The City of Barrie is ever changing. Based on provincial legislation, such as The Places to Grow Act and The Planning Act, the City devised an Official Plan. What does this mean for residents? What can we expect to see in the future. Today I want to focus on the intensification of the downtown core and along the main arteries in the city.
Urban Growth Centre
The downtown core has been deemed an Urban Growth Centre. What this means is a much greater intensification and focus on building homes and jobs downtown. The goal is to have 150 people living or working downtown per hectare. This translates into transforming the downtown core from 12,000 to 30,000 people living and/or working in that area.
In order to curb the sprawl of Ontario’s cities, there are plans to intensify areas in Barrie. Specifically, the main arteries; Yonge, Essa, Dunlop, Bayfield and Duckworth. You can expect to see more development on abandoned or underused land in the primary corridors.
Along these primary and secondary corridors the plan is to increase the amount of housing units to 50 per hectare. This increase will improve the current difficulties with housing. There will be more affordable housing along these corridors through the building of multi-residential homes (smaller apartment buildings) among other varied types of housing.
With the exception of Essa, the rest of the arteries have density, “nodes,” which further increases the amount of housing per hectare by 50-120 units.
The increase in affordable housing with a focus on clusters of homes in these nodes will improve residents ability to access public transit. Downtown’s increase in living space, jobs and transit will reduce the flow of traffic in the City. The increase in mixed use residential areas will make Barrie more walkable and nicer place to live.
This is just a taste of some of the plans the City of Barrie have in the works. If you want more information you can check out The City of Barrie’s Official Plan.