The Official Plan: Supporting a Waterfront & Green City

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

Natural heritage system and corridors

How can we ensure that the existing high quality experiences associated with our waterfront are maintained and that its natural functions are maintained?

What you said: Discussions revolved around the waterfront as Barrie’s premier natural resource and the potential for creating multi-season amenities without removing parkland. There was acknowledgement that the waterfront should be better utilized and more accessible. In particular, participants wanted more programs and business along the waterfront, such as restaurants, patios, and stores.  Enhancing access through trails and similar such connections were seen as beneficial to increasing use, thereby increasing a sense of community ownership/stewardship of the waterfront.

Policy Direction: Barrie’s waterfront, which is the City’s premier natural resource, will be protected for future generations, and will provide high quality experiences that service the needs of all users of the space. Food retail, tourism activities, temporary markets, facilities, and other experiences for users will be permitted adjacent to the waterfront; at the same time, Barrie will protect the waterfront’s natural function and features.


Where are the opportunities to enhance and/or increase the connectivity of Barrie’s natural heritage system?

What you said: This discussion revolved around connectivity at a variety of scales, including: with surrounding municipalities and along the shoreline of Little Lake; between public and private lands; between natural heritage systems east and west of Highway 400; enhancing connections in the north end of Barrie; and, enhancing connections within the secondary plan areas. Public feedback indicated that there is a desire for easier access to natural heritage spaces, including trails and bike paths.

Policy Direction: Barrie will identify, enhance, and protect a thriving and well connected natural heritage system. Through a coordinated approach the City’s natural heritage system will be linked at a regional and city level.

Protecting Drinking Water

What you said: Feedback included wanting  to see Barrie’s natural resources continued to be protected, especially with growth and development pressures, and the increasing impacts of climate change. Discussion revolved around a variety of mechanisms to protect drinking water including site design ( low impact development, capturing contaminants through vegetation), public works operations (smart salt practices), and partnerships with other organizations.

Policy Direction: As Barrie grows, it will continue to have safe, accessible, and clean drinking water that will serve the community and its growing population. This resource will be protected by identifying vulnerable areas and implementing new risk management practices that benefit both community health and ecosystem health.


What role do parks need to play in the future as the city grows in population and becomes more densely developed?

What you said: Public spaces play a critical role in building community and a sense of place. The public viewed parks as a tool for place-making and as inclusive spaces that serve the diverse needs of the City’s residents. Whether it was children who used the parks to play, or seniors who used the parks for leisure and interacting with friends and neighbours, the role of parks contributes to making Barrie a great city. The results of the Image Prioritization Survey showed that parks were amongst the most popular choice as a place to connect and that respondents wanted to see more of them in Barrie.

Policy Direction: Barrie’s parks are safe year-round destinations, with programmed, passive, and flexible spaces that offer a variety of recreational and cultural opportunities to serve the diverse needs of residents.

Protecting our Waterfront

How can we build upon the natural heritage system approach and protect linkages and corridors?

What you said: Discussion revolved around means of protecting/conserving natural features, coordinating conservation with applications for development approval, and public education about the value of nature. Feedback included wanting better pedestrian connections to public spaces, more public education around resiliency and what the public can do to contribute to sustainability goals, and more policies that protect Barrie’s natural environment.

Policy Direction: Barrie will identify and protect linkages and corridors to support valuable natural resources, species at risk, wildlife habitat and environmentally sensitive areas. The public will also be well informed of the benefits of our natural heritage, through public education.

Public Consultation Quotes

"Ensure that natural areas where possible can be accessible for those with mobility issues including seniors." - Feedback from OP Project Workshop

"I hope the City considers to leave space around the waterfront and not clutter it with condos or super tall structures. Guests to Barrie always comment on what a pretty waterfront we have. We shouldn't shadow the downtown area." - Feedback from Phase 1 Forum Discussion

"Greenspace should be part of all future growth."- Feedback from OP Project Workshop

"Growth is great but maintaining space for the population to slow down and enjoy nature is important."- Feedback from OP Project Workshop 

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