Barrie City Council gives nod to rezoning of former Barrie Central Collegiate lands for three apartment buildings and new YMCA

Return to regular Monday night meetings a good step in city's economic recovery, says Mayor

The City of Barrie is back to holding regular Monday night council meetings and used the first “new normal” meeting to rubberstamp a big-ticket project.

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Barrie Council voted on Monday night to give final approval to zoning applications that would allow several projects to move forward. One of those includes the construction of a series of high rises with a YMCA at the base. “This is a major step forward, in that the zoning bylaw, the planning approval for those three highrise buildings, and the YMCA have been approved tonight by Barrie Council,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman.

Barrie’s ten ward councillors were joined by the city’s mayor and CAO during a Monday night meeting held via zoom

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“This is a really, really important piece of land to the downtown; it abuts the YMCA and may include our future concert hall, maybe,” said Councillor Clare Reipma, who moved that a final site plan will be submitted to city council before any ground is broken at the site.

A potential Fisher Auditorium is in the works, and could serve as a new downtown events centre

Mayor Lehman says it’s important that council get back into a more regular meeting schedule, as it will assist with the city’s overall recovery. “We will be focusing in the weeks to come on continuing to move forward on the planning and building processes,” said Mayor Lehman, “This is one of the many steps we can take to support the economic recovery in Barrie,”

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The land was once home to Barrie Central Collegiate but was sold to private interests for the development of three multi-storey residential towers with commercial bases. The towers would range in height from ten to twenty storeys, and feature about 600 residential units. A new YMCA facility was worked into the design, while the nearby Fisher Auditorium may be developed by the City for public use.