City earns top spot for approving and developing new housing

Barrie ranked as leader in the GTA for a second time

Barrie, ON – The 2022 Municipal Benchmarking Study released by the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) named the City of Barrie as the overall best municipality across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for getting new housing developments approved. The City also received top status in the previous study, done in 2020. 

Altus Group Economic Consulting was retained by BILD to undertake a study of several factors that may be contributing to housing affordability issues in the GTA. The study looks at municipal approval processes, timelines for approvals, and government charges, as well as compares approaches across municipalities for dealing with the approval and development of new housing.

Despite the pandemic, increased material costs, and an influx of new applications, Barrie once again ranked first among 16 municipalities for having efficient approvals, low government development charges, and for offering helpful information and resources during the development approvals process. Barrie placed in the top four in each of the three categories reviewed, ending up with the highest weighted average score.

"With rent and home prices out of reach for so many, part of the solution must be building more homes and apartments," said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “This top ranking for Barrie again this year recognizes the efforts the City is making to grow the supply of housing by being more efficient. This is truly a team effort, resulting from investments we’ve made in technology, our approval processes, and our people. I’m proud of the work being done to bring new housing to Barrie."

In addition, the City earned “best in class” scores in two areas of this year’s study:

  • for comprehensive, helpful information provided on Barrie's corporate website in terms of planning application forms, documents and guides
  • in availability of key planning documents

To build on this success in 2022, the City has initiated a process review to assess additional opportunities to streamline development approvals.

With more than 1,300 members, BILD is the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the Greater Toronto Area. 

Read the full study at

Media Contact

Melanie Rumley
Communications Advisor