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If it’s true that fences do indeed lead to good neighbours, then a step towards building one along the McDonald Street frontage of the Busby Street Centre may help ease tensions with residents living in close proximity to the centre.
Last May a group of residents living near the centre raised noise and behaviour concerns in a delegation before the City’s building committee. As well as concerns, they listed a number of potential solutions, including the construction of a fence along the McDonald Street frontage, a move supported by Ward 2 councillor Keenan Aylwin.
Monday night, general committee adopted a motion to construct a fence.
The motion reads that the mayor and city clerk “be authorized to execute an Agreement with the Canadian Mental Health Association, owner of 88 Mulcaster Street, for the use of City-owned lands to construct a fence along the McDonald Street frontage of the property and for the Agreement to contain details such as the responsibility for design, cost, installation and maintenance (the “Agreement”), subject to the satisfaction of the General Manager of Infrastructure and Growth Management and the Director of Legal Services.”
Any fencing along McDonald Street would have to be on City-owned land, according to the staff report, and staff are required to obtain council’s authorization for the fence.
“A fence that is located 0.3 m from the street, is no greater than 1.8 m in height and maintains a 5.0 m daylight triangle (i.e. stops 5.0 m from the front lot line of the property along Mulcaster Street) would meet all standards in the City’s zoning by-law,” reads the report.
“There are parking meters located in this area of McDonald Street, however it is possible to locate the fence on the north side of the parking meters at an appropriate distance to allow for their continued operation.”
The report continues that a fence “at this location would alter the interface along this property boundary and that may respond to some of the matters raised by the residents. A fence will not resolve all of the concerns of the residents, however it is one option that can alter the interface of the property from the residential uses along McDonald Street.”
The report continues that the Canadian Mental Health Association isn’t “opposed to installing the fence but was unsure how to do so based on the configuration of the site. Therefore putting the fence on City-owned property is the only viable solution otherwise no one would be able to enter or exit 88 Mulcaster Street from the side door as the fence would be on the door step.”
Committee’s decision will now go to council for ratification.

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Adriana Granes was an accomplished architect and urban planner working on her PhD in sustainable cities when she lived in her home city of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Although she excelled in her studies, her research brought up many questions that couldn’t be answered in Brazil, so she followed her mentor’s advice and looked to study in another country. After earning a scholarship and studying in Portugal for a year, she returned to Brazil to start her academic career.
After a few more years, she determined she needed to improve her technical and English communication skills, so she gave up her position teaching at a university and moved to Canada where her husband was studying and working. 
In Brazil, she had seven years’ experience in the education sector and 10 years as an architect and urban planner helping developers find appropriate land to build on. But, like many newcomers, she struggled to find employment at the same level in Canada.
“As a newcomer in Canada, I didn’t have knowledge about building code and regulations concerning urban planning in Ontario,” she explained. “If I wanted to absorb these technical skills, I needed to improve my English skills.”
She learned about Occupation-specific Language Training (OSLT) that is offered through colleges Ontario and so far, has completed four courses (three through Georgian College).
OSLT is a free, work-oriented language program that helps newcomers improve their language skills and better understand cultural dynamics relevant to business workplaces in Ontario through in-class and online courses. 
With funding from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Colleges Ontario supports the delivery of the courses at individual colleges throughout the province. This year, free courses at Georgian for permanent residents and protected persons will begin in the fall.
Workplace Communication Skills for Professional Managers, a blended course that takes place at the Barrie Campus, as well as online, runs from Oct. 15 to March 13, 2020.
The college is also offering four online courses for those with experience in the technology industry. Communicating in the Technology Sector in Ontario begins Sept. 30 and runs for six weeks.
“OSLT provided me with the tools that I needed to achieve my goals,” said Granes. “The program gave me orientation to understand the Canadian workplace and the appropriate communication level to study in a college or university.” 
Now, she has reached a level of comprehension to study the Ontario Building Code so she will receive her Building Code Identification Number to give her authorization to sign projects in Ontario. Granes has learned that strong communication skills are the key to getting a position that matches the vast experience she gained in her home country. The free courses through OSLT are helping her achieve her goals.
“I realized that speaking and listening clearly are essential tools to finding a job that matches your high-level technical skills. It does not matter if you have a high level of education in your country if your communication skills are not compatible. We need to understand that English is the key to succeed.”
For more information on upcoming free courses visit www.facebook.com/oslt.courses.
(Story supplied by Georgian College)

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Elementary school students in Barrie will continue using a field trip pass if general committee adopts a motion prepared by city staff.
The motion reads that the Barrie Transit Field Trip Pass Pilot Program be “continued to provide eligible elementary schools access to (passes) from September through June of each year.”
The motion continues that Barrie Transit launch a one-year pass pilot program “involving two local high schools to study the viability and benefits of expanding the program to eligible high schools to run from September, 2019 to June, 2020.”
In a report to committee, staff explains that during the 2018/19 school year, the pilot program “was an initiative to explore new ways of integrating services to better serve our younger rider demographic, while at the same time increasing travel training and community partner opportunities.”
Initially, the program was a partnership between Barrie Transit and the Simcoe County Student Transit Consortium, representing the region’s separate and public school boards. It involved 10 elementary schools.
Survey data from the pilot project was used to review whether or not to continue the program, reads the report.
“The participating school boards, through their transit consortia, have committed additional resources to this program, if formalized by the City. These additional resources will result in greater outreach, travel training and promotional opportunities. This is a value-driven opportunity for Barrie Transit to leverage a partnership opportunity to significantly increase awareness, integration and participation.”
Promotional opportunities included Barrie Transit working with the Barrie Public Library to “promote the use of transit services to target schools as part of the Summer Reading Program – Library Visits.”
If adopted by committee, and then council, participating schools will get three field trip passes, valid for unlimited travel for up to 30 students and five adults. The passes would be made available to schools within City boundaries, which could mean up to 41 schools participating in the program.
“To capitalize on the success of the pilot at the elementary level, Barrie Transit will work with our school board partners to explore the viability of the program at the secondary school level,” reads the report.

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Free parking at downtown parkade during the ‘big dig’

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Patrons of downtown businesses can park two hours for free during the Dunlop Street ‘big dig.’
They can park on the fourth floor of the Collier Street Parkade. There are 39 parking spots available for patrons of downtown businesses on P4 of the parkade. The free parking initiative will be in place until from now until Nov. 8.
All downtown Barrie businesses remain open during construction and all downtown parking lots are open.
The parkade is a fully accessible, brightly lit, 7-level facility. It is located on Collier Street between Clapperton and Owen streets. The parkade provides convenient access to both Collier and Dunlop streets and is within short walking distance to downtown shops, restaurants and the Five Points Theatre.
As part of the preliminary phase of construction, Dunlop Street is currently closed from Mulcaster to Poyntz streets, including the intersection of Dunlop and Mulcaster. A section of Dunlop from Mulcaster to Owen is also currently closed to vehicle traffic, but is open to pedestrian traffic and the on-street parking can still be used in this section. This closure is in effect until Nov. 8. 
For more information and updates on the Dunlop Street construction, visit barrie.ca/DigDowntown.

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A number of services are affected by holiday weekends. The following City services will be affected on Monday, Sept. 2.
Barrie Transit: Transit will operate on the Regular Sunday Service schedule on Monday (www.barrie.ca/TransitNotices
Curbside Collection: There will be no garbage, organics, recycling and yard waste collection on Monday. Collection during the week of this holiday will occur one day later for the remainder of the week. Materials must be curbside by 7 a.m. on your collection day. (www.barrie.ca/CurbsideCollection). Note: The landfill is closed regularly every Sunday and Monday.
Recreation Centres: All City recreation facilities will be closed on Monday. Parking: Downtown parking (on-street and lots) is free on all statutory holidays. Waterfront parking is enforced 24/7/365. Residents must display their permits and visitors are required to pay $3 per hour with a daily maximum of $20. (www.barrie.ca/Parking).
City Hall: Barrie City Hall will be closed on Monday.

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A program led by the mayor’s office is now working with a number of organizations to develop short- and long-term solutions to complex problems, including housing and the opioid crisis.
Called the Shift Government Project, the program was adopted as part of the City’s 2019 budget.
“I believe the mayor’s job is often about bringing the community together to address problems and pursue opportunities, Mayor Jeff Lehman is quoted saying. “The municipality can’t do everything by itself, but we can work with organizations in the community to support great ideas that address some of the biggest challenges facing our city.”
Those “great ideas” the City is working on with organizations include pilot projects called the Connected Core, Impact Collective, Sliding Scale Market, Student/Senior Co-Housing, Health Innovation Week, and Barrie Housing Flooring Community Challenge.
In case those tags leave you scratching your head as to their meaning, here’s a breakdown on what they’re about:
• Connected Core: According to the City, the goal of this program is coordinating existing outreach efforts in the community. The ‘core’ coordinator will be holding de-escalation training as well as Naloxone (used to counter the effects of opioid overdose) training for downtown businesses, and is also working with the Georgian Employment Centre to develop a job bank of casual part-time jobs for marginalized people.
“This Job Bank provides meaningful work for people who are farthest away from job market and helps facilitate relationship building between business owners and marginalized people. Eight downtown businesses have signed up to date including the City of Barrie and Library,” according to the City.
• Impact Collective: Local social enterprises (Redwood Park, Furniture Bank & Furniture Link, and Jeff White Group) have come together to identify and solve existing gaps in the community, as well as offer a network of support for social enterprises in our community.
In July 2019, they launched the Barrie Furniture Bank to collect any used furniture in Barrie to then make it available to families and individuals experiencing poverty, including women and children leaving shelters, people transitioning from homelessness, and newcomers and refugees to Canada.
• Sliding Scale Market: The City says Shift Government is working on a collaboration between Barrie Housing and the private sector to bring a sliding scale (pay what you can) market for certain Barrie Housing locations. The goal is to set up the market as a social enterprise (all employees would be existing tenants of Barrie Housing).
• Student/Senior Co-housing: The goal of this strategy is to match seniors living in their home with international and nursing students to share accommodations. The seniors would provide lodging to students, and in return students would help with daily needs such as medication, doctor appointments, grocery shopping, meal prep, company. The program is based on a pilot in Toronto through University of Toronto and the National Institute for the Care of Elderly.
• Health Innovation Week: Building on the Simcoe Muskoka Opioid Strategy, a session aimed at working with diverse members of our community to co-design new approaches to addressing the opioid crisis as well as addictions prevention in Barrie was held in the spring.
• Barrie Housing Flooring Community Challenge: Barrie Housing will be launching a community challenge to help replace aged flooring in existing units. The challenge will look for community members to volunteer their time and skills to this project.
To learn more about Shift Government, visit www.barrie.ca/ShiftGov.

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Although summer doesn’t officially end until Sept. 21, the beginning of the month signals the season of fun in the sun is wrapping up for the younger set.
And police want to make sure this is a safe time for students as they make their way back to class. They offer the following tips:
• As a parent/guardian, if you feel your child is not capable of safely walking or biking to school, walk or bike with them until you are confident in their abilities.
• Encourage traveling to school with a friend or a group of friends.
• Ensure kids never take shortcuts through isolated areas, and remind them to stay on the practiced route home.
• Always ensure kids are wearing an approved helmet when riding a bicycle. Kids under the age of 18 are required by law to wear a helmet. Failing to do so could result in a fine under the Highway Traffic Act and could result in serious injuries if you are involved in a collision. Parents/guardians of cyclists under the age of 16 who are not wearing a helmet could also be fined. 
• Kids should refrain from wearing earbuds/headphones and listening to music while biking or walking.
• Ensure kids understand the importance of following the bus driver/safety patrollers’ directions when getting on and off the bus.
• When leaving the school bus, stay in view of the driver and always cross the street in front of the bus. Remember – if you cannot see the bus driver, the bus driver cannot see you. 
Always ensure kids know to proceed across the street, looking both ways for oncoming traffic. 
Drivers also play an important role in ensuring a safe start to the school year:
• School zones within the City of Barrie have a speed limit of just 40 km/h. For elementary schools on major roads, a “40 km/h when flashing” sign may be used.
• Leave yourself extra time for the first few days of the new school year to allow for stopping behind school buses. Drivers must stop whenever they approach a stopped school bus with its upper alternating red lights flashing, whether you are behind the bus or approaching it from the front. Do not go until the bus moves or the lights have stopped flashing. If you don’t stop, you can be fined $400 to $2,000 and get six demerit points for a first offence.
• Pedestrian crosswalks are likely to be busier with students walking and biking to school. Drivers including cyclists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in the crosswalk and must wait until the entire roadway is clear before proceeding.
• Construction projects may impact your usual route to school. Be aware of any road closures that may require a detour as you head back to class. The City of Barrie website has a list of ongoing closures.
• The Barrie Police Service will be conducting extra enforcement around school zones this September to make sure pedestrians and drivers are doing their part to promote back to school safety.

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Police are looking for a purse snatcher who struck twice this week in downtown Barrie.
On Wednesday about 3 p.m., a woman was walking along Collier Street towards Owen Street after visiting the bank, when a young male on a bicycle came up behind her and grabbed her purse before riding off. He was last seen on Owen Street heading towards Dunlop Street.
The following day, Thursday about 9:30 a.m., police were contacted by a woman reporting that as she entered a business on Worsley Street, she noticed a male on a purple bike smash the front passenger window of her nearby vehicle and take her purse before riding away towards Mulcaster Street.
The same suspect is believed to be responsible for both incidents. Police are working on obtaining pictures of the suspect, but are appealing to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious or who may have surveillance cameras in the area to please contact police.
The suspect is described as a white male, thin build, brown hair, wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, and riding a purple bike. Anyone with information is asked to contact Barrie Police Service investigators at 705-725-7025 ext. 2658 or 6484@barriepolice.ca. Any information can be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.
Police remind the public to never leave valuables in your car and to make sure that it is always locked when it left unattended.

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An Observation:
Do you remember back in the early days of 2012 when Caterpillar Inc. closed the doors of its plant in London, eliminating 450 good-paying manufacturing jobs.
I remember thinking at the time that this was one of the more brutal and blatant examples of how corporations competing in the age of globalization acted on behalf of shareholders.
Well, according to a recent pledge signed by corporate CEOs, the interests of employees, their families and communities may be on the upswing. The Business Roundtable document spells out five commitments, putting employees and communities on equal footing with other priorities, including delivering value to customers, and generating long-term value for shareholders.
Investing in employees “starts with compensating them fairly and providing important benefits. It also includes supporting them through training and education that help develop new skills for a rapidly changing world. We foster diversity and inclusion, dignity and respect,” reads the statement.
“Supporting the communities in which we work” means respecting “the people in our communities and (protecting) the environment by embracing sustainable practices across our businesses.”
Might not sound like a big deal, but if the CEOs are serious, this could represent the most important attitude shift since the early days of globalization and free trade, which some, including this scribe, have always considered a bill of rights for corporations to do what they wanted in pursuit of shareholder value and profit.
It wasn’t always that way. At one time, decades ago, corporations were very much more involved in the lives of their employees, providing a fair wage, employment benefits that included pensions and healthcare coverage, vacation pay, and others. Some still do, far too many don’t or offer a much reduced package of wages and benefits. Defined-benefit pensions, for example, were once the mainstay of a secure and dignified retirement. Now, and for the last 30-40 years, they are disappearing from the private sector, although remaining a presence in the public sector. It’s no coincidence that this timeframe coincides with what has been called the ‘race to the bottom,’ a reference to the pressure on governments and workers to accept lower wages and benefits to keep an employer, usually a manufacturer, in town.
The old employer/employee relationship allowed employees and their families to have a relatively secure middle-class lifestyle, benefiting their communities as the money they made got spent on local goods and services, creating jobs and supporting the tax base along the way. It helped sustain the middle class and upward mobility. Take a look at the landscape now: rising income inequality, a gig economy with no benefits and low wages, lower standards and expectations.
I believe in capitalism, but am not sure that what is going on now can be called classic capitalism, which is the best economic system for creating wealth and opportunity. Rather, I’d suggest we live in an age of corporatism, defined as governance for and of corporations. It was corporations that largely wrote the rules of globalization, mostly excluding labour and environmental standards, or ignoring them if they were included. If those standards had been taken seriously, it might have levelled the playing field somewhat. The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is said to have stronger labour and environmental standards, but we will have to see how that plays out.
It should be mentioned that globalization has its proponents, with some reports linking it to a decline of global poverty rates. Some sectors and regions have benefitted, others have not.
We aren’t going back to the age of company towns and cradle-to-grave jobs with a single employer, but a refocusing of corporations on employees, their families and communities can only help battle the economic and social ills of today, and perhaps along the way help people live happier, stress-reduced lives. We will see.

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If you hear the tickling of ivories while down at Meridian Place, you aren’t hearing things. A piano has been installed for anyone to play and enjoy.
This project was entirely community focused, and made possible due to generous donations from the community. 
Michelle Hardie, a local resident, sought out a donated piano, paid for it to be moved, and has volunteered her time and money to assist in its upkeep. This is her first project with her organization, Millions of Miracles, which is a non-profit organization focused on implementing community based projects throughout Barrie.
The piano was moved into Art in House, where owners Mar and Jon Lewis graciously allowed the artists to use their space to design and paint the piano.
Local artist Bhreagh Campbell designed and painted the piano, using paints paid for by the Barrie Arts Committee. Andy Thompson of Thompson Architecture designed and built a small rooftop for the piano to help protect it from the elements during its time outside. Extreme Imaging donated vinyl lettering to attach to the side of the piano for us to advertise the contributing sponsors. Finally, the piano was moved from Art in House to its home in Meridian Place with the help of local volunteers, Steven Henderson, Will Crosson, Mac Orlando and Connory Ballantyne.
Based on the community response to this pilot initiative, the City could investigate the potential for an expanded public piano program which could include a variety of sponsorship opportunities for businesses to have their branding on pianos that would be painted and dispersed throughout different neighbourhoods and parks in the City.
Public pianos have been implemented in cities all over the world as a means of community engagement and creating vibrant public spaces. These installations invite people from all walks of life to participate, observe, listen, and come together over a shared love of music.

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The suspect vehicle is described as distinct in its size, as well as the unique hub caps and the creased dent to the right rear door area.

Barrie police are looking to identify two suspects in a Ford Econoline extended van after a break and enter took place on Friday, August 9 at a business in a plaza at Little Avenue and Bayview Drive.
At approximately 2:30 a.m., a silver or white Ford Econoline extended van with tinted windows pulled into the parking lot of the plaza and backed up next to the building. The front doors were then smashed out by two suspects. The suspects were inside the business for less than three minutes and stole a number of products including: five concrete saws, one mig welder, approximately 100 cell phones.
The first suspect described as: male, wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt with a white symbol on the front, blue jeans, black mask, black and white shoes, and white gloves.
The second suspect is described as: male, wearing a black jacket with grey lining, royal blue pants, a black mask, red and yellow shoes, and white gloves.
The suspect vehicle is described as: the van is distinct in its size, as well as the unique hub caps and the creased dent to the right rear door area.

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A Barrie youth, 17, is facing impaired driving charges following an accident Wednesday morning.
At approximately 1 a.m. Wednesday, police received a call for a vehicle that had hit a garage in Barrie’s south-east end. Upon arrival, it was determined that a truck which was traveling along Dock Road had hit a Bell telephone box and then a parked car, which was propelled into a nearby garage.
The truck continued into a neighbour’s garage where it came to a stop.
The driver of the truck, a 17-year-old Barrie resident, was not injured in the collision but faces impaired driving charges.

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Barrie Transit is improving routes across the system by providing faster and more frequent services for riders. The changes took effect on Sunday, August 25, and are being made with no additional operating or capital costs. 
“We’ve experienced significant ridership growth in recent years,” said Brent Forsyth, Director of Transit. “Since the implementation of the Georgian College Universal Pass in September 2018, Barrie Transit has seen a 36 per cent increase in ridership. In response to this demand, our staff worked hard to identify a cost-neutral route plan that will enhance the service.”
The updated routes were designed using ridership and real-time bus tracking data collected through the onboard automated passenger counters. The route plan provides improved service to an area of the City where Barrie’s buses are frequently at maximum capacity. The expanded Route 100 Blue & Red Express (previously Georgian Express) will operate with peak frequency of 22 minutes. The changes will also optimize routing in other areas of the City by offering improved connections and reduced travel times.
To see the new routes, visit www.barrie.ca/TransitNotices.

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Barrie police seek the public’s assistance in identifying two suspects wanted in a robbery of a Rogers store.
On Thursday, August 22, at approximately 6 p.m., two suspects entered the store, located at 44 Cedar Pointe Drive. Once in the store, the suspects walked to the counter where they confronted the employee, displayed a weapon and made a demand for merchandise.
The employee complied with the demands and provided the suspects with access to the merchandise, which they placed into a duffel bag. The suspects then fled from the store on foot, where they are believed to have gotten into a waiting vehicle in the adjacent plaza at 74 Cedar Pointe Drive. The employee was not physically injured.
The first suspect is described as a male, 5’11” – 6’ tall with an average build and wearing dark or black jeans, dark grey or black hooded sweatshirt and a black mask. The second suspect is described as male, about 6′ tall with an average to thin build and wearing a red hooded, pullover sweatshirt, with “Roots” written in white lettering on the left sleeve, baggy pants, and red and black running shoes. He was carrying a dark duffel bag with “NIKE” written on it.
They were resorted driving a silver two-door, newer model car with tinted windows, and a low-riding chassis.
Investigating officers are asking anyone who may have information to please contact Sgt. Wentzell of the Barrie Police Service at 705-725-7025 ext. 2575 or by email at rwentzell@barriepolice.ca. 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 demolition of the Knights Inn and Sticky Fingers restaurant and bar is set to begin next week as the City begins the first phase of the Kidd’s Creek Culvert Replacement construction project on Dunlop Street.
The first stage of the project includes demolition of the buildings on the site at 150 Dunlop Street. The buildings are scheduled to be demolished beginning Aug. 21. The demolition part of the project will take about two months. There are no road closures required for the demolition.
The Kidd’s Creek Culvert Replacement project will allow for an open channel design both north and south of Dunlop Street between Eccles Street and High Street which will reduce the potential for flooding in this area, which supports the City’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.
The area of Dunlop and Bradford streets sees significant flooding as a result of undersized channels and culverts, according to the City, which is working to reduce the potential of flooding by upsizing culverts, and where possible, eliminating culverts altogether by creating natural channels (daylighting) so they can handle major storm events including 100 year flows.
The creek flows from headwaters near Cundles Road, through Sunnidale Park and downtown Barrie to Kempenfelt Bay. When the rain is heavy, Kidd’s Creek overflows, causing flooding. 
The site may also be used to accommodate parking, according to City Hall, which may serve the new Fisher Auditorium theatre and event centre planned for across the street.
The new creek “channel will take up a significant portion of the property where Knight’s Inn currently exists. There will be sections of the property that are not required for the channel proper but will still be within the flood plain and the LSRCA’s regulatory limit. 
“This restricts most uses on the property, however daytime-only parking will be allowable (no overnight parking), and some 120 parking spaces will be constructed in land that would otherwise remain unusable for other purposes.”
The Knights Inn was also home to a number of people needing housing accommodation. Media reports state new accommodation was arranged.
For more information about this project, visit the Road Construction Projects page on the City’s website.

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With proposed intensification in the downtown, the City says Dunlop Street is an essential component to the success of the downtown revitalization and the City of Barrie’s Downtown Commercial Master Plan

Work is about to begin on the project to renew and revitalize the downtown core, from Mulcaster to Toronto streets.
The work involves replacing aging infrastructure, expanding sidewalks and beautifying the streetscape. With proposed intensification in the downtown, the City says this corridor is an essential component to the success of the downtown revitalization and the City of Barrie’s Downtown Commercial Master Plan
“This project will not only replace aging infrastructure, it will improve the pedestrian experience while providing downtown businesses with more attractive, and accessible storefronts.” said Mayor Jeff Lehman.
“We want everyone to know that downtown Barrie will be open for business during construction, said Denise Tucker, BIA Chair. “Come on down, support our amazing independent businesses and show us that you dig downtown too.” 
The construction timelines are outlined below: 
Preliminary Phase – August 19 to November 8, 2019: Dunlop Street closed from Mulcaster to Poyntz St., including intersection of Dunlop and Mulcaster 
Phase 1A –September 9 to November 8, 2019: Dunlop Street closed between Poyntz Street and Owen Street
Phase 1B will start after completion of Phase 1A (tentatively spring 2020 to summer 2020): Dunlop Street closed between Owen Street and Bayfield Street and the Five Point intersection. 
Phase 2 will start after completion of Phase 1B (tentatively summer 2020 to fall 2020): Dunlop Street between Bayfield Street and Toronto Street (work will occur block by block)
All downtown businesses will be open during construction: Although Dunlop Street will be closed to vehicle traffic in the sections noted above, it will remain open to pedestrians. Starting September 9, free parking for patrons to downtown businesses will be provided for a maximum of two hours on the fourth floor of the Collier Street Parkade. 
The work is being completed in partnership with the Business Improvement Area (BIA). The roadway improvements are part of the City’s capital plan for asset reconstruction. The streetscape elements/beautification are funded by the City, the BIA and the City’s Municipal Accommodation Tax (Tourism). For more information and updates, click here.

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City lifeguards will be on duty at Centennial Beach until Friday, Aug. 23 after city council voted in favour of extending their stay.
At Monday’s council meeting, councillors approved a motion to extend the guarded beach season at Centennial. Lifeguards will be on duty at Johnson’s Beach until Sunday, Aug. 18 as originally planned. Lifeguards are on duty 11:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. daily, weather permitting.
The buoy lines will remain in the water at both beaches until after Labour Day weekend and will be removed Tuesday, Sept. 4.
The City and the Canadian Red Cross teamed up once again to offer the PFD Loan Service. So far this year, more than 250 people have participated in the program, which allows beach-goers to borrow personal flotation devices for free at Centennial Beach and Johnson’s Beach to help ensure water safety. 
For more water safety tips and information, visit barrie.ca/beaches.

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The Barrie Police Service is appealing to the public for assistance in locating 15-year old Angel Gamblin.
From the investigation which has followed, police have determined that she was last seen yesterday afternoon (Thursday, August 15, 2019) at approximately 3:45 p.m. as she left her Barrie home on foot to meet up some friends at Bear Creek Park. She was expected to be home for dinner at 6, but has not yet returned.
Angel is described as female white, 5’9, 160-165lbs., light brown hair and was wearing a blue tank top, green shorts and black loafer style shoes.
Police and family are asking that anyone with information on where she may be to please contact the Barrie Police Service at 705-725-7025, or by dialing 911. You can also contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.

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The Barrie Police Service is warning the public of a yet another scam that has made its way to the community.
Called a distraction theft take many forms, the ultimate goal is to obtain a bank/credit card and fraudulently use it to make significant purchases before discarding it. Unknowingly, the perpetrator of this type of crime has already obtained a victim’s PIN number and once they get the card, the spree begins long before it’s realized the card is missing.
Last Saturday shortly after 10 a.m., two victims had both attended the same grocery store and in less than 20 minutes had their bank/credit cards stolen. The scam works like this:
• The suspects usually target a senior who is in line and casually move into a position that allows them to see the PIN number being entered as they make a purchase
• In both cases, the suspect casually drops a $20 bill and tells the victim that they dropped the money. The suspect picks it up and hands it to the victim
• The suspect then approaches the victim outside the store and indicates that the money actually belonged to the person behind them, causing the unsuspecting victim to open their wallet
• As they are looking into the open wallet to return the money, the suspect distracts the victim temporarily which allows the bank card to be removed and then equipped with the PIN, the cash withdrawals and spending spree that often involves prepaid gift cards begins.
Given the nature of these types of thefts, police remind shoppers of all ages to always shield your bank or credit card when entering your PIN, and if someone is crowding you in the checkout line, to not be afraid to ask them to respect your space.
These investigations remain ongoing and local stores, banks and the grocery store where the incidents occurred are all assisting police with providing surveillance video of the suspects using the stolen bank/credit cards. A total of just over $5,000 in cash withdrawals and gift card purchases were made using these two stolen cards, all within close proximity to where the original theft had taken place.
Suspect descriptions vary in each occurrence, but other jurisdictions who have reported similar occurrences have indicated that there are usually a number of persons involved in this type of crime.  One victim in Barrie described a suspect as being a male in his 50s, while the other indicated the suspects were both in their 20s and were male and female. The only common link is the suspects are believed to Middle Eastern with a tanned complexion and possibly an accent.
It is unknown if these suspects have moved on, but police warn the public of this type of criminal activity so that no else becomes a victim. By protecting what is yours and being aware of those around you at all times, the chances of you becoming a victim can be significantly reduced.
Anyone with information on these thefts and subsequent frauds is asked to contact Constable Graber of the Barrie Police Service at 705-725-7025, ext. 2753 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or leave an anonymous tip online at www.p3tips.com.

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A $40,000 grant from the Ontario government’s Digital Main Street program will fund a Digital Service Squad to help downtown small businesses learn and adopt digital tools and processes.
Through the City’s Small Business Centre, trained specialists in Digital Service Squad will visit businesses in Barrie’s city centre to provide free training and advisory services on digital sales and marketing strategies and tools. Nearly 500 independently-owned businesses on Dunlop St, Bayfield St, Essa Rd, and the downtown Barrie district are eligible to receive training. The squad will operate from August to March 2020.
“This program is an important step in building a strong future for Barrie’s independent businesses and further enhancing our creative corridor and growing city centre,” said Karen Dubeau, Director of the City’s Creative Economy Department.
“Barrie’s Digital Service Squad will help connect new residents, tourists, and consumers around the world directly with our small local businesses, creating a dynamic and vibrant downtown.”   
A program jointly funded by Ontario and delivered by the Ontario BIA Association, Digital Main Street helps downtown small businesses adopt new technologies from e-commerce and social media to back-office systems such as payroll and inventory. Digital Main Street also offers 2,000 grants of $2,500 each to qualifying small businesses across Ontario to help them adopt new digital technologies. For more information visit digitalmainstreet.ca.
Barrie’s squad is a collaboration between the City and the Small Business Centre, in partnership with the Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA), Georgian College, Sandbox Centre, and Barrie Public Library. Businesses will be introduced to Barrie’s Digital Service Squad over the coming weeks. For more information, contact the Small Business Centre at 705-720-2445 or smallbusiness@barrie.ca.

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Barrie’s ownership stake in the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport (LSRA) has landed at 10 per cent following a sale to the County of Simcoe.
“Securing an ownership and associated funding model to accelerate key infrastructure improvements required at the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport sends a strong and clear message to investors that the City of Barrie and County of Simcoe are committed to developing high quality employment opportunities at the LSRA,” said Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman.
“Transitioning ownership allows for the County and City to strengthen the position of the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport as a regional transportation asset and poises the airport to deliver on its strategic plan that requires significant investment in infrastructure.”

(Read this: Business potential at Lake Simcoe Regional Airport include ‘significant, employment’ opportunities)

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While the City will no longer have a majority ownership interest, it will continue to play a role at the LSRA through representation on the LSRA Board of Directors, the Southern Ontario Airport Network and Mayor Lehman’s participation on the Southern Ontario Mayors Aerospace Council (SOMAC). 
“Our reduction in shares does not change our commitment to working to ensure our area is well-positioned to attract investment in the aerospace industry,” said Stephannie Schlichter, the City’s Director of Business Development.
“We will continue to work with our partners at the County of Simcoe to promote investment opportunities to the LSRA, and will continue to work jointly with our existing leads.”
The transition of shares from the City to the County will be effective January 1, 2020. For more information about the LSRA, visit http://lakesimcoeairport.com/

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UPDATE: Based on sample results from August 15, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has recommended that the Swim Advisory for both Tyndale Beach and Centennial Beach be lifted. 

Swim advisories remain in place for Centennial and Tyndale beaches, based on water samples taking on Monday.
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has recommended the advisories remain in place, and that swim advisory signs remain posted. Samples are expected to be taken again early Thursday morning, weather permitting, according to the City.
According to Christina Wieder, manager of the unit’s safe water program, Centennial Beach has had an extremely wet week.
“Most of the samples have been taken within 24 hours of rain or during rain events. Waterfowl can also increase the E.coli levels in the water. Visitors to beaches should be reminded not to feed the ducks, geese and seagulls, as they will make the beach their home.” 
According to the health unit, water quality can change daily or even hourly depending on the weather and other conditions. Swimmers are encouraged to make smart decisions about beach-water quality before swimming.
Water quality at designated public beaches is tested regularly for bacteria. However, due to the delay in receiving lab results, beachgoers cannot rely on only lab results to know if it is safe to swim. Swimmers are advised to consider a number of factors before going in the water, such as rain, wind, the presence of waterfowl, wet sand and shallow water.

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Georgian College is hosting an event on Aug. 20 to support mature students interested in going back to college, whether full-time or to study part-time.
Get Help to Go Back offers an opportunity to connect with college admissions and recruitment staff. Participants can speak to a career consultant, go on a campus tour, get one-on-one support with both full- and part-time program research, college applications, and more.
It’s the second such event this summer, with the last one being held on July 16. Plus, if you apply in person at the event, Georgian will cover your Ontario College Application Service (OCAS) application fee.
“We’ve had a great response to our Get Help to Go Back events – especially for those who have been out of school for a while,” said Kailey Hawkins, Interim Manager of Student Recruitment at Georgian.
“If you’re thinking of training for a new career but aren’t sure where to start, our knowledgeable and friendly staff from our student recruitment team, part-time studies and academic upgrading are here to help with ideas and provide information about how to take that next step. We can make the process easier for mature learners.”
Anyone interested in participating should RSVP online to ensure adequate staffing. Get Help to Go Back will take place at all seven campus locations in Barrie, Midland, Muskoka (Bracebridge), Orillia, Owen Sound, Orangeville and South Georgian Bay (Collingwood), from 5 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 20.
Participants are welcome to bring family and friends. Parking is free for Get Help to Go Back guests. You will receive detailed instructions about how to access complimentary parking when you RSVP online.

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The Barrie Police Service has launched a Key Holder Registry for businesses located in Barrie.
A Key Holder Registry provides police with the contact information for those who have access to your business and can assist police in gaining access when required. Key Holders may be contacted in the event of an alarm being activated or malfunctioning causing noise complaints, a door left open or damage to the property.
There is no cost to businesses to join the registry, and contacts can include key holders who are able to access the building, maintenance workers, and other after-hours personnel. Information can be submitted through our secure online form and is only released to authorized personnel for the specific purpose of contacting your nominated employees.
“The police have a responsibility to act on various emergency events that could potentially take place at local businesses,” said Barrie Police Community Services Constable Kristopher Nicholson, who is spearheading the program. “If we can’t contact a key holder, property owners could potentially incur costs from forced entry if police aren’t able to access the building otherwise.”
Business owners are encouraged to visit the Barrie Police Service website and fill out the online key holder registry form. The same form can also be used to update your information.
“Keeping the information updated if your employees change is also important,” said Nicholson. “If a key holder doesn’t work for you anymore, they probably don’t want to get that 2 a.m. phone call from the police asking if they can attend with a key.”
The Key Holder Registry can be found at www.BarriePolice.ca/KeyHolder.

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Swim advisory remains in place for Centennial Beach

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A swim advisory remains in place for Centennial Beach, based on a recommendation from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.
The recommendation is based on beach-water resamples collected on August 8. The beaches will be sampled again on Monday, August 12, with results due the following day. More information on beach advisories is available here.
According to the health unit, water quality can change daily or even hourly depending on the weather and other conditions. Swimmers are encouraged to make smart decisions about beach-water quality before swimming.
Water quality at designated public beaches is tested regularly for bacteria. However, due to the delay in receiving lab results, beachgoers cannot rely on only lab results to know if it is safe to swim. Swimmers are advised to consider a number of factors before going in the water, such as rain, wind, the presence of waterfowl, wet sand and shallow water.

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