtaN, O, P
BlanketflowerGallardia x grandiflora O, P
Blazing StarLiatris spicataN, O, P
Cardinal FlowerLobelia cardinalisN, O, P
CoreopsisCoreopsis spp.N, O, P
DaylilyHemerocallis spp.O
Dragons BloodSedum spuriumO
Evening PrimroseOenothera fruiticosaN, O, P
Garland FlowerDaphne cneorum var.O
Hens and ChicksSempervivumO
LupineLupinus spp.O
Maltese CrossLychinis chalcedonicaO
Moss PinkPhlox subulata varO
Pincushion FlowerScabiosaO
PoppyPapaver spp.O
Purple ConeflowerEchinacea pupureaN, O, P
SageSalvia spp.O
Shasta DaisyChrysanthemum x superbumO
Snow-In-SummerCerastium tomentosumO
SpeedwellVeronica spp.N, O
YarrowAchillea spp.N, O, P
BearberryArctostaphylos uva-ursiO
Colorata EuonymusEuonymus fortunei 'Coloratus'O
ThymeThymus spp.O
Winter HeathErica carneaO
Ornamental Grasses 
FescueFestuca spp. 
HairgrassDeschampsia spp.N, O, P
SedgeCarex spp.N, O , P
CrocusCrocus spp.O
DaffodilsNarcissus spp.O
Grape hyacinthsMuscariiO
IrisIris spp.O
Spanish BluebellEndymion hispanicaO
Summer SnowflakeLeucojum aestivumO
TulipsTulipifera spp.O
Low Spreading Evergreens 
Arcadia juniperJuniperus Sabina 'Arcadia'O
Blue Rug JuniperJuniperus horizonalis 'Wiltonii'O
Dwarf Canadian HemlockTsuga Canadensis 'Cole's Prostrata'O
Golden Japanese YewTaxus cuspidata 'Aurescens'O
Japanese Garden JuniperJuniperus procumbens 'Nana'O
Prince of Wales JuniperJuniperus horizontalis 'Prince of Wales'O
Siberian Carpet CypressMicrobiota decussataO


Common NameLatin Name(N)- Native (O) Ornamental (P) Supports pollinators
Bethlehem SagePulmonaria saccharata var.O
Goat's BeardAstilbe spp.O
Common BugleAjuga reptansO
BergeniaBerginia cordifoliaO
Sweet WoodruffGalium odoratumO
WintergreenGaultheria procumbensO
Colorata EuonymusEuonymus fortunei 'Coloratus'O
Japanese SpurgePachysandra terminalisO
Plantain LilyHosta spp.O
Blue LungwortPulmonaria angustifoliaO
Maidenhair FernAdiantum pedatumN, O
Lady FernAthyrium filix feminaN, O
Hayscented FernDennstaeditia punctilobulaN, O
Christmas FernPolystichum acrostichoidesN, O

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