The 2022 Barrie municipal election will be held on October 24th, 2022. Residents of the City of Barrie, who are eligible electors, will be voting for the offices of Mayor, their City Councilor (one for each of Barrie’s 10 wards), and a School Board Trustee. 


Most, if not all, City Council candidates have municipal tax reductions — or at least, no increases to municipal taxes — as part of their election platforms. But municipal taxes pay for all of the City services — is this really the best way to support Barrie residents?

Conversely, there are currently 147 proposed developments listed on the City of Barrie’s website, only 34 of which were submitted or amended in 2022. That means 113 of Barrie’s proposed developments were submitted in a very different market and now face significant new challenges. 


We’re in the middle of a housing crisis, yet municipalities collectively are making it harder and more risky for developers to build. The development process is depressingly long and complex, and subject to seemingly endless studies, approvals, comments and permits. Additionally, development proposals are subject to public input, which can further delay or block new projects.

Development is critical in order for Barrie, and Simcoe County, to thrive. It creates jobs, attracts skilled labour, and creates new housing units to support the growing community. This can help address the missing middle, diversify housing options, help first-time home buyers get into the market, and add to the tax base, thus improving the City’s ability to provide quality services. 

In light of all this, we urge the new City Council to consider the following: What can be done to improve Barrie’s development application process and get shovels in the ground faster? 


If Barrie development applications were approved in a more efficient and effective manner, the result would be construction of new assets, increased housing options for families, and a community that can thrive.  

Squarefoot would encourage City of Barrie councilors to learn more about the risks and costs associated with development. At present, only the developer is exposed to increased risks and costs, as well as the potential decrease in demand as market conditions change between project inception and final sales. Applications that were submitted in a market environment that was flourishing yet remain in a ‘proposed’ state are now at the mercy of a very different market.   

By understanding the risks and challenges our developers face, councilors and staff at City Hall may be more committed to working collaboratively with developers on common goals, for the common good. 


Squarefoot Commercial Group is committed to the purposeful development of Simcoe County. We live in the community, we understand it, and we are very passionate about its sustained, positive growth. As a team that specializes in ICI real estate, our approach is holistic. 

Squarefoot Commercial Group serves the City of Barrie and Simcoe County, both  facing some of the fastest growth in the province. We believe in honesty, integrity and the power of community.Contact Squarefoot Commercial Group to learn more about our stance and views on the upcoming municipal elections or find out more about our current listings. Let us know how we can help you achieve your commercial real estate goals.

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