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Downtown Barrie needs a facelift

November 2012

Regarding the state of Barrie’s downtown core, maybe the Downtown Barrie Business Association needs to use some of the same methods to lure people back as took them away; that being big name stores.  Today, most people want the big-box stores that provide us with a one-stop shopping experience.  Throw in free-parking and you have a winning combination.

Perhaps the Downtown Barrie Business Association, in cooperation with the City of Barrie, needs to lure these “big name” merchants back into the downtown core with incentives like lowered tax rates or even free parking (although anyone who has lived in or visited Toronto will know that .75 cents an hour is a bargain).  Woolworth used to have a store in downtown,

If Barrie could convince Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Canadian Tire of even Target stores, which recently announced anounced its expansion into Canada, to set up small “satellite” stores in the downtown core, it could have a tremendous impact on the downtown area.  I prefered shopping at the downtown “IGA Foodland” store, before it closed, because it is smaller and I don’t have to walk half a mile through the store just to get a bag of milk.  As I said, bigger in not always better, but we have to make it attractive to the business owners involved.

Perhaps having a pedestrian-only corridor along Dunlop Street needs to be explored (it seems to work with Sparks Street in Ottawa).  It certainly seems to work during Promenade Days.

I await the response of the community while enjoying a coffee at Casa Cappuccino, a small family run coffee shop in downtown Barrie.

About the author

Bruce Forsyth

Bruce Forsyth served in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve for 13 years (1987-2000). He served with units in Toronto, Hamilton & Windsor and worked or trained at CFB Esquimalt, CFB Halifax, CFB Petawawa, CFB Kingston, CFB Toronto, Camp Borden, The Burwash Training Area and LFCA Training Centre Meaford.

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