City implements measures to clean up downtown Barrie park

'We can't just stand by and let our parks become places where lawless activity is accepted'

The City of Barrie is implementing measures that officials say will keep a downtown park clean and safe for those utilizing it.

Over the weekend, discarded needles and garbage were found in the washrooms of Queen’s Park.

Pictures displayed of the washrooms

At a news conference on Monday afternoon at the park on 55 Ross Street, Mayor Alex Nuttall announced the list of safety measures.

“We can’t just stand by and let our parks become places where lawless activity is accepted,” Nuttall said.

The measures include city staff trimming back branches on trees to improve sight lines for police officers doing patrols, and working with a security guard company whose mandate is to build relationships with those experiencing homelessness while ensuring rules are being followed.

A little league baseball organization recently announced they would no longer play at the ball diamond at Queen’s Park because of safety concerns.

“The bleachers had to be ripped out because there were constantly needles and other drug paraphernalia underneath and it was continually becoming a safety issue,” said Nuttall.

Rich Johnston, the city’s police chief, was also at the announcement, along with a group of protesters supporting the homeless population.

Photo of protesters at the announcement

Banner image captured by Barrie 360