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New Barrie Arena: Developer has eyes on new double-rink complex

A Toronto developer is hoping to build a new recreation centre in Barrie, but some hurdles need to be cleared at City Hall. The plan is to build a 77,000 square foot facility at the southwest corner of Tiffin Street and Ferndale Drive. However, the area is zoned industrial and a change in designation would need to be made to allow the centre to proceed. The group will be putting a proposal to the city's Committee of Adjustment in the coming weeks.

Download our planning justification report which examines the rationale of the minor variance request, and we demonstrate how the request complies with the tests for a minor variance established by the Ontario Municipal Board.


The Barrie Examiner, published January 12, 2009
Developer has eyes on new double-rink complex
Project could create 150 jobs in Barrie
With ice time at a premium at many local arenas, a Toronto developer has a proposal it hopes scores with Barrie council.

The developer is hoping to build a 77,000 square foot public recreation complex at Tiffin Street and Ferndale Avenue that could create an estimated 150 full and part-time jobs.

"This project answers Barrie's growing demand for more first class recreational facilities -- and it won't cost the public a cent," said Steven Fagyas, a spokesman for the project.

"It's an attractive, first-rate, family-oriented facility that will generate jobs during tough economic times and bring new life to an under-utilized industrial section of the city."

One stumbling block in front of the development is approval of a Committee of Adjustment variance needed from the city. The land is currently designated for industrial use.

The developer is hoping to appear before the committee in the next few weeks to discuss the zoning bylaw.

The idea of another complex has already been gathering some buzz at local rinks.

Todd Clarke said there is always a need for more ice time.

"You got that one right," Clarke said yesterday at National Training Rinks (NTR) in south-end Barrie, a privately run two-pad arena on Big Bay Point Road.

NTR, which features a smaller rink design, also has facilities in Newmarket and Richmond Hill.

Clarke, who lives in the Horseshoe Valley area, said it's at least a half-hour commute to get his three children to an arena, most often the East Bayfield Community Centre.

"We do a lot of running," he said. "There's definitely a need (for more ice time), I can't speak to that enough."

A similar facility has already been up and running in Vaughan for several years, Fagyas said. It's getting good reviews from users and Barrie residents can expect the same for a facility at that site.

"I think it would probably be an asset for the whole community," Greg Barker said.

In addition to the two state-of-the-art ice rinks, the proposed complex would also include a restaurant with drive-thru access and additional retail space. The site plan also includes parking for almost 300 vehicles.

"This project provides a win-win situation for the citizens of Barrie and city hall," Fagyas said.

"The public gets state-of-the-art recreational facilities at no cost to them, and the government gets job creation and area-revitalization. This complex will have a very positive impact on its user groups, the local community and on the entire city's quality of life."

Fagyas says he has spoken to Barrie mayor Dave Aspden about the proposal, who has been "receptive to the project.