Dunlop Street to be handed over to pedestrians as Open Air Dunlop is set to return

No vehicle traffic on Dunlop for 24 dates between June and October

Following a successful pilot project last year, the Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA) has added more dates to Open Air Dunlop in 2021.

Barrie city council general committee gave tentative approval on Monday to give the program another go.

In 2020, a section of Dunlop Street East between Mulcaster Street and the Five Points was turned over to pedestrians with no vehicle traffic allowed for four Saturdays in a row, and one date was added in November.

“Open Air Dunlop 2020 was considered a success with 80% of businesses seeing an increase in foot traffic in their business and 70% of businesses indicating increased sales,” according to a staff report.

The plan for 2021 is to make Dunlop Street East pedestrian-only between Mulcaster Street and Clapperton Street on 15 Saturdays, from June 5 until September 4, and on October 9.

There will be four half-day Friday closures on the same stretch beginning at noon on July 2 and July 30, September 3, and October 8.

There will be one Friday half-day and five Saturdays in which Dunlop Street West will be closed between Bayfield and Toronto Streets during July.

The BIA will continue to work with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to ensure all restrictions on public gatherings are followed.

Masks and hand sanitizer were supplied throughout the pedestrianized area last year.

The $60,000 cost for the closures will be covered by the city.

The general committee recommendation needs to be approved by city council next week.