New 20-year growth plan approved – and has a few surprises!

After four years of work, on June 2nd Council approved the secondary plans, infrastructure plan, and financial agreements that set out how Barrie will grow over the next 20 years.

It will be quite different from the last round of growth.   Barrie is forecast to add 70,000 people and almost 40,000 jobs over the next 20 years, but this time, more than 40% of new units will be inside the existing urban area.  This will be concentrated in the city core (not just downtown, but Bradford Street and certain parts of Allandale like Essa Road), but will also include major corridors and nodes around the city.

The new neighbourhoods in the annexation lands are being planned with parks and “village squares” – a square green open space – as well as shops and services within walking distance.  There is a major new business park in the area of MacKay Road and Highway 400, but there is no new large-scale retail area (just local stores and a few grocery store-size centres).

The financial agreements that have been reached for development of the new neighbourhoods are unprecedented in Ontario and are a good deal all around.  100% of growth related costs will be paid for by the development community.  The City will build infrastructure according to an agreed capital plan, with services being put in at the same time as growth occurs – not much later.

There’s a huge trove of information about this on the City’s growth management page, click here for info.

Also – the Examiner had a great editorial about this.  And they are very much correct – the trick now will be to stick to the plan for the years to come.


About jefflehman
Jeff Lehman is the 46th Mayor of the City of Barrie. The Ward 2 Councillor for the City of Barrie from 2006 to 2010, he was the Chairman of the Finance Committee of Council, chaired the City’s Growth Management Working Group, and created the Historic Neighbourhoods project, a new initiative to protect and revitalize Barrie’s oldest neighbourhoods. Jeff has lived in Barrie for most of his life, having grown up in Allandale and attended Barrie Central Collegiate. Jeff holds a B.A. from Queen’s University, and a Master’s Degree with first class honours from the UK’s prestigious London School of Economics. He was hired to teach at the LSE following his graduation, and lived and worked in London for two years as an academic. Since that time, as an economist, he has worked with cities across Canada to manage redevelopment and invest in their urban infrastructure. In 2005, he established the Growing By Degrees Task Force to assist in expanding university education opportunities in Barrie, and has volunteered his time with many organizations in the City. Jeff lives near Downtown Barrie with his wife, Jennifer, a part-time professor of political science, and their young daughter Cassie, who is already smarter than her father.

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