Municipal Comprehensive Review (M.C.R.) Long-Term Urban Land Needs Study

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When preparing a New Official Plan, the City is required to go through a Municipal Comprehensive Review process. The Land Needs Assessment is one of the requirements of that process.

The City retained Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. to prepare the Land Needs Assessment report (LNAR). The report provides an in-depth look at the City’s ability to accommodate the population and job growth forecasted to the year 2041. The analysis considers whether or not there is enough land already designated for urban uses or if there is potentially a need for more land to accommodate the growth. The potential need for more designated urban land is based upon the analysis which considers the Growth Plan, 2019 targets to plan for higher intensification within the Built-Up Area of the City was well as the ability to achieve the minimum density target in the Designated Greenfield Areas.

Explanation of the Municipal Comprehensive Review Long-Term Urban Land Needs Study (Land Needs Assessment Report).

Staff prepared a Growth Options and Policy Directions Report for Council to consider how and where Barrie should grow and intensify. Council selected Option 2 as Barrie's preferred vision for growth. This vision will:

  • Direct 50% of future residential growth toward the Built-Up Area (identified by blue and yellow fill in Appendix “A” of the staff report);

  • Expand the Settlement Area boundary to create new Community Area and Employment area lands which will accommodate future residential, non-industrial, and industrial growth; and,

  • Explore the possibility of converting existing industrial employment lands to non-industrial uses.


Land Needs Assessment Report Addendum

As per Council’s direction, staff have proceeded to develop a growth management strategy for the new Official Plan based on a 50% intensification target, a Settlement Area boundary expansion, and the conversion of employment area lands. This employment area land conversion process has concluded. For more information, visit the Employment Land Conversion web page.

The employment area land conversion process has effectively reduced the amount of employment area land currently available to accommodate the forecasted employment growth. This reduced amount of employment land must be considered when evaluating the City’s capacity to accommodate employment growth up to the year 2041. This is done through an addendum to the original Land Needs Assessment Report, which was published and presented to Council in October 2019.

The Land Needs Assessment Report addendum, prepared by Watson and Associates, is proceeding to Council via staff memo on June 15th. Both the memo and the addendum can be accessed here.

The Land Needs Assessment Report addendum indicates that the City’s revised land needs up to the year 2041 are as follows:

170 hectares of land for industrial employment-type uses, and;

134 hectares for population growth and related uses.

As per Council’s direction, the City’s Settlement Area boundary will be expanded to meet with revised land need. The new Settlement Area boundary will be established in accordance with the policies of applicable Provincial Policy and the City’s servicing master plans, and will be presented to Council and the public when the new draft Official Plan is released for a statutory 90-day review public review period.








When preparing a New Official Plan, the City is required to go through a Municipal Comprehensive Review process. The Land Needs Assessment is one of the requirements of that process.

The City retained Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. to prepare the Land Needs Assessment report (LNAR). The report provides an in-depth look at the City’s ability to accommodate the population and job growth forecasted to the year 2041. The analysis considers whether or not there is enough land already designated for urban uses or if there is potentially a need for more land to accommodate the growth. The potential need for more designated urban land is based upon the analysis which considers the Growth Plan, 2019 targets to plan for higher intensification within the Built-Up Area of the City was well as the ability to achieve the minimum density target in the Designated Greenfield Areas.

Explanation of the Municipal Comprehensive Review Long-Term Urban Land Needs Study (Land Needs Assessment Report).

Staff prepared a Growth Options and Policy Directions Report for Council to consider how and where Barrie should grow and intensify. Council selected Option 2 as Barrie's preferred vision for growth. This vision will:

  • Direct 50% of future residential growth toward the Built-Up Area (identified by blue and yellow fill in Appendix “A” of the staff report);

  • Expand the Settlement Area boundary to create new Community Area and Employment area lands which will accommodate future residential, non-industrial, and industrial growth; and,

  • Explore the possibility of converting existing industrial employment lands to non-industrial uses.


Land Needs Assessment Report Addendum

As per Council’s direction, staff have proceeded to develop a growth management strategy for the new Official Plan based on a 50% intensification target, a Settlement Area boundary expansion, and the conversion of employment area lands. This employment area land conversion process has concluded. For more information, visit the Employment Land Conversion web page.

The employment area land conversion process has effectively reduced the amount of employment area land currently available to accommodate the forecasted employment growth. This reduced amount of employment land must be considered when evaluating the City’s capacity to accommodate employment growth up to the year 2041. This is done through an addendum to the original Land Needs Assessment Report, which was published and presented to Council in October 2019.

The Land Needs Assessment Report addendum, prepared by Watson and Associates, is proceeding to Council via staff memo on June 15th. Both the memo and the addendum can be accessed here.

The Land Needs Assessment Report addendum indicates that the City’s revised land needs up to the year 2041 are as follows:

170 hectares of land for industrial employment-type uses, and;

134 hectares for population growth and related uses.

As per Council’s direction, the City’s Settlement Area boundary will be expanded to meet with revised land need. The new Settlement Area boundary will be established in accordance with the policies of applicable Provincial Policy and the City’s servicing master plans, and will be presented to Council and the public when the new draft Official Plan is released for a statutory 90-day review public review period.