Developer offers to trim the size of two proposed towers near Barrie’s waterfront

Largest tower at 46-storeys would be trimmed to 39

Just like going to the barber, SmartCentres is offering to take a little off the top.

The developer, proposing to build four towers near Barrie’s waterfront, says it would trim the 46-storey tower to 39, and drop a 39-storey tower to 38. Two other buildings, at 25 and 36 storeys, would be left unchanged.

“While SmartCentres remains confident in the current proposal as it represents good planning and community building and is supported by staff, we believe it is equally important to be a good neighbour and member of the community,” says the developer in a letter to Barrie’s Chief Administrative Officer Michael Prowse.

SmartCentres is proposing to build the towers in the area of Bradford and Checkley Streets, with 1,900 residential units, commercial space and a hotel.

Image provided

At a city council meeting on Dec. 7, several people spoke out against the proposed height of the towers, expressing concern about shadowing and the impact to Barrie’s skyline.

City council sent the project back to staff, asking them to look at the issue around the height of the buildings.

In the letter to Prowse, SmartCentres laid out the additional adjustments for council to consider at a planning committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 15.

  • Reduction of heights along Bradford to 36, 38, 39 storeys (maximum height 124m);
  • Reduction in the permitted GFA on the site in relation to the reduction in height; and
  • Reduction of the maximum podium height adjacent to 2 Toronto Street to 26m with the addition of a stepping provision

An Official Plan amendment and rezoning is needed for this project to go ahead.

Whatever planning committee decides to do at the meeting on Tuesday would return to council in early January for consideration, including the Official Plan amendment and rezoning.

SmartCentres says in its letter that the offer to reduce the height of the two towers is “a demonstration of our dedication to the growth of Barrie, and acting with good faith as a long-term community member.”

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