The Official Plan: Supporting an Attractive City

Explore how the new Official Plan's policy directions support the sub themes of an Attractive City. You can provide your feedback on this theme by using the online comment sheet or by visiting the project page to learn about more feedback options.

Design Excellence

How can we ensure design excellence of our city’s buildings and public spaces?

What you said: This discussion revolved around the concepts of design excellence, design best practices, seamless integration, and the need for Official Plan policies, guidelines, and incentives. The urban design of built form and the public realm was an important issue for residents of Barrie. They wanted better urban design standards in Barrie to create more attractive buildings and public spaces and they viewed urban design as an essential tool for creating more walkable and compact neighbourhoods. The public wanted urban design in Barrie to adhere to high standards and best practices.

Policy Direction: Barrie will use a variety of urban design tools and best practices to create a cityscape that is accessible, safe, beautiful, and sustainable. Urban Design Standards will be established to address the built form, public realm and sustainable design.

Winter City

How should urban design be considered to ensure Barrie is a vibrant and lively ‘Winter City’?

What you said: This discussion revolved around winter conditions such as walkability, wind, snow and ice, as well as winter-appropriate installations such as lighting, awnings, colonnades, and canopies. It also explored microclimate, such as sun/shade, climate change considerations, and winter-supportive activities such as winter markets, warming stations, and skating rinks. The public not only wanted Barrie to be vibrant in the winter through the use of urban design, but they also wanted public spaces to be flexible for the winter months. This includes winter programming and activities, and flexible public spaces that can be used for events and recreation in the winter.

Policy Direction: Barrie will become and promote itself as a vibrant ‘Winter City’. Municipal places and private development will be designed to function equally as well in wintertime as they would in other seasons.

Public Art

How can we more successfully encourage public art and how can it better represent the values and character of each community?

What you said: Discussion included creating opportunities for public art, the benefit of a hierarchy of public art (priority-setting), and expressions of culture through art that reflect diverse groups, such as Indigenous or youth. There was also discussion about the value of public consultation in the public art process. It is important to involve local communities in the design of public art to ensure that it reflects and celebrated the history, culture, and spirit of local residents.

Policy Direction: Public art and artistic expression will be prominent throughout Barrie’s public realm and private spaces. This will be implemented through urban design standards or can be community-driven.

What implementation tools can better involve the public in the process for planning how communities are built?

What you said:  This discussion revolved around the importance of meeting all stakeholders’ expectations, allowing good design to fit into statutory timeframes for planning review/approval, and on-going design conflicts. There was also an acknowledgement of the need to frame design guidelines/standards and the need to create Barrie’s own best practices among new development to help set the right benchmark for design excellence.

Policy Direction: Barrie will implement policies that enhance the quality of urban design and increase public consultation with the ultimate goal of leveraging good urban design as a means to improve the aesthetic character and function of the City’s communities.

Public Consultation Quotes

"Would love to see Barrie become a more walkable city. It's a lot more vehicle-friendly than pedestrian friendly -- it would be great to see things move the other way"- Survey respondent

"We have a world class waterfront; lets really promote it with social activities for adults, kids, seniors. Add eateries and bike rentals."- Feedback from OP Project Workshop

"We need to specifically consider how we can design communities people can be motivated to engage in."- Feedback from OP Project Workshop

"Any new Official Plan for Barrie, in my opinion should encourage the growth of the unique neighbourhoods of Barrie (Painswick, Tollendale, Allandale, Holly, etc.)."- Feedback from Phase 1 Discussion Forum

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