The Official Plan: Supporting a Cultural City

Explore how the new Official Plan's policy directions support the sub themes of a Cultural 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.

Welcoming Community

How can Barrie become a more welcoming community?

What you said: This discussion revolved around affordability as a means to welcome newcomers, libraries serving as resource centres, the value of community safety, and that a welcoming community benefits greatly from the economic development of tourism.  Feedback collected indicated the priority of meeting the needs of Barrie’s changing demographics and population. Additionally, more community facility uses – such as libraries and community centres – are the types of spaces that the public said there needs to be more of in Barrie.

Policy Direction: Barrie is a welcoming and inclusive city, where diversity is embraced and celebrated, and all people who call Barrie home or come as visitors can feel safe in and connected to our city.


How do we increase the variety of festivals and increase attendance?

What you said:  Activating the public realm, particularly around the waterfront was identified as a key priority. Participants also wanted public spaces to have more programming, recreational opportunities, and events that can be enjoyed year round. Additionally, they wanted the waterfront to become more of a “destination” where residents and tourists can spend more time – it was recommended that this be achieved by attracting more hotels, restaurants, and events to the waterfront.

Policy Direction: Barrie will be planned to create a hierarchy of public celebration spaces that provide an opportunity for a wide range of festivals and events throughout the city. These spaces will support neighbourhoods and communities and will be tourism-supportive by connecting hotels, event venues, and restaurants.

Celebrating History

How do we celebrate the history of a diverse group of Barrie residents?

What you said: Discussion revolved around the concepts of diversity, utilizing historic and indigenous street names, and the importance of preservation/conservation given the few built cultural heritage resources in the city. There is a need to provide more ways for diverse groups, such as immigrants and Indigenous communities, to contribute to city-building. Suggestions included using public spaces to tell stories, celebrating different cultures in Barrie’s built form and landscape, and using spaces as opportunities for knowledge exchange. Heritage preservation was also an issue that multiple participants at the public consultation events raised, as a way to celebrate and preserve Barrie’s history.

Policy Direction: Barrie is a place where our rich past is recognized and a shared identity is expressed through naming, preservation of cultural heritage, and through diverse cultural celebration spaces.

Public Consultation Quotes

"What are the most important elements of our identity that must remain strong 20 years into the future? That we are a welcoming, culturally diverse city with an incredible waterfront."- Feedback from Phase 1 Discussion Forum

"Blend heritage with new multi-cultural growth to tap into vibrancy and talent."- Feedback from OP Project Workshop

"Integration of different demographics throughout the city, provision of social and cultural activities that further foster integration."- Feedback from Phase 1 Forum Discussion

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