Dunlop Street won’t be pedestrian-only just yet. The Downtown Barrie Business Association (Barrie BIA) wants to put its members’ heads together a bit longer first.
In late May, Barrie City Hall approved a plan to pedestrianize Dunlop Street from Clapperton to Mulcaster Streets once reconstruction is complete, but made the plan contingent on Barrie BIA support. Its members recently met and decided the plan needs more work.
“Pedestrianization for July and August is not in the cards. We’re going to be putting a working group together starting next week,” Kelly McKenna, Executive Director of the Barrie BIA. She points out, with the city not handing out any special event permits, there wouldn’t be enough going on to really make use of the space. “We recognize that without activation of the space, it will really be hard to attract people down here. So, we are going to put the working group together and put all of our plans in place.”
Despite knowing pedestrianization won’t occur over the summer, McKenna doesn’t want to provide a timeline of when it could happen. “Everyone is in transition, right? There are so many pieces that have to come together. If all those pieces come together I would love to say let’s do this in September,” she said. “We’re looking at all kinds of different options, so I don’t want to say 2021 because I would still like to leave it open for possibility in the fall.”
While Dunlop Street won’t be pedestrianized just yet, McKenna says there are plenty of reasons to visit the city’s downtown. “Come on down to the downtown and see all this beautiful new streetscape,” she said, adding it is great to see people lining up to make use of downtown restaurants patios.