W.A. Fisher Auditorium demolition begins September 9

Planning continues for new performing arts centre in downtown Barrie

courtesy of The City of Barrie

The City expects to begin the demolition of the W.A. Fisher Auditorium starting on September 9. The demolition is limited to the W.A. Fisher Auditorium space and will begin in the interior of the building. The Barrie Central Collegiate chimney will not be affected by the demolition works.

“This was a tough decision, but it was the right one and will allow the City to move forward in planning for a new performing arts facility that will meet the needs of future generations and support our arts and culture sector for years to come,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “The W.A. Fisher Auditorium will always hold a special place in Barrie’s history, but its legacy lives in the generations it inspired to perform, create and contribute to Barrie’s dynamic arts and culture scene. It remains my hope that the next concert hall in Barrie can be built on the Fisher Auditorium site, allowing that legacy to continue in downtown Barrie.”

In December 2020, Council approved the demolition of the W.A. Fisher Auditorium when it was identified that incorporating the existing structure into a new performing arts centre would not allow for an effective use of space that would meet the community’s needs. Bricks from the auditorium are being saved and will be incorporated into a future performing arts centre as a fundraising opportunity to honour the legacy of W.A. Fisher Auditorium.

Planning continues for the construction of a new performing arts centre in downtown Barrie. The City’s Performing Arts Centre Task Force, which was created by Council in March 2021, is developing a plan, including validation of the site location, defining key needs necessary to inform its design, establishing a budget and overall fundraising targets, and will report back to Council by the end of 2021. Public input will be gathered to help inform the plan. Councillor Jim Harris is Chair of The Task Force, which is made up of members of Council and representatives from local arts and culture organizations.

The demolition is currently within the active construction site of Dunlop Street: Kidd’s Creek Culvert Replacement Project. Public access is not permitted at the demolition site.

For more information about the Performing Arts Centre Task Force, visit barrie.ca/Committees.