Barrie residents, councillors divided on plan for nine towers on former fairgrounds site



Ontario Construction News staff writer

Neighbours opposed to a development plan for the former Barrie Fairgrounds site call it a small town being dropped into the middle of the city.

The 2,800-unit residential development proposal was the subject at a recent public meeting.

Greenworld Development/Digram Developments filed a revised redevelopment application with the city in mid-January to construct 2,828 residential units in nine towers ranging from 12 to 35 storeys. The plan also includes 421 townhouses.

Residents say the towers would drastically change the character of the neighbourhood.

“We’re very open to having design aspects that would pay homage to the fairgrounds. The proposal does represent a significant opportunity to develop a significant parcel of underutilized land in the city at the prominent location of Highway 400 and Essa,” said Innovative Planning Solutions associate James Hunter on behalf of the developer.

A staff report will be presented to council later this year, with recommendations on intensification (and) growth targets, the integration of the concept into the surrounding area, potential for a new school site and analysis and mitigation of potential site contamination and traffic.”