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Construction Project

Dunlop Streetscape Project 

The Dunlop Street improvements focus on safe pedestrian movements and accessibility throughout the Dunlop Street corridor (Toronto Street to Mulcaster Street) as well as ensuring area businesses are better serviced through enhanced lighting, visibility and service opportunities, as in the inclusion of on-road/ boulevard patios. 

Dunlop Street is a vital component and attraction to downtown Barrie. With proposed intensification in the downtown, maintaining and enhancing this corridor is an essential component in the success of the downtown revitalization and the City of Barrie’s Downtown Commercial Master Plan.

The maps below outline the first stages of the construction locations and timelines:
Preliminary Phase road closure (Aug. 19 to Nov. 8, 2019)
Phase 1A road closure (Sept. 9 to Nov. 8, 2019)

Project Features

  • a pedestrian friendly, enhanced streetscape, that will ensure accessibility for all users;
  • facilitate a patio program providing operational flexibility and ease of implementation on a seasonal basis;
  • renew existing infrastructure (sanitary and storm sewers, watermain and utilities) as deemed necessary;
  • introduce green infrastructure throughout the corridor to assist in the removal of road pollutants from stormwater run-off while providing fertile environments for the long-term health of street trees;
  • modernize the approach to street parking through the replacement of parking meters with centralized ‘pay-and-display’ stations;
  • Low Impact Design (LID) upgrades to conform to current design standards; and,         
  • utility upgrades (gas, telephone, cable, electricity, internet).
  • conformance to AODA requirements
  • roadway improvements to accommodate transit service vehicles



August 19, 2019 to November 8, 2019*
Construction on Dunlop east of Mulcaster (Mulcaster to Poyntz St., including intersection of Dunlop and Mulcaster), including road closure for watermain work and interlock/sidewalk replacement.
NOTE: Mulcaster to Owen is also closed to vechicles for this phase of the construction to ensure traffic safety and flow. Dunlop St. from Mulcaster to Owen is still accessible for on-street parking and pedestrian traffic.
September 9, 2019 – November 8, 2019*
Closure extends in the section between east of Mulcaster Street to just east of Owen Street for roadway and boulevard improvements
March 2020 - Summer 2020
Owen Street intersection culvert

Roadway and boulevard improvements in the section between east of Owen Street and the intersection with Bayfield Street

Five Points Intersection
Summer 2020 - Winter 2020
Roadway and boulevard improvements in the section between west of Bayfield Street to west of Toronto Street

*The contractor must have the first phase of construction completed by November 8, 2019 so the City can hold Remembrance Day ceremonies and the Santa Claus Parade.

Project Updates

November 15, 2019
Pay n' Display parking meters were installed on Nov. 14 and on-street parking is available. There will be a full lane closure of the westbound lane on Dunlop Street West between Bayfield Street and Maple Avenue, starting on November 18 at 7 a.m.  until November 20, 2019 at 7 PM. The lane closure is required to upgrade Bell utilities infrastructure.
November 8, 2019
The street is intended to reopen to traffic at 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8. On-street parking will NOT be available on Nov. 9 and 10 while the contractor completes a few finishing touches and cleans up the area. There will also be intermittent lane closures in this section of Dunlop St. on Nov. 9 and 10.

As with any project, there are a few loose ends:

  • New permanent streetlight installation will take place in Jan. 2020 as a result of delivery delays.
  •  Street benches, as well as trees and plants, will be installed in spring 2020.
  •  Some work in the boulevard areas of Phase 1A in spring 2020.
  • Temporary (base layer) asphalt sidewalks will be installed in the transitional area (near the Owen St. intersection). The final top layer asphalt will be paved on Dunlop St. at the end of the project, in fall 2020.

In addition to the listed outstanding work, Bell Canada needs to do work in the area to accommodate developments. Coordination with the Streetscape project is critical. 

  • ​Bayfield St. and a half block west on Dunlop St. will have lane closures and some full closures for about three weeks starting in late Nov. 
  • The intersection of Owen St. and Dunlop St. will have utility work in Jan. and Feb. 2020. Owen St. will be closed between Dunlop St. and Collier St., but the east/west lanes of Dunlop Street will remain open at this time.
Read the full details in Information Bulletin #2
November 1, 2019
  • Sidewalks, building aprons and planter boxes have been poured and installed. Removable bollards are also now installed.
  • During the week of Nov. 4, paver stone installation will be completed, the paving of the base course and the tempororary asphalt will go in. 
  • The first phases of the Dunlop (Preliminary Phase and Phase 1A) will be complete by 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8 and the street will reopen. 
October 18, 2019
  • Work is progressing as scheduled. The soil cells are almost complete, paver stone installation continues and electrical work is ongoing.
  • Sidewalk installation has started and will continue next week.
October 4, 2019
  • Soil cell installation has been done on part of the street. These below groud cells allow the growth of the tree roots that will be planted. The catch basins will collect rainwater to help water the trees. Curbs have been poured in the preliminary phase and part of phase 1.
  • There will be further soil cell installation on the south and north side of Dunlop St., and sidewalk installation, pole base installation, conduit and paver stones installation will be taking place soon.
  • Work is on schedule and the section of Dunlop under construction will reopen on November 8, including the intersection of Dunlop and Mulcaster.
September 20, 2019
  • ​​Work is currently being done from Poyntz St. to Owen St. A full road closure is in place for this section, including the intersection of Mulcaster and Dunlop. It remains open to pedestrian traffic and businesses are open.
  • Work completed in this section includes water main installation, catch basin removal and installation, and fire hydrant relocations. Upcoming work includes soil cell installation and catch basin installation.
September 4, 2019
  • Work is currently being done from Mulcaster to Poyntz. A full road closure is in place for this section, including the intersection of Mulcaster and Dunlop. It remains open to pedestrian traffic and businesses are open.
  • Construction in this area includes water main installation, removal of asphalt and curbs, and sidewalk removal. Catch basin installation, electrical conduit and road grading are also being completed.
  • As of September 9, the closure​ extends west to Owen Street. The intersection at Owen will remain open.​

Affected Services

Hydro, telephone, cable TV, and gas services should not be affected by the construction, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Limited service interruptions for:

• Sanitary sewer lateral servicing / replacement
• Water servicing

Curbside collection will not be affected. On their normal curbside collection day, businesses and residents are asked to place all garbage, organics, recyclables and yard waste materials at the front of the property as usual. The construction contractor will remove these items and take them to outside of the construction zone for pickup by the City’s waste contractor.  Please mark your address on all of your containers.

Traffic Impacts

The road will be closed to vehicle traffic during construction. Advanced Notices and Detour signage will provided. Pedestrians will be able to access Dunlop St. the majority of the time (may be subject to limited access for short periods of time to accommodate construction). There will be one flagsperson/safety ambassador at each end of the road closure to help direct pedestrians. All businesses on Dunlop St. are open during construction.


For the next phases of construction, scheduled to start in March 2020, Barrie City Council approved a motion that two-hour free parking be provided in the Chase McEachern Way and Maple Avenue Central parking lots from March to summer in 2020, and from summer to winter in 2020. ​​You must print a receipt from the machine and display it on your vehicle dashboard to be eligible for free two-hour parking.

All other downtown Barrie parking lots remain open during the construction project. Most downtown lots are five minutes or less walking distance to where the road is closed. 

Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this construction project happening?

This project is vital to Barrie’s downtown—replacement of infrastructure (sewers, watermain and utilities) will ensure this area is ready for future growth. The streetscape construction will improve pedestrian experience and accessibility, while providing downtown businesses with more attractive, safe and accessible storefront areas. It will also introduce green infrastructure to reduce road pollutants from storm water run-off while providing fertile environments for the long-term health of street trees. Parking meters will be replaced with centralized ‘pay-and-display’ stations to modernize the street.

Have businesses and residents been consulted about this project?

The project first underwent a Class Environmental Assessment and a public meeting was held on June 18, 2014 to present the Dunlop Street Improvement options. A meeting was held on April 19, 2018 as part of the detailed design assignment. In addition, several meetings were held with stakeholders such as the Downtown BIA and Barrie Fire and Emergency Services, as well as several updates to Council on the project progress.

Who is paying for this project?

The roadway improvements are part of the City’s capital plan for asset reconstruction. The streetscape elements/beautification are funded by the City, the BIA and the City’s Municipal Accommodation Tax (Tourism)

Is the first phase of the project on schedule?

Yes, Phase 1A of the project is on or ahead of schedule for the underground and surface works. Dunlop Street will reopen on November 8, 2019. Some elements (eg. street furnishings, trees) will be installed after Nov. 8.

What are these ‘soil cells’ that are being installed underground? What do they do?

These will house the roots of the trees that will be planted on the street. The soil cells will allow the tree roots room to grow without pushing up into the sidewalk. The catch basins being installed will collect rainwater and help to water the trees as well.

What is the date that the project is anticipated to re-start construction in 2020?

Arnott Construction estimates that Phase 1B of construction (Owen Street intersection culvert, Owen Street intersection to Bayfield Street and Five Points intersection) will start in March 2020, dependant on weather. This phase of construction will continue into summer 2020. The last phase of construction (Phase 2 – Dunlop St. from Bayfield to Toronto) will take place from summer 2020 until winter 2020.

Who do we contact for construction concerns and how are we going to be keep informed of construction interruptions?

The Contractor, Arnott Construction Limited, has a full-time Project Ambassador to address concerns/issues:

Nicole Maurice
Public Relations Officer, Arnott

Inquiries to Service Barrie, the City’s Customer Service Centre, are also welcomed. In addition, the BIA has assigned “Block Captains” to assist as well and ensure that downtown businesses are updated on construction activities. Refer to this web page or follow our social media channels for project updates.

Can I still visit downtown businesses during construction?

Yes, downtown is open for business during construction! Dunlop Street will remain open to pedestrians during this time and we encourage Barrie residents and visitors to support local stores, restaurants and services.

Where can I park during construction?

Since some of the on-street spots will be effected by construction, the City is allowing up to two (2) hours of free parking on the fourth floor (P4) of the Collier Street Parkade. You must print a Pay 'n Display receipt and display it on your dashboard. There will be 36 spaces available on P4 of the Parkade for the first phase of construction (until November 8, 2019). Parking solutions will be examined for the other phases of the construction project based on how the first phase goes. The Collier Street Parkade is accessible for those with mobility issues.​

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