Now that plans for a performing arts centre/convention facility at the site of the old Fisher Auditorium (artist rendition above) have collapsed, a task force is coming up with a new strategy. Will this initiative finally bring a long-sought centre to Barrie?


• A Closer Look

The first thing one might notice about the City’s Performing Arts Centre Task Force is its size, with no fewer than 12 members tasked with finding a downtown location for a new theatre.
Back on April 22, council authorized the creation of three task forces to deal with pressing concerns: the Affordable Housing Task Force, the Market Precinct Task Force, and the one looking for a new theatre site. A recent memo to council provided an update detailing the number of times the committee has met, four to date, as well as progress in the search for a new location.
As might be expected, members concur that the new location should remain the address of the old one: the Fisher Auditorium at 125 Dunlop Street East.
Readers might recall the City’s plans to renew the Fisher Auditorium into a state-of-the-art 650-seat theatre/400-seat event centre; the old one sat adjacent to the now-gone Barrie Central Collegiate as a hub for a variety of performances. At least that was the idea before COVID-19 shut down many parts of the economy, including the entertainment/tourism sectors. The prospect of dwindling audiences and rising costs led council to abandon plans to remake the auditorium.
That didn’t mean abandoning plans for a theatre to replace the Fisher and the closed Georgian Theatre.
“The outcome of the Task Force’s work will be the development of a complete project plan, including appropriate key milestones, necessary to execute it including validation of the site location and key needs for the centre necessary to inform its design; establishing a budget, and overall fundraising targets. It is anticipated that the mission/purpose will be fulfilled by the end of 2021 and that members will remain on the Task Force until that time,” reads the report.
Ideally, a new performing arts centre would be built alongside a convention centre, as envisioned in the initial vision, and articulated by Ward 2 councillor Barry Ward last November.
“We are missing out on economic opportunities. Thousands of Barrie residents, at least before the pandemic, were spending a lot of money on conferences which helped other municipalities. We need to get some of those dollars back. I’m confident conferences will return in the future. It’s also worth noting that, even without a conference facility, Barrie needs a performing arts centre to replace the aging Georgian Theatre. Having a conference facility attached would help the performing arts centre, but it wouldn’t depend on it.”
The idea of a connected performing arts/conference facility appears to have been sidelined in the new search, at least for now. Who knows if plans for a conference centre will resurface later, perhaps in partnership with a developer in the downtown core. Maybe, maybe not.
Considering the task in front of them, 12 members might well be a workable number. They have been split into working groups, each responsible for different aspects of the project and reporting back to the larger group. They are:
Working Group 1: Purpose is to develop a scope of work for an architect that is based on the input of all user groups and the needs of a growing city
Working Group 2: Purpose is to garner community feedback and develop marketing and communications messaging to help obtain community support for the performing arts centre. This will include a public input presence on the city website and by phone as per council direction
Working Group 3: Purpose is fundraising  
The next communication from staff is expected in September, via a memo in council. The other two task forces are following the same timelines. A main theme of the initiative is helping the community recover from the pandemic by developing tourism opportunities.
The strategy harkens back to previous efforts to strengthen the local economy through the building of what economist Richard Florida called the ‘creative class,’ entrepreneurial professionals who pick a place to live based on available amenities that include cultural opportunities like performing arts centres. Back in October 2009, he was invited by local community and business leaders to share his thoughts, based on his then best seller, Who’s Your City, on how to make Barrie attractive to that creative class, benefiting from the economic spinoffs that a culturally evolved city might provide.
It’s about creating a sense of place where people can live, work, and play (complete communities), key factors in stimulating economic growth, he said then. It’s a message that continues to resonate in Barrie, past and present. Other connected efforts included the 2006 report, at a cost of $350,00, from Montreal-based commercial master planner Patty Xenos that called for the development of a downtown brand through the growth of five distinct districts: a culture node on Mulcaster, centred by the McLaren Art Centre; an entertainment district on Dunlop Street West; the creation of a downtown façade facing the bay, along with a mews featuring cafes and shops; a piazza of sorts to spur public use of Memorial Square; and a business zone on Collier Street.
And, back in 2011, the downtown BIA engaged the services of urban ‘renewalist’ Roger Brooks to help create a brand for the city centre. Among other measures, he advocated for an enhanced public use of Memorial Square, and a downtown hotel with a conference centre.
All of this is just a reminder that the search for that sense of place, and space, that defines the complete community is an ongoing process. Long-time Barrie residents might remember the drive to put a performing arts centre on the so-called H-block lands, where the downtown library now sits. Progress has been made; Meridian Place and the downtown streetscape project are prime examples. Building the long-sought performing arts centre will be another step along that long road.

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Registration is now open for the City’s free virtual Rocket League tournament on Saturday, Sept. 18, as part of the Game On! event. This year, Game On! will run from Sept. 1 to 18, and feature engaging experiences to connect and celebrate the gaming community.
“Gaming is a fast-growing sector which blends together art, music, technology and innovation,” says Steve Lee-Young, Manager of Recreation and Culture Programs. “This year’s Game On! event will offer our community a chance to try their hand at many forms of gaming, while supporting local game developers and businesses.”
The virtual Rocket League tournament is hosted by Ontario-based video game business We Got Game and will be streamed live on the video game platform Twitch starting at 1 p.m. on Sept. 18. The tournament is open to all ages and skill levels, and advanced registration is required. Participants will also have the chance to win prizes. 
There will also be an escape room event at the Five Points Theatre at select times on September 3 and 4. Groups can be up to five people, but a minimum of four people in a group is required to participate. 
In addition to the tournament and escape room, Game On! will feature activities and programming that will allow participants to relive the nostalgia of retro video games, learn about esports and game development, and explore the world of cosplay.
Please note that COVID-19 safety procedures will be in effect, and in-person programming and safety requirements are subject to change and/or cancellation based on current COVID-19 regulations.
Game On! is hosted in partnership with Barrie Public Library’s Comic Con. To register for the virtual tournament or escape room events, and for more information on Game On! and how to participate, visit barrie.ca/GameOn.

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With hot and humid temperatures in the forecast this week, as well as a heat warning alert currently in effect for our area, the City of Barrie reminds residents to keep cool and stay safe. 

Cooling centre open at Transit Terminal

The Barrie Transit Terminal, located at 24 Maple Avenue, is available as a cooling centre for anyone who needs to seek cooler temperatures. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Please note that the cooling centre is subject to capacity, physical distancing and time-limit restrictions during the pandemic. The cooling centre is not intended to be an overnight shelter (no sleeping). Face coverings must be worn in all indoor public spaces. The County of Simcoe provides overnight shelter through their emergency motel system. For more information, visit the County’s website or call Service Simcoe at 705-735-6901.

Early curbside collection on Wednesday, August 25

Due to Environment Canada’s heat warning, the City’s waste contractor will start curbside collection at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 25. Residents should put their garbage, recycling boxes and green bins curbside after 7 p.m. tonight. Visit barrie.ca/CurbsideCollection for more information. 

During a heat warning, the public are reminded to:

  • Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car
  • Stay in the shade and stay hydrated by drinking water
  • Dress in cool, loose clothing and wear a hat and sunglasses
  • Check regularly on family, friends or neighbours who are at higher risk of heat-related illnesses and who do not have air conditioning

Here are some other ideas on how to beat the heat:

  • Head to one of Barrie’s beaches. Check the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit beach water testing results before heading to the beach. Residents are reminded to practice water safety; there is no substitute for parent supervision. Visit barrie.ca/beachesfor more information.
  • Book a time to visit one of the pools located at the City’s recreation centres including Allandale Recreation Centre, Holly Community Centre and East Bayfield Community Centre. Visit play.barrie.ca to pre-register for open swim times. 
  • Splash around at the splash pad at Lampman Lane Park or the popular water feature at Heritage Park.
  • The City’s library branches are open to the public during regular operating hours, with COVID safety restrictions and time limits in place.
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As part of Barrie council’s strategic plan to create safer streets, it approved a motion to create an online survey to poll residents on road safety and speed changes in the city.
The purpose is to gain feedback from residents as to whether they are in favour of a city-wide reduction or solely a reduction in residential areas, along with further questions that may help identify specific streets of concern with respect to road safety and speeding.
The City wants to gain feedback about road safety in the community, and this is being done using the following methods:
• A map where residents can place a ‘pin’ to identify an area they think would benefit from a traffic calming measure (temporary speed cushion, radar board, etc.) or a speed reduction.
• A five-question survey that asks citizens to share their thoughts about speed limits, the effectiveness of traffic safety measures, and other road safety concerns.
Feedback received from this tool will be incorporated into a staff report later this fall that will consider future traffic calming initiatives, potential speed reductions and other road safety programs for Council’s consideration. The consultation will also help inform City staff of possible locations for temporary speed cushions in 2022.
Visit buildingbarrie.ca/RoadSafety for more information and to share your feedback before August 31. For more information on the City’s traffic calming measures, visit barrie.ca/traffic.

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Launched in 2017, the online service allows Barrie residents to securely apply for a Record Check 24-hours-a-day, without having to attend the Barrie Police Service Headquarters. Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

With back-to-school right around the corner, the Barrie Police Service Records & Information Management Services Unit is reminding Barrie residents that Criminal Record Checks can be completed online.
Online record checks are quick, easy, and secure, and in most cases, results are provided electronically. Vulnerable Sector Checks can also be completed online, however, in some cases, may require in-person follow-up or fingerprinting.
Launched in 2017, the online service allows Barrie residents to securely apply for a Record Check 24-hours-a-day, without having to attend the Barrie Police Service Headquarters. All aspects of the process – including verification of your identification, and fee payment – are handled electronically. Results are now being sent back to applicants electronically, with no need to wait for results to arrive in the mail.
Applicants attending BPS Headquarters to apply in person will be directed to submit their application using a kiosk in the lobby and will have the support of our staff if they require assistance.
“With school starting again soon, and more and more recreational activities starting up as COVID restrictions lift, we are encouraging any Barrie resident who needs a Criminal Record Check to complete it easily online. Not only does this help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but it’s also a great option for those who may not be able to visit the police station,” said Barrie Police Service Records Manager Nicole Lees.
“The online process is very easy to use, it’s fast and the information is secured at all stages. If there is no need for follow-up, you will receive your documents electronically.”
Currently, the wait time for record checks is approximately two weeks and applicants are encouraged to apply for their Criminal Record Check as soon as possible. The Barrie Police Service can only conduct records checks for residents of the City of Barrie.
For more information, or to start an online Criminal Record Check, visit www.BarriePolice.ca and look for the “Record Check” button on the homepage.

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A Deeper Look

“The whole point of the study is to see if it is feasible. The purpose of this grant is to allow organizations, who don’t have the capacity to understand what is possible, what the art of the possible would be, but also the implications so they can take it to their governing bodies … and make an informed decision.” – Mayor Jeff Lehman


Given the reality that Barrie is now the most expensive community in Ontario for rental accommodation, more so than Toronto says Mayor Jeff Lehman, efforts to increase the stock of affordable housing not only makes sense, it would seem to be a priority to help many people continue to call this community home.
So, council’s action last week to perhaps free up some vacant institutional-type land for affordable housing is a commendable step, but getting approval from council for the Lehman-led initiative was the easy part. The heavy lifting will come when residents adjacent to these properties learn that large affordable housing projects are proposed for their neighbourhoods.
The idea is to provide non-profit or charitable owners of these institutional lands, mostly churches, the opportunity to unearth the development opportunities for the vacant parts of their properties, empty parking lots and such. The motion council supported would ask the Development Services Department, backed by the Affordable Housing Task Force, to contact eligible property owners, and invite them to discuss the potential for building affordable housing on their properties, on lands which now sit empty.
The motion continues that once projects are determined, staff connect with consultants to conduct feasibility studies about developing properties for affordable housing projects, and fund 10 studies up to $20,000 each. The money would come from the Community Benefit Reserve.
Amendments to the motion opened the process to properties in different zoning designations, including residential, and looking for ways to reduce application costs. Another proposed addition by Ward 9 councillor Sergio Morales to extend the program to student affordable housing failed to get support.
“The whole point of the study is to see if it is feasible,” says Lehman. “The purpose of this grant is to allow organizations, who don’t have the capacity to understand what is possible, what the art of the possible would be, but also the implications so they can take it to their governing bodies … and make an informed decision.”
The task force, formed in April along with two others – the Performing Arts Centre Task Force and the Market Precinct Task Force – was struck to coordinate County, City, and charitable/not-for-profit housing projects and policies, and to aggressively expand the supply of affordable housing, with particular emphasis on addressing the hardest to house.
The job in front of the task force would seem to be formidable. According to a June 21 memo, the City’s 2015 affordable housing strategy set a goal of creating 840 affordable housing units by 2024; one of the Official Plan’s goals is to have at least ten percent of all new residential development be affordable housing. To aid in this goal, the City did the following:
• made it easier to build second suites and provide other forms of affordable housing by amending the zoning bylaw
• adapted the Community Improvement Plan(CIP) to include an Affordable Housing Development Grant
• helped several purpose-built rental projects, including some with affordable units, with the development approvals process
“Currently, 872 new units have been created. However, only occupied units are included in the count as 409 of these units are unfunded second suites; using the adjusted affordability percentage for unfunded second suites (a Simcoe County metric), the total current amount of affordable housing units in Barrie would actually be 619. In addition, only 14 percent are units in new affordable rental developments (there is a need for more of this type of housing in Barrie),” reads the memo.
Last year $1,777,780 was awarded in Affordable Housing Development Grants through the CIP to support future affordable housing projects; Development Services continues to support those applying to the Rapid Housing Initiative, or any others, reads the memo. Next steps for the task force include:
• solidify the task force purpose and vision
• creating policy/mechanism to collect affordable housing cash contributions (in lieu of units from developers)
• define the task force scope
• create a goal-driven project plan to guide the task force
• hold public meeting for further proposed amendments to the zoning bylaw
• waive as many City fees as possible for affordable housing projects
Two main obstacles face the task force and the effort to build more affordable housing, says Lehman: funding and land availability.
“Far too often our projects are getting stalled as we wait for response on a particular program of housing funding. We need a sustainable local source if we are going to ourselves, as a city, or county, or community, tackle this issue.”
Morales says the latest effort to create more affordable housing in Barrie is “probably the most significant thing we have done in (the last) year and a half to increase affordability” in the city, but cautioned council it will need to be ready for the reality of resistance from residents not that enamoured by the idea of a possibly large development, affordable housing or not, popping up in their neighbourhoods, on vacant church lands and such.
As said, agreeing this is a good idea is the easy part. Dealing with potentially hundreds of angry residents is entirely different. Let’s see if council has the political will to see it through.

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Seven businesses in Barrie’s downtown now have temporary art installations displayed on their patio fencing as part of the Brightening Barriers public art project, which paired local and regional artists with business owners.
“This project sees businesses’ patio fencing — representing ‘barriers’ — reimagined as a canvas to display regional and local art,” says Stephannie Schlichter, Director, Economic and Creative Development. “One of the goals of the project is to create a vibrant atmosphere that will attract residents and visitors to downtown Barrie and our beautiful new streetscape.”
The participating downtown patios are:
• The North, displaying Line Up by Amy Bagshaw.
• Homestead Bakery, displaying Arcadia Redux by Sadko Hadzihasanovic
• 147, displaying Plates by Barrie’s PRNT Collective members; Katie Argyle, Tamara Benoit, Kim Brett, Jennie Clark, Tim Laurin and Clinton Todd
• Bayside Variety, displaying Long and Winding Road by Derek Martin
• Groovy Tuesdays, displaying How it Rolls at the Pond by Rod Prouse
• North Country, displaying The Land Between Rama and Barrie I & II by The Birdbath Collaboration
Kenzington Burger Bar, displaying It’s A Dog’s Life by Christina Luck 
Residents and visitors are encouraged to safely explore downtown Barrie’s new streetscape and support local businesses, while appreciating the original works of art created by local and regional artists. The art is on display until Nov. 30. 
This project was organized by the Barrie Public Art Committee, a working group whose mandate is to enhance Barrie by acquiring public art that inspires and connects the community in public spaces. Enhancing civic pride through public art, preservation of historic buildings, and programming of public spaces is also identified as one of the key themes in Barrie’s new Official Plan.
It was funded primarily by the federal government’s Healthy Communities Initiative and supported by the Barrie Community Foundation. Artists were compensated for their work. To learn more about artworks on display as part of this project, visit “Brightening Barriers” via barrie.ca/PublicArt.

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RVH connects with RBC to Race for the Kids

RVH president & CEO Janice Skot (centre) dressed in a referee jersey to officiate a kick-off ‘race to register’ for RBC Race for the Kids. She is between Martha Cope, operations director, Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Program and Mental Health & Addictions Program (centre right) and Frank Berdan, RBC vice president, Barrie & Muskoka Commercial Banking (left). Cheering them on is Pamela Ross, CEO, RVH Foundation (centre left) and Randy Tredenick, RBC regional vice president, Barrie & Muskoka (right).

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) is teaming up with RBC to go the distance for child and youth mental health as part of RBC Race for the Kids.
The Simcoe Muskoka region has been chosen to host one of 17 virtual races held around the globe the weekend of October 16 and 17. Supporters can sign up as of August 16 to walk or run and help raise funds for this important initiative.
“RVH is thrilled to have been selected as a race partner in 2021. Funds raised will support a confidential, calming space with direct access to specialized caregivers – outside the walls of our busy Emergency Department – for young patients experiencing a mental health crisis. This is needed more than ever,” explains Martha Cope, Operations Director for RVH’s Mental Health and Addictions Program. “During the last 16 months of this pandemic, the number of young people in crisis has climbed, at times, up to four times higher than usual.”
No matter where you live, you can pledge to participate in the race, raising funds to expand RVH’s mental health services. Registration is free. Participants can choose from one of the following distances: 1km, 3km, 5km, 10km, 15km and are encouraged to raise a minimum of $50 individually or $250 per team.
“When a young person is struggling, it’s heartbreaking. You want them to get the help need. That’s why RBC is a strong supporter of youth mental health programs and the work of organizations like RVH,” says Marjolaine Hudon, RBC Regional President for Ontario North and East. “This race with our newest healthcare partner RVH builds on our commitment to supporting youth as they prepare for their future. A huge thank you to RVH for the work its team does every day to support youth and their families during the COVID 19 pandemic, and beyond.”
For more information on how to participate in this year’s virtual RBC Race for the Kids in support of RVH child and youth mental health services, please visit RBCRaceforthekidsRVH.ca

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Digital parking passes turn out to be hot seller

Monthly downtown parking passes are now available for purchase through the HotSpot parking app. The app will send users a notification when the pass is expiring and offers the option to automatically renew the pass. 
“With residents able to purchase a digital downtown pass anytime, anywhere, they can save time and enjoy added convenience,” says Brent Forsyth, Director of Transit and Parking Strategy. “The City is committed to using innovation and technology to deliver services to our residents more efficiently, and we are continually striving towards customer service excellence. Adding this option for digital monthly parking passes is a perfect example of that.” 
With digital parking passes purchased through HotSpot, there is no risk of losing a pass or having one stolen. Users can also easily change the vehicle’s licence plate that is associated with their pass through the app or website.
The number of HotSpot users in Barrie has grown steadily, with more than 8,700 new account holders since the City’s launch of HotSpot in March 2021. In July 2021, there were more than 4,500 parking sessions purchased through HotSpot in City-owned parking spaces.   
Monthly and annual downtown parking passes will continue to be sold through Service Barrie, the Barrie Transit Terminal, select recreation centres and through the BIA. Residents can purchase their September 2021 monthly pass through HotSpot starting August 16 and their annual pass through HotSpot starting in mid-December.
To learn more about the app and parking in the city, visit barrie.ca/parking.

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Police investigate Monday morning bank robbery

On Monday just before 10 a.m., Barrie police were alerted to a bank robbery in progress at the Scotiabank at 44 Collier Street.
A male suspect entered the building and approached the counter, telling the staff he had a weapon and was robbing the bank, before going behind the counter to take a quantity of cash. He then fled south on Owen street just after 9:45 a.m.
No one was physically injured in this incident, and the investigation is ongoing.
The suspect is described as: male, about 6’ tall, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black gloves, faded dark denim pants, black running shoes with a white sole. 
Investigating officers are asking anyone who may have video from the area or other information to please contact the Barrie Police Service at 705-725-7025 ext. 2129. Any information can be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.

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“The faster we can enact a proof of vaccination system, the faster we can protect more Ontarians from the effects of the Delta variant. This will support the safe reopening of our economy and protect our residents.” – Mayor Jeff Lehman, Chair of OBCM.



From Ontario’s Big City Mayors

Around the world, certified vaccination records are helping businesses and event spaces to safely open while encouraging more people to get vaccinated. This will help reduce a fourth wave in Ontario as well. Organizations as diverse as the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, CFIB, the Ontario Science table, colleges and universities, are all calling for such a system. 
“The faster we can enact a proof of vaccination system, the faster we can protect more Ontarians from the effects of the Delta variant,” said Jeff Lehman, Chair of OBCM and Mayor of Barrie. “This will support the safe reopening of our economy and protect our residents”. 

Childcare Plan 

OBCM also passed a motion calling on the provincial government to reach an agreement on the $10 per day federal childcare plan to support the economy and reduce household expenses for Ontarians. 
Ontario’s strong fiscal management throughout the pandemic creates the opportunity to implement this economy strengthening social program. The OBCM caucus urges the provincial government to join the seven other provinces who have reached agreements in providing quality affordable childcare to families. 
Childcare has been unaffordable and inaccessible to families across the province long before the pandemic began. The pandemic compounded this equity issue and resulted in more women exiting the workforce to care for their children. 
Ensuring Ontarians have access to affordable childcare will remove a financial burden from families and help kickstart economic recovery. 

Affordable Broadband Internet 

The COVID-19 crisis has been brought to the forefront the need for all Ontarians to have reliable access to internet. OBCM supports continued efforts to provide proper broadband infrastructure, but also calls for affordable rates as too many Canadians are struggling with high fees for internet services.
“COVID-19 has underlined the fact that broadband internet for all our citizens is a basic necessity and essential utility, and access does not simply refer to broadband infrastructure availability, but also to its affordability,” stated Chatham-Kent mayor Darrin Canniff.
OBCM is looking to the federal government to review the recent decision by the CRTC Commission and replace it with evidence based 2019 Rates Order. 

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“We know widespread vaccination is our best strategy to a safe and more rapid return to on-campus life and I’m committed to doing everything we can to make that return a reality for our students and employees.” – Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO of Georgian College


Georgian College announced today that they will be requiring vaccinations for all Georgian students and employees who will access any college campus or location, as of Sept. 7. 
The college will be releasing a vaccination policy shortly that will also address all visitors who attend Georgian campuses or locations.
As Georgian has been preparing for more on-campus activity for the fall, the college has continued to work closely with local public health authorities and has been closely watching vaccination rates of our college population demographic and the current and future impact of the variants of concern (VOCs) on our communities.  “Throughout the pandemic, while maintaining delivery of our programs both on and off campus, Georgian has been committed to the health and safety of our students and employees. It’s driven our decisions from the very beginning and this decision is no different,” said Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes, President and CEO of Georgian College.
“We know widespread vaccination is our best strategy to a safe and more rapid return to on-campus life and I’m committed to doing everything we can to make that return a reality for our students and employees. As an academic institution, we also understand our role and responsibility for the greater good and our commitment to protecting the health and safety of the communities we are so fortunate to be a part of and cherish,” added West-Moynes.
In order to work or study on any Georgian campus or affiliated facility, students and employees will be required to have at minimum their first dose of a two-dose, Health Canada or World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccine before coming on campus as of Sept. 7 and a second dose, or be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18. 
To assist Georgian students and employees to get vaccinated, the college is working with local public health units to host vaccination clinics on campus. Details on locations and dates of the on-campus clinics will be made public as soon as possible.
Georgian will have a process to grant accommodations to individuals who cannot be vaccinated on medical grounds or other grounds recognized by the Ontario Human Rights Code. More details regarding the college’s vaccination policy, how it will apply to campus visitors and the exemptions process will be posted on the college website in the coming weeks.

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According to research by the University of Western Ontario and the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, 95 percent of the tornadoes in Ontario are magnitude 0-2, and the risk of loss and damage from them can largely be prevented through identified and inexpensive changes in current home construction practices


The City is calling on the Province to strengthen the Ontario Building Code as it relates to tornadoes by requiring hurricane strips on all new builds.
Barrie council backed an action item at Monday’s meeting, essentially asking Queen’s Park to make homes, and other buildings, more able to withstand tornado-force winds. The call was sparked by the July 15 tornado that tore through the south-east part of the city.
According to research by the University of Western Ontario and the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, 95 percent of the tornadoes in Ontario are magnitude 0-2, and the risk of loss and damage from them can largely be prevented through identified and inexpensive changes in current home construction practices, read the item sponsored by Ward 6 councillor Natalie Harris.
The approved action means:
• Staff in the Development Services, Legal Services and Building Services Departments are to partner with the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction to propose to the Province specific measures to modernize the Ontario Building Code with respect to severe wind protection for new homes, including the requirement for the use of straps, clips or other mechanisms to better connect the roof, wall and foundation of homes.
They are also to work in collaboration with other agencies to develop an awareness campaign to inform Barrie residents about the risk of destructive tornadoes, options to assess risk of damage to their home, and identify risk reduction and best practices.
Staff are to report back to general committee.
• That in order to encourage installation of approved severe wind resilience features, staff in the Finance and Legal Services Departments investigate the feasibility of introducing a rebate program for homeowners that did not experience damage resulting from tornado damage on July 15, and financial incentives for those whose homes were damaged, and report back to general committee.

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From the Town of Innisfil

The Province of Ontario announced (Aug. 9) that a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) has been made to designate lands on the 6th Line for the Town of Innisfil’s future Orbit transit hub.
The MZO will help expedite the building of Innisfil’s new GO Station, as well as the planning process for the surrounding Orbit – a new, cutting-edge community, centred around the new rail station. Designed to prevent urban sprawl, the Orbit will be sustainable, inclusive, and technologically advanced. This announcement will help the Town of Innisfil get shovels in the ground faster, secure private investment, and support local priorities and economic recovery as the province emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today’s announcement is a good example of how our government is using Minister’s Zoning Orders, in partnership with municipalities, to help get shovels in the ground quickly on important projects that will benefit residents for generations,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This is an exciting community-building project and I am proud to be able to support the Orbit transit hub.”
“Our government is proud to work with our municipal partners to get one step closer to building a new Innisfil GO Station that will provide convenient transit to this growing community – at a lower cost to taxpayers,” said Stan Cho, Associate Minister of Transportation. “Through the Transit-Oriented Communities Program, we are building critical, reliable transit that is connected to vibrant, live-work-play communities that benefit individuals, families and businesses.” 
“We are grateful to Minister Clark, Associate Minister Cho, and the Province of Ontario for recognizing how the Orbit transit hub will help Innisfil thrive,” said Innisfil Mayor Lynn Dollin. “We’re looking forward to working with our partners at Cortel Group to bring this vision of a connected community to life.”
“Innisfil is taking a forward-thinking approach to growth through the Orbit,” said Tim Cane, Orbit Director at the Town of Innisfil. “Today’s announcement is an exciting step forward to building a more resilient, connected and sustainable community.”
The Orbit development supports strategic objectives in the Town’s Innovative Innisfil 2030: Community Strategic Plan, and aligns with provincial initiatives to build transit infrastructure, increase attainable housing supply, and make communities more resilient.
Learn more about the project at innisfil.ca/orbit and getinvolvedinnisfil.ca/go

Background

The Province has granted a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO) to fast-track Innisfil’s Orbit project, featuring a GO Station as the hub of a new urban community centred around the station.

In 2019, Partisans — a Toronto-based architecture studio — was awarded the contract to create the vision for the Orbit. The lead developer for the area, Cortel Group, has decided to move forward with the ambitious vision that will see the new Transit Hub and Orbit community built around the area of 6th Line and Metrolinx Rail line. This new Innisfil Transit Hub and surrounding residential, employment and community uses will incorporate the design principles of sustainability, placemaking and culture, technology, and economics.
Leading up to the release of the draft MZO, a number of steps and stakeholder meetings took place, including: a resident survey in 2019, station design team meetings, collaboration with the Province, County of Simcoe and Metrolinx, engagement with the resident focus group, and a Council Workshop in May 2020.
Council endorsed the draft MZO, which was submitted to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) for his consideration in November 2020.
The MZO includes guidelines for how the land immediately surrounding the transit station (i.e., land within 425 metres of the proposed GO station) can be used, including for spaces like retail, business, residential, affordable housing, recreation and more, as well as protection of key environmental features, including woodlands and wetlands. The lands outside of this area will be addressed in the future through a Secondary Plan, where the Town will once again look for input from the community later this year.
“We are grateful to Minister Clark, Associate Minister Cho, and the Province of Ontario for recognizing how the Orbit transit hub will help Innisfil thrive,” said Innisfil Mayor Lynn Dollin. “We’re looking forward to working with our partners at Cortel Group to bring this vision of a connected community to life.”

Related: environmentalists sound alarm over growing use of MZOs.

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Lt. Aaron Niles and his little brother, a childhood cancer survivor. The officer’s ‘Ruck for a Cure’ personal fundraiser was created in honour of his younger brother’s diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2010. (photo supplied by RVH)

Wearing a 30-pound rucksack, Lt. Aaron Niles of 16 Wing, CFB Borden, will lace up on Friday, Sept. 10 to walk 30 kilometres to raise funds for the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s (RVH) Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Program, hoping to lessen the load for future cancer patients. 
The soldier’s ‘Ruck for a Cure’ personal fundraiser was created in honour of his younger brother’s diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2010. At that time, his brother’s prognosis was very grim, having been given only 30 days to live. That is why the number 30 holds such important significance to Aaron and his family. Thanks to the care his brother received, he is alive and doing well today. 
“I am blessed to still have my brother alive today but, unfortunately, not everyone is so fortunate,” says Niles. “Cancer is something that affects us all at some point in our lives and only by supporting each other, can we win the fight against cancer.”
While RVH does not provide paediatric cancer treatment, Aaron is passionate about raising awareness about how cancer impacts so many families. Many of his colleagues at 16 Wing have also been affected by cancer and he is dedicating his walk not just to his brother, but to those colleagues whose name tags he will wear along his journey to RVH. 
“We are so grateful to Lt. Niles for undertaking this incredible trek and for supporting patient care. RVH would not be able to evolve or expand without the support of its communities,” says RVH Foundation CEO, Pamela Ross. “Events like Ruck for a Cure are very meaningful and they allow RVH to put the best technology, tools and programs into play to support patient care.” 
RVH’s Cancer Centre opened in 2012, and has been able to bring cancer care closer to home for thousands of patients. Today, the centre has over 90,000 cancer patient visits annually, saving local cancer patients and their families an estimate 12 million kilometres of travel to and from the Greater Toronto Area for treatment every year.
Those who would like to support Lt. Aaron Niles and his goal of raising $30,000 in support of patient care at RVH, are encouraged to visit www.ruckforacure.ca

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  • A Closer Look
Future Canada Day celebrations in Barrie will evolve to embrace local First Nations, their history and culture, and committee set the City on a path to implement parts of the Truth and Reconciliation process that relate to municipalities.

Barrie residents worried that traditional Canada Day festivities might be canceled in the wake of widespread revulsion over revelations of unmarked graves of thousands of Indigenous children at residential schools can relax.
The next July 1, in Barrie at least, will remain a celebration of the country, as much as COVID-19 allows, complete, one assumes, with fireworks and other patriotic displays. 
And for those demanding that municipalities join other levels of government to not only acknowledge the tragedy of those unmarked graves, along with what can only be called a systemic disregard of Indigenous concerns, but also take action to rectify those issues, they can be comforted by the positive, healing even, steps taken by general committee on Monday.
Future Canada Day celebrations in Barrie will evolve to embrace local First Nations, their history and culture, and committee set the City on a path to implement parts of the Truth and Reconciliation process that relate to municipalities.
“This is not about canceling the celebrations of Canada Day, this is about adding context and educational elements as we did to great success this past July 1. It was really incredible to see the amount of people who came out to the sacred fire who were learning about the history of colonization and the ongoing acts of colonization on this land. That is something we can continue,” said Ward 2 councillor Keenan Alywin, who, along with Ward 6’s Natalie Harris, moved a multi-part motion, that ended up, after amendments, including:
• Staff in the recreation and culture department consult on a annual basis with local First Nations to explore and implement July 1 activities reflective of Indigenous history and culture, and provide educational engagement on systemic issues
• That City departments, and the Barrie Police Service, report by summer of 2022 on initiatives designed to increase hiring from the Indigenous community
• That the Downtown BIA be asked to include Indigenous history, acknowledgement, and education as part of any application for Canada Day funding from government sources
• That the general manager of community and corporate services and staff in the human resources department engage with local Indigenous peoples and First Nations on the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action that fall under municipal responsibility, namely sections 43, 47 and 57, and report back to committee by end of year
The three calls to action relating to municipal governments are:
• Section 43 calls on all levels of governments to fully adopt and implement the United Nations’ declaration of the rights of Indigenous peoples as the framework for reconciliation
• Section 47 calls for the repudiation of concepts used to justify European sovereignty over indigenous peoples and lands … and to reform the laws, policies, and litigation strategies that continue to rely on these policies
• Section 57 calls on all levels of government to provide skills-based training in inter-cultural competencies, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism to all public servants 
The last one will come with a cost, but one “well worth paying,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman. The City has already been studying training avenues, said Dawn McAlpine, general manager of community and corporate services. 
“Now is a good time to start this work. I think it is critical that we engage with local Indigenous peoples, organizations and nations … and that we get the ball rolling,” said Alywin.
The recent Canada Day celebrations included many of the aspects now being formalized, including the aforementioned sacred fire. No doubt the heavy lifting of the Truth and Reconciliation process will be carried by the other, more senior levels of government, but municipalities have a part to play. On Monday, this particular municipality took a step in the right direction.

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Last Saturday, the Barrie Police Service Traffic Unit hosted a collaborative joint-forces policing initiative called Project ERASE in order to deal with local issues and community-raised concerns over noisy motor vehicles that are modified and not complying with the provisions of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA).
ERASE stands for Eliminate Racing Activity on Streets Everywhere and has been operational for the past 26 years. It involves 10 partner agencies, which include the Ministry of the Environment, and focuses on reducing incidents of street racing and noise complaints through coordinated education, prevention, and enforcement.
On Saturday night in Barrie, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and York Regional Police (YRP) patrolled and conducted traffic stops with members of the Barrie Police. By the end of this road and traffic safety initiative, a total of 65 charges were laid.
Police collectively issued a total of 57-Part 1 offence notices under the HTA, which included 13 no muffler/improper muffler charges,10 unnecessary noise violations and 14 speeding tickets. Six motor vehicles were towed, and one was impounded. There were six Part-3 notices laid for Drive while under Suspension (3), No Insurance (2) and Operate Unsafe Motor Vehicle (1).
In addition, nine approved screening device tests were administered, and one drug recognition test was conducted which resulted in a criminal charge of Impaired Operation of a Motor Vehicle by Drug. One driver was also stopped and subsequently charged with Drive while Prohibited.
The Barrie Police Service wish to acknowledge the excellent work done in our community on Saturday evening and early Sunday morning by this dedicated group of police officers, and wish to particularly thank those in from the OPP and York Regional Police for their incredible contributions as well.

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The theme of this year’s Canada Day website and activities (were) updated to remove the red and white celebration theme. The updated theme (was) reflective of our shared history, with a focus on education, reconciliation, and reflection 

General committee will deal with a prior “suggestion to cancel Canada Day,” detailed in a June 28 memo from Rebecca James-Reid, executive director of Access Barrie, which was deferred until tonight’s meeting.
The purpose of the memo, she writes, is to inform council that a suggestion to “Cancel Canada Day” was posted on the City’s website, passing the 500-vote threshold. As such, it was classified as under review. Staff also provided information regarding planned Canada Day activities in reaction to the suggestion.
“On Thursday, May 27, the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation confirmed that the remains of 215 Indigenous children were found buried in an unmarked mass grave at the Kamloops Residential School. Following this announcement, and subsequent announcements of unmarked mass graves of Indigenous children, multiple municipalities across Canada … announced the cancellation of Canada Day events. This includes at least 14 municipalities in 6 provinces and territories,” it reads.
Council was urged to:
• Direct staff to put on hold any announced plans for Canada Day 2021 and do nothing further with respect to July 1st events this year
• Work with partners as Beausoleil First Nation, Rama First Nation, Georgina Island First Nation, and other local First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples and organizations to explore and implement alternatives to the July 1st ‘celebrations’ to be held virtually and/or in-person, as public health measures allow, by September 30 (Orange Shirt Day)
• Engage in ongoing work with these nations, communities, and organizations to explore and implement alternatives on an annual basis, including but not limited to: local oral histories and cultural celebrations; the history of Residential Schools, the Sixties Scoop, and Millennial Scoop; and any other alternatives recommended
Due to the time-sensitive nature of this suggestion, received days shy of Canada Day, staff detailed actions that were planned related to the suggestion, including:
• As part of the planning process for an appropriate, informative and respectful recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day, the Special Events Team engaged representatives of Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin Primary Care Team from the Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle. During those discussions, they also discussed recognition of Canada Day
• The team had subsequent discussions with the Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin Primary Care Team to obtain further feedback related to an acknowledgement of Canada Day in a manner that is respectful 
• The theme of this year’s Canada Day website and activities (were) updated to remove the red and white celebration theme. The updated theme (was) reflective of our shared history, with a focus on education, reconciliation, and reflection 
• The City’s Canada Day webpage (provided) extensive resources that celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures, and significant contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. It also includes a link to the Barrie Public Library virtual hub that contains resources and programming include reading recommendations for both adults and children, book chats, family activities and storytime, National Film Board short film screenings, mental health and wellness resources, and more
• Virtual programming for Canada Day includes videos that were recorded to showcase Indigenous heritage and culture for National Indigenous Peoples Day
• The lights at Meridian Place and the Five Points Theatre presented by Pratt Homes & Pratt Development (remained) orange on July 1st in support of residential school survivors, their families and Indigenous communities across Canada
• In partnership with Red Quills and Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin Primary Care Team, a sacred fire at the Spirit Catcher (was) planned for July 1st, subject to health restrictions. 

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The Barrie Police Service Criminal Investigation Division (CID) is currently investigating a disturbance that occurred at 2:24 a.m. on Sunday near 34 Dunlop St. East., in an alley that runs between Collier and Dunlop streets.
This resulted in four males being assaulted and later being transported to a local hospital via ambulance where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Police are requesting any assistance from the public.
Anyone with information or video is requested to contact “Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 or Sgt. Parcells at 705 725-7025 Ext 2758.
The investigation remains ongoing and further details will only be provided as the investigation permits.
 

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Redwood Park Communities, which builds supportive housing projects, expects funding approval from the Canadian  Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC)to develop two properties in Barrie.
Back on June 28, city council approved a motion providing the agency with an interest-free loan of up to $3 million, with conditions, one being that the loan be subject to funding approval for the projects from the CMHC, according to a memo to council from Craig Millar, director of finance and treasurer, and Colleen Smith, senior manager of accounting and revenue.
“At the time of drafting this memo, Redwood Parks Communities had not yet received funding approval from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC). However, recent correspondence form Timothy Kent, Chief Executive Officer of Redwood Park Communities, indicates they hope to have approval for one of the properties within the next two weeks,” reads the memo.
“On the second property they are hoping to have a commitment from CHMC between now and the end of August.”
The motion stipulated $1 million was to be released in the interim, with the release of additional funds to be reviewed by council. The funds would support housing projects over the next two years, and is expected to be repaid by June 30, 2023. Additional funds are on hold pending CHMC approval.
“Staff are planning to have a legal agreement in place with Redwood Park Communities ahead of any approvals from CHMC,” reads the memo.
The agency partners with homeowners to create second suites; is working with the Salvation Army to build a Family Short-Term Supportive Housing Centre: a two-storey building with 12 fully furnished, two-bedroom apartments for families in crisis; supports the United House, providing transitional housing and supports to women leaving the Barrie Women and Children’s Shelter; operates a Furniture Bank for households in need; and developed Lucy’s Place (formerly Barr’s Motel), an “innovative motel conversion” on Essa Road that welcomed its first 14 residents May 6, 2019.
“Lucy’s Place is an innovative motel conversion, creating a Housing First community out of an old motel for those experiencing chronic (long-term) homelessness. A partnership with the David Busby Street Centre, this project was made possible with Home For Good Funding from the Province of Ontario, along with funding and support from the County of Simcoe, the City of Barrie, and a multitude of tradespeople, donors, and volunteers from throughout the community. It is named after Ms. Lucy Pino – you can read more about Lucy in this blog post,” the agency says on its website.

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On Wednesday, April 7 at 1:45 a.m., Barrie police responded to a report of fire at a home located at 183 Columbia Road. From the investigation that followed, police have learned that the homeowners were awakened at approximately 1:30 a.m. after hearing a loud noise at the rear of their property.
When they got up to investigate, they discovered that the BBQ had been knocked over and that the deck cushions under a gazebo that is located on the backyard deck were on fire. The fire began to spread quickly and engulfed the rear area of the involved residence. Barrie Fire and Emergency Services responded and immediately extinguished the fire, but not before it caused significant damage to the rear of the house, the deck and gazebo. The home also sustained significant smoke damage.
Due to the suspicious nature of the fire, the fire department contacted the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office and they determined that the fire was intentionally set. As a result of these findings, this incident is now being investigated as an arson and damage is estimated at upwards to $100,000.
The Barrie Police Service is requesting assistance from the public and is asking that anyone who has information regarding this incident to please contact Detective Constable Duncan Watson at 705-725-7025, extension 2755 or by email at dwatson@barriepolice.ca. If you have information and wish to remain anonymous, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or electronically at p3tips.com.

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The July 15 tornado (not pictured here) created loads on structures that are in excess of what they are intended to withstand: staff memo. Photo by Nikolas Noonan on Unsplash

If building standards that may enable homes to survive tornados are to emerge, it will be through changes to the Ontario Building Code (OBC), Michael Janotta, Barrie’s chief building official/manager of building, writes in a memo to council.
Currently, those standards aren’t in the code.
“The (code) defines the minimum standards for building construction. These minimum standards do not include resisting loads created by the effects of a tornado. The (July 15) tornado event created loads on structures that are in excess of what they are intended to withstand. There is a difference between meeting the (code), which defines minimum construction requirements, and building to be tornado resistant, which is a standard much higher than specified in the building code,” he writes.
“The OBC consists of different parts which apply to different building types based on size of building and occupancy type. Some buildings are required to be designed by professional engineers for the loads specified in the code. These are performance standards which are applied to engineered buildings. Other buildings are not required to be designed by professional engineers as there are prescriptive requirements which are in lieu of engineered design … houses fall into the category of buildings that are built based on prescriptive standards. As such, most houses will be built with no specific consideration of wind loading.” 
As for the City’s role in the process, Janotta writes that the municipality meets its obligations under the code, reflecting best industry practises.
“However, more stringent building requirements cannot be legally enforced until modifications are made to the Ontario Building Code to mandate different construction techniques.”
The EF2 tornado that touched down in south-east Barrie reached winds up to 210 k-ph, damaging hundreds of homes and small businesses. As of July 30, 85 engineering reports had been received and reviewed; 51 apply to houses with unsafe orders, and 34 apply to houses without unsafe orders, but may still require a building permit for repair.
Of the original 70 unsafe orders, 39 houses are permitted entry by the occupants and/or contractor, 12 houses are deemed safe for continuous occupancy, six building permit applications have been issued for repair of existing houses, and two demolition permits have been issued to homes that will need to be rebuilt.
“It is anticipated that staff will be involved with work on the tornado affected houses for a period of three months in assessing reports, reviewing drawings, and issuing permits and for a period of 12 to 16 months in inspecting the reconstruction,” reads the memo. “In addition to the work of the Building Department, the Operations Department continues with clean up assistance in the affected area.”

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Georgian College students who want to live in a campus residence will have to prove they are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Students who plan to live in a campus residence at Georgian College in Barrie, Orillia and Owen Sound this fall will now be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
By Aug. 18, students must have, at minimum, their first dose of a Health Canada-approved COVID-19 vaccine and receive their second dose by Oct. 8. Georgian is working with Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to host an on-site immunization clinic in the Barrie residence in September. 
“We made this decision with our students’ safety top of mind,” said Brian Muscat, Dean of Students. “Residence is a high-density setting, with several shared spaces, and students spend extended periods of time together. Vaccinations are important in reducing the spread of this virus in close settings such as these.”
Georgian joins a growing list of Ontario public colleges and universities who require students living in residence to be vaccinated.
Students preparing to live in a campus residence will receive direct communication, including how to submit proof of vaccination. There will be an exemption process for students with a medical condition that prevents them from acquiring a vaccine, or for other protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
“As one of the first colleges in Ontario to join the national Faster, Together campaign, we’ve been encouraging vaccination since the spring as a key component for the Georgian community coming together for more in-person activities,” said Muscat. 
Those who wish to opt-out of a campus residence, or opt-in as space allows, can call 705-730-5600 to speak with Campus Living Centres, operators of Georgian’s on-campus residences.
While COVID-19 vaccinations are not mandatory for students and employees studying or working on campus, the college does encourage everyone to get vaccinated. Students and employees are reminded to check their local public health unit website to find their nearest immunization clinic.

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A handgun that police say was discarded by a suspect was found by a local resident, who contacted the police.

Barrie police have charged five males, one a young offender, in connection with a break and enter last Saturday on Melrose Avenue. A handgun that had been reportedly discarded by one of the suspects has been recovered.
On that day at 8:22 a.m., police responded to a Melrose residence for a report of a burglary in progress. Upon arrival, police located an open rear screen door and entered the home. Five suspects immediately fled from the house into surrounding backyards, but after a number of foot pursuits and a successful canine track, all five males were taken into custody and transported to police headquarters for further investigation.
From the investigation that followed, it was determined that one of the suspects was in possession of a firearm that was discarded when the suspects fled the residence. An appeal to the public was made and police also participated in a search of the firearm through the morning and into the afternoon. At approximately 3 p.m., a homeowner who lives on Steel Street located the outstanding firearm and contacted Barrie Police who immediately responded and seized the weapon.
From the outset, this incident was isolated in nature. Four adult males and one young person, all from Toronto, now face several drug and property related charges, and one male also is facing a number of firearms related charges. All five arrested males remained in custody for a bail hearing on Sunday, which resulted in three of the males (two adults and one young person) being remanded in custody and two being released to a later court date.
Due to the fact that one of the accused is a young person who cannot be identified under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), none of the names of the other accused adult males will be released by police.

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Transit among services impacted by civic holiday

• From the City

A number of services in Barrie are affected by holiday weekends. The following municipal services will be affected due to the Civic Holiday on Monday, Aug. 2: 
Barrie Transit: Services will run according to the regular Sunday service schedule on August 2. (barrie.ca/TransitNotices).
Curbside Collection: There will be no garbage, organics, recycling and yard waste collection on August 2 in Barrie. Collection during the week of this holiday will occur one day later for the remainder of the week. Remember: materials must always be curbside by 7 a.m. on your collection day. (barrie.ca/CurbsideCollection) The landfill site is closed every Sunday and Monday.
• Recreation centres: Allandale Recreation Centre, East Bayfield Community Centre and Holly Community Centre will be closed on August 2. Visit barrie.ca/RecUpdates for more information. 
City Hall: Barrie City Hall will be closed on Aug. 2.
Parking: Barrie residents must display a Resident Parking Pass in order to park for free at specific waterfront areas. Non-residents are charged $10/hour with a daily max of $50; paid parking is enforced 24/7/365.
Fireworks: Fireworks cannot be set off on the Civic Holiday or surrounding days. Fireworks can only be set off on the following (single calendar) days: Victoria Day, Canada Day, New Year’s Day, and for the duration of the recognized Lunar New Year and Diwali holidays. (as per the Regulatory Matters by-law). City Council approved this change to the City’s regulatory matters by-law​ on June 14, 2021.
Visit barrie.ca/services to confirm the current status of all City services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please continue to follow public health guidelines.

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“Even as residents emerged from their homes and began to check on neighbours, donations were already pouring in. This is a true testament to the nature of our city and the desire to support one another. We know those who live in the area will have a long road to recovery ahead of them, but I hope they know they are walking that road with the full support of their community behind them.” – Chief of Police Kimberley Greenwood


Message from Kimberley Greenwood, Barrie Chief of Police

It is hard to believe it has been a week since southeast Barrie was struck by an EF2 tornado, causing significant damage to homes and businesses in the area. As the residents in the area begin to rebuild, I wanted to take an opportunity to share my admiration for our community and those affected by this event. 
Even as residents emerged from their homes and began to check on neighbours, donations were already pouring in. This is a true testament to the nature of our city and the desire to support one another. We know those who live in the area will have a long road to recovery ahead of them, but I hope they know they are walking that road with the full support of their community behind them. The Salvation Army has been coordinating all the donations that have been received as well as financial donations. There is no doubt that these donations made a significant impact on those affected by ensuring they had the supplies they needed in the aftermath.
Volunteers from Victim Services of Simcoe County were on scene, working closely with families affected by the tornado to offer support, assistance and provide information on additional resources. I was also touched to hear of the volunteers going above and beyond, to help arrange for donated birthday presents for an 11-year-old girl and a donated ice-cream cake for a 16-year-old boy. Every day I hear of another act of kindness that has taken place by these, and other volunteers. 
We also send our most sincere appreciation to our first responder partners who rushed to the scene to assist that afternoon, irrespective of municipal boundaries. Joining the Barrie Fire and Emergency Services, County of Simcoe Paramedic Services and Barrie Police Service were the South Simcoe Police, multiple detachments of the Ontario Provincial Police, and York Region Paramedic Services. Unfortunately, this is the kind of emergency we all train for, and the assistance from beyond our city ensured that our response could be effective and immediate.
I want to also thank the members of the Barrie Police Service. Our on-duty members rushed towards the scene, working through the ongoing rainstorms to carry out their roles. They stayed late, arrived early for night shift, came in on days off, and canceled vacations, all to ensure they could offer the community the support that was needed. Whether it was on-scene, administering first-aid to those injured, going door-to-door to confirm everyone was accounted for, coordinating resources and response from our headquarters, or responding to occurrences that continued to take place throughout the rest of the city, our members answered the call without hesitation. 
This event was devastating for our entire community, and especially those who live in the affected area. We are thankful that there was no loss of life, and we hope for a quick recovery for those who were injured. We know that moving forward, City staff and partners are working in the best interest of our community to rebuild and recover. The Barrie Police Service will continue to have a presence in the neighbourhood and will be working with the residents as we move forward. 
On behalf of the Barrie Police Service, I thank everyone who was a part of the response and will continue to be part of the recovery. Your actions have shown those far beyond our borders, the strength of our community in the City of Barrie.

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