Our waterfront is about to get even better

With the relocation of Lakeshore Drive in the next 2 years, Centennial Park will be growing by no less than 10 acres – our waterfront jewel is about to get larger.

Council got a first look last night at the design for the park with the new areas included.  Some of the major features are a new splash pad, additional small buildings for concessions such as canoe/kayak rentals and bike rentals, more parking, more open area, and the highlight for me – a waterfront boardwalk along most of the water’s edge (except the beach, where it will be between the sand and the grass).  Here’s the design: 

Centennial – June 2011 Concept

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.


9 Responses to “Our waterfront is about to get even better”
  1. Steve says:

    Looks like a wonderful design, Jeff! And the boardwalk design is the key element that sales this design so perfectly. Keep up the great work! Barrie is lucky to have a mayor who has such a good vision of Barrie now and what Barrie can be in the future!

  2. Robert Viera says:

    I think moving Lakeshore Drive back from the waterfront to increase the area for Centennial Park is an excellent idea, but we should not loose sight of the goal. We want to gain more park, not just parking spaces. Human beings need grass and trees, not more asphalt. The big increase in parking spaces envisioned in the staff report leaves little room for more space in the park for people. There is plenty of parking on the waterfront already. What is needed is more transit service to the waterfront. Currently, just one bus travels a section of Lakeshore Drive and only in one direction.

    Another serious concern with the plan for the waterfront is the situation for cyclists. Currently, cyclists have a separate path between the park and Lakeshore Drive. In the new plan, cyclists will have to either share a ‘multi-use’ path with pedestrians and other slow moving modes of transportation or share the re-aligned Lakeshore Drive with moving cars on one side of them and parked cars (with opening doors) on the other side of them, without the benefit of a bike lane. In my opinion, this would be a big step backward in safety.

  3. Robert Viera says:

    It would be interesting to know how many of the acres gained would go to parking vs. parkland.

  4. Mike says:

    Jeff, the Centennial concept does look impressive.
    I sincerely hope that there’s an equally impressive plan for the north shore along the eastern section of Dunlop Street between Mulcaster and Berczy. I hear that a developer has proposed a monstrously over-sized condo/hotel building there on the south side of Dunlop. I went to the open house about it last week in the Mclaren centre anad was appalled. Such a development would make a mockery of the notion of sustainable development of our lakeshore. It is the wrong place for such a building; it is reminiscent of how Toronto’s waterfront got ruined in the 1980s by a wall of condos & hotels before the citizens knew it was happening.
    I hope, as someone with experience in urban planning, that you are awake to this threat and will make your opposition to this very clear.

  5. Mike McClelland says:

    Jeff, what are you doing to protect the waterfront on the north side of the bay?
    I’m thinking of the stretch between Mulcaster and Berczy. Is it less important than the Lakeshore Drive section?

  6. Frank says:

    Spend Spend Spend…..keep going Jeff. We will look forward to your 8-9 percent increase for 2012.

  7. Paul Picknell says:

    Completely forgot about the fact that you are encouraging more traffic to a poorly planned re-route (both Tiffin and Maple) from past councils. The Downtown BIA wants locals to spend all year… not just when there’s a festival. Unfortunately they won’t get any of my dollars .. I avoid downtown at all cost.

    Are you going to do ANY maintenance on the paths this year? The crews haven’t swept the sand from teh winter, the grass cutters leave the clippings and the cracks are getting bigger.. I almost broke my neck this morning skating… maybe I should have just fell and sued the city. And $40 for new wheels every month… There’s a simple rule the planners don’t get… create/fix the basic infrastructure before any “improvements”

  8. Kelly T. says:

    I’d like to know why parking fees are not charged for OUT OF BARRIE residents when they use our waterfront? Barrie has a beautiful waterfront, which should be free and accessible to Barrie residents (whose tax dollars pay for this beauty and upkeep), so why do visitors get the same?

    Barrie can increase its revenue to help cover the costs of garbage bags, garbage collection, toilet paper and washroom supplies, clean up of beaches, weed out riff-raff (cover costs of law enforcement), flower/beautification, etc. simply by charging parking fees to visitors.

    When I was at Innisfil beach they charge $ 20 per car! Torontonians are driving the distance into Barrie as it is FREE to them. why is this?? Perhaps even a modest fee of say $5 to $10 per car be charged for parking-this would increase Barrie’s fees for the waterfront and the Barrie resident taxpayer wouldn’t have to pay for out of town visitors so THEY can enjoy the waterfront.

    Yes we need visitors, we need tourism….but if one goes to the waterfront on the weekend, takes a look around at who is there-these people are not going into the shops, restaurants to eat…they are bringing their own food and items for them to enjoy the day for FREE.

    Wasaga Beach charges, Innisfil Beach charges….why not Barrie?
    Resident taxpayers should receive (as Innisfil residents do) a tag to put on their rearview mirror which hangs down and identifies them as a resident taxpayer…which allows them FREE parking access to their own waterfront…all others must pay a minimal fee.
    Any opinions on this from other taxpaying residents of Barrie? Any other suggestions?
    Thank you for allowing me my input.

  9. Brenda Kaufman says:

    Hi, I looked at the drawing for the waterfront – I use the bus terminal for Northland buses to commute to Toronto – are you going to be moving the bus terminal?

    Thanks, Brenda

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking about this article...


Got a question or comment for City of Barrie staff?

If you have a question or would like to provide feedback to a City of Barrie department please use the online contact form located on the City of Barrie's website: http://www.barrie.ca/info/Pages/ContactUs.aspx