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Construction Project

Dunlop Streetscape Project 

This $16.1M project transformed Barrie's downtown. The project began in August 2019 and was completed in November 2020. Project updates and schedule information were posted on this webpage throughout the project.

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 downtown revitalization and the City’s Downtown Commercial Master Plan.

Final Finishing & Repair Work: April 5 to June 30, 2021

The final finishing and repair work is anticipated to begin Monday, April 5, 2021.  The work between Five Points and Mulcaster is anticipated to be completed by Friday, May 28, weather-permitting. The work from Mulcaster to East of Poyntz and Five Points to Toronto is anticipated to be completed by June 30, weather-permitting.

This type of work is a normal part of construction and occurs on every construction project. All projects have a warranty period to allow time to review the project area for repair work and have them fixed. 

Due to the nature of some of the work, certain patios will be required to be temporarily closed or removed. The maximum disruption at any given location will not exceed two weeks. City staff are working with all businesses that intend to have patios to minimize disruptions.

Two-hour free parking

Two-hour free parking will once again be provided in the Chase McEachern Way and Maple Avenue parking lots from April 5 until June 30. ​​People using these lots must print a receipt from the machine and display it on their vehicle dashboard to be eligible for the free two-hour parking. The City encourages residents to support downtown businesses and shop local whenever possible.

Please refer to the  Information Bulletin for more details.

Winner of EDCO Award of Excellence

Each year, EDCO recognizes excellence in economic development initiatives and leaders from Ontario communities through their EDCO Awards of Excellence. On February 3, 2021, the City of Barrie was recognized by the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) for the Dunlop Streetscape Project. The project was selected as the winner for the Urban Building Initiatives category. Learn more.

About the Project

The Dunlop Street improvements focused on safe pedestrian movements and accessibility throughout the Dunlop Street corridor (Toronto to Mulcaster), as well as ensuring area businesses are better serviced through enhanced lighting, visibility and service opportunities.

The project replaced aging infrastructure in Barrie's downtown. Above ground, the work improved the pedestrian experience with wider sidewalks, while providing downtown businesses with more attractive and accessible storefronts. New streetlights, planters and trees make for a new look and a greener downtown appearance.



Frequently Asked Questions

Why did this construction project happen?

This project was vital to Barrie’s downtown—replacement of infrastructure (sewers, watermain and utilities) will ensure this area is ready for future growth. The streetscape construction improved pedestrian experience and accessibility, while providing downtown businesses with more attractive, safe and accessible storefront areas. It also introduced 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 were replaced with centralized ‘pay-and-display’ stations to modernize the street.

Project features included:

  • 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; 
  • utility upgrades (gas, telephone, cable, electricity, internet).
  • conformance to AODA requirements
  • roadway improvements to accommodate transit service vehicles​
Were 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 paid for this project?

The roadway improvements were 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)

What work was completed in 2019?

The first phase of construction took place on Dunlop St. (Poyntz to east of Owen) from August to November 2019​.

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

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

Could peoplt still visit downtown businesses during construction?

Dunlop Street remained open to pedestrians during construction and we encouraged Barrie residents and visitors to support local stores, restaurants and services.

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