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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 to Mulcaster), as well as ensuring area businesses are better serviced through enhanced lighting, visibility and service opportunities.

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.

Businesses are Open!

All businesses on Dunlop Street are accessible during construction, but may be impacted by the Provincial Government’s list of essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.​ Many downtown Barrie restaurants and cafes are offering takeout/delivery service, and some stores have online shopping. Find participating businesses using the interactive map.

The street remains open to pedestrians, but please practise physical distancing. There will be one safety ambassador at each end of road closures to help if needed. We encourage residents and visitors to support local stores, restaurants and services.

Are you a downtown business owner affected by construction? ​​​​​​For daily and weekly construction updates, visit the ​Barrie BIA's website.

Free 2-hour Parking in Select Lots

Two-hour free parking is available at the Chase McEachern Way (including 15 Bayfield Street lot) and Maple Avenue Central parking lots from March until the end of construction (scheduled for November 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 parking lots remain open for paid parking. Most downtown lots are five minutes or less walking distance to where the road is closed.

Project Updates

March 30, 2020
The sanitary sewer installation and watermain installation on Owen St. is complete. ​Installation of the box culvert on Owen St. will continue this week. Temporary street lights have been changed to permanent street lights from Poyntz St to Owen St. Continued work on soil cells and tree pits between Mulcaster St. and Owen St. will take place this week, as well as removals from Owen St. to Clapperton St. In light of recent developments related to COVID-19, the project team is monitoring and assessing impacts to the overall project schedule. ​

March 27, 2020
Notice of an interruption of water supply​, scheduled to occur on Sunday, March 29 and Monday, March 30, has been distributed to impacted businesses and residences: Dunlop St. E. from 50 Dunlop St. E. to Mulcaster St., and Owen St. from Collier St. to Dunlop St. E.

March 20, 2020
​​​Work has been done in the section on Dunlop St. near Owen St. to facilitate installation of a new  waterm ain and removal of an existing one, as well as sanitary sewer and storm box culvert work. There has also been additional soil cell and tree pit work in the first section of construction.  Construction will advance next week into the next section of Dunlop St. (from Owen St. to Clapperton St.).  Starting March 23, construction fencing will be extended from Owen St. to Clapperton St.​ ​Box culvert construction at Owen St. will start next week.  Dunlop St. will be closed to vehicular traffic from Owen St. to Clapperton St. There will be no through vehicular traffic from Mulcaster St. to Clapperton St. Local traffic only will remain from Mulcaster St. to Owen St. and pedestrian access through the construction zone will be maintained.

March 2, 2020

Notice of an Interruption of Water Supply, scheduled to occur on Thursday, March 5, has been distributed to impacted businesses and residences: Dunlop St. E. from 50 Dunlop to Mulcaster; Owen St. from Collier to Dunlop.

February 27, 2020

Trees, plants and planters will be installed in the spring. Some work in the boulevard areas will take place, such as digging at each tree location to install the tree grate system and replacing the temporary asphalt with concrete. The temporary asphalt sidewalks that are installed in the transitional areas (near the Owen St. intersection) will be replaced with permanent sidewalk. The final top layer asphalt will be paved on the road from Poyntz St. to Toronto St. at the end of the project this fall.

Bell Canada has been doing utility work over the winter months (January through to early March) in the intersection of Owen/Dunlop St. The Bell winter work requires a closure of Owen St. The expected completion of this work is early March, but Owen St. will remain closed from Collier to Dunlop (local traffic only) for the next phase of construction.

Phase 1 (2019) Updates

The first phase of construction took place on Dunlop St. (Poyntz to east of Owen) from August to November 2019​. Below are the archived updates posted to this webpage during that time.

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.​

2020 Timelines, Road Closures, & Traffic Impacts

​TimelineDunlop St. Closures​Dunlop St. ​Traffic Impacts
Stage 1:
March– July 2020

Owen St. intersection

Active construction area: 

Five Points intersection works will start once Owen intersection opens in June.

No through traffic: Mulcaster–Clapperton.

Local traffic is permitted up to intersection closures; these areas are dead ends.


Print-Friendly Map: Stage 1 Traffic Impacts

Interactive Map: Stages & Traffic Flow

Stage 2:
July–Sept. 2020

Five Points intersection

Toronto St. intersection

Active construction areas:
• Clapperton–Maple
• Mary–Toronto 

No through traffic:
• Owen–Maple
• Mary–Toronto.

Local traffic is permitted up to intersection closures; these areas are dead ends.

Print-Friendly Map: Stage 2 Traffic Impacts

Interactive Map: Stages & Traffic Flow

Stage 3:
Sept.–Nov. 2020

Mary St. intersection

Maple Ave. intersection

Active construction area:

No through traffic: Maple–Mary.

Local traffic is permitted up to intersection closures; these areas are dead ends.

Print-Friendly Map: Stage 3 Traffic Impacts

Interactive Map: Stages & Traffic Flow

Timelines are weather-dependent. If progress allows, work may begin sooner on each stage.

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.

Project features include:

  • 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​
What services are impacted?

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

There will be limited service interruptions for sanitary sewer lateral servicing / replacement and water servicing.

Curbside collectionis NOT 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.

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)

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 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.

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?

There are two lots allocated for free two-hour parking during construction: Chase McEachern Way lot and Maple Avenue Central lot. The free parking starts in March 2020 and carries through until the end of the project. People using the free parking option MUST print and display a receipt to be eligible for the free parking.

What about patios?

There will be no option for businesses to open patios in the Owen to Toronto section in 2020. The full road construction work from Owen to Toronto will affect the patio season, including side streets. If construction was shifted outside of the patio season, the contractor would not be able to meet the November 2020 deadline.

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