City of Barrie approves new official plan


Ontario Construction News staff writer

After four years of consultation, the City of Barrie’s new official plan was adopted at a recent council meeting. It will now be sent to the Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for approval.

The document sets out how Barrie, as per provincial direction, will grow to accommodate 298,000 residents and 150,000 jobs by 2051.

It also states objectives and policies for protecting the environment, natural spaces like the waterfront, areas for employment and jobs, and historic neighbourhoods; while also building up the downtown and other growth areas to create more homes and more walkable, cycle-friendly and transit-oriented communities.

“The new official plan is a guide for smart growth and for building a complete community. It provides a level of policy direction that ensures residents, businesses, investors and the citys hare an aligned vision for Barrie’s future,” says Mayor Jeff Lehman. “This Plan will ensure we remain a vibrant, connected, diverse, green and resilient community as Barrie grows at a measured and reasonable pace.”

Consultation began in 2018, and included three phases:

  • Phase 1 – introduced the project to stakeholders and sought their vision regarding priorities and the overall approach for Barrie’s new Official Plan
  • Phase 2 – built on initial findings once key themes were established to provide policy direction
  • Phase 3 – staff worked with the internal and external stakeholders to refine the policy document and maps​

To learn more about the Official Plan and to view the document in its entirety, visit

The next step will be to develop the draft new Comprehensive Zoning By-law and the City-Wide Urban Design Guidelines, which will both align closely with the new Official Plan. During 2022, there will be public consultation opportunities on each. Members of the public can register on to stay informed.