What is intensification?

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In order to prepare for growth, we need to consider innovative ways to accommodate new residents. Intensification is our opportunity to build complete neighbourhoods and will become a significant driver for shaping our city.

Intensification is development that allows for more people to connect, work and play within the existing urban boundary. It happens when we re-develop, expand and/or re-purpose existing areas, buildings or vacant lands.





Intensification provides many opportunities for our city including:

  • Enhancing community identity through vibrant public spaces;
  • Creating active streets to promote healthier lifestyle options (i.e. walkability and cycling);
  • Supporting local businesses by increasing foot traffic;
  • Decreasing reliance on personal cars by increasing the viability of public transit;
  • Protecting the natural environment by re-adapting our current urban landscape;
  • Creating more housing choices and affordability; and,
  • Reducing our carbon footprint by incorporating green features into development.

How we got here

The Government of Ontario’s Places to Grow Act establishes long-term regional plans for growth, development and land-use policies across the province. The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe identifies population density targets and settlement patterns for Barrie to achieve by 2031 in order to accommodate our expected growth (population of 210,000).

To meet these directions, the City completed an Intensification Study to identify key corridors (roads) that can achieve higher density development. The primary corridors, which are part of the Official Plan, are Essa Road, Bayfield Street, Duckworth Street, Dunlop Street West and Yonge Street.

Intensification Area Urban Design Guidelines were established in 2012 and include principles ensuring proposed intensification:

  • respectfully blends into the existing built fabric;
  • creates an attractive and safe pedestrian realm;
  • supports transportation of all types; and,
  • results in a thoughtful and attractive design that contributes to the local neighbourhoods and the City as a whole.

Your input matters!

Please join the conversation about intensification and have a meaningful say in future developments.

In order to prepare for growth, we need to consider innovative ways to accommodate new residents. Intensification is our opportunity to build complete neighbourhoods and will become a significant driver for shaping our city.

Intensification is development that allows for more people to connect, work and play within the existing urban boundary. It happens when we re-develop, expand and/or re-purpose existing areas, buildings or vacant lands.





Intensification provides many opportunities for our city including:

  • Enhancing community identity through vibrant public spaces;
  • Creating active streets to promote healthier lifestyle options (i.e. walkability and cycling);
  • Supporting local businesses by increasing foot traffic;
  • Decreasing reliance on personal cars by increasing the viability of public transit;
  • Protecting the natural environment by re-adapting our current urban landscape;
  • Creating more housing choices and affordability; and,
  • Reducing our carbon footprint by incorporating green features into development.

How we got here

The Government of Ontario’s Places to Grow Act establishes long-term regional plans for growth, development and land-use policies across the province. The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe identifies population density targets and settlement patterns for Barrie to achieve by 2031 in order to accommodate our expected growth (population of 210,000).

To meet these directions, the City completed an Intensification Study to identify key corridors (roads) that can achieve higher density development. The primary corridors, which are part of the Official Plan, are Essa Road, Bayfield Street, Duckworth Street, Dunlop Street West and Yonge Street.

Intensification Area Urban Design Guidelines were established in 2012 and include principles ensuring proposed intensification:

  • respectfully blends into the existing built fabric;
  • creates an attractive and safe pedestrian realm;
  • supports transportation of all types; and,
  • results in a thoughtful and attractive design that contributes to the local neighbourhoods and the City as a whole.

Your input matters!

Please join the conversation about intensification and have a meaningful say in future developments.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
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    We desperately need more medical centres with doctors,,emergency at the RVH is way overloaded,,patients need to have somewhere to keep the hospital for what it should be used not as a walk in centre

    cindygm Asked over 2 years ago

    Thank you for your valuable feedback! Barrie Area Physician Recruitment Task Force work hard to implement strategies to recruit family physicians for permanent practice in the Barrie Area to meet the needs of residents.  Visit www.barriedoctors.ca

    Also, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre is looking at Innisfil as a possible location for a second campus in the next 20 Years. Visit: www.rvh.on.ca for updates.

    We encourage you to join the ongoing conversation over on the 'Get Involved' page (www.buildingbarrie.ca/BuildBarrie) and share any other thoughts you have on how you would like to see intensification shape how we connect, work and play.


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    We are constantly building and bringing more population to the area,,but need good jobs for residents,,we have literally become a bedroom for Toronto,,high unemployment and taxes are outrageous,,I have lived here 50 years and cannot afford to survive in the town that I grew up in,,,a lot of seniors are leaving because of the high cost of living

    cindygm Asked over 2 years ago

    Thanks again for your feedback cindygm. The City of Barrie is committed to Business Development and focuses on attraction of new investment, retention and expansion of existing businesses and the creation of Barrie-based entrepreneurs. 

    This is a great topic to include in the discussion in the 'Get Involved' page. You may even have more insights to add to the current conversations taking place (details at www.buildingbarrie.ca/BuildBarrie), or come to the drop-in session on May 8th at Southshore Community Centre. 


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    Are we required to follow the growth plan or is it just a guideline to follow should we choose to grow that much?

    Mymishu Asked over 2 years ago

    Thank you for your question.  The Growth Plan is more than a guideline it is policy direction from the Province that municipalities need to adhere to.  There is however flexibility in how cities implement the Growth Plan.  This study is all about getting public input to create a made in Barrie approach to intensification.  

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    Infrastructure needs to be put into place before the intensification. The current road network needs to be in place before we start adding thousands of new residences. For example, the development in the area of Mapleview both east and west of Yonge St. will bring tens of thousands of people but Mapleview is not capable of handling the extra traffic yet. We need improved transit to the GTA where most jobs are, yet Hwy 400 is at its limits during rush hours and often closed or restricted due to accidents. GO Train expansion is needed with trains running both directions all day long. South end lacks recreational facilities for these new people.

    Darryl Asked over 2 years ago

    Thank You for your important input Darryl!  Planning the infrastructure along our intensification nodes and corridors is a critical part of the work ahead.  The City of Barrie is currently updating a number of Master Plans such as: Water Supply, Water Distribution and Storage, Wastewater Collection, and Wastewater Treatment in anticipation of future growth.  The province is also working with the City to make major upgrades to the Barrie GO Line to make it easier for commuters to take transit.