Skip to content

Future of Sea Cadets' Barrie property remains murky

'It’s important that this site either be integrated into the public parkland or be used for a public building,' says mayor
The Sea Cadets' facility on Barrie's waterfront.

Meanwhile, on the other side of Barrie’s waterfront, the Sea Cadets site’s future remains undetermined.

City council has approved the relocation of the young sailors to a new 600-square-metre, $4.55-million addition to recently renamed General John Hayter Southshore Community Centre.

But what are the possibilities for the Sea Cadets site, which is flanked by Barrie Marina and the Bayfield Street basin transient marina.

“It’s important that this site either be integrated into the public parkland or be used for a public building, not exceeding two to three storeys, dedicated to community use," said Mayor Alex Nuttall.

The mayor said he expects council to direct city staff to come forward with a comprehensive plan for the current Sea Cadets site, a plan that will likely involve a request for proposals to gather ideas for the location.

2019-01-22 Sea Cadets building RB 6
The Barrie Sea Cadets building, shown in a file photo, is located on Simcoe Street between Bayfield and Maple. | Raymond Bowe/BarrieToday

Coun. Craig Nixon, who represents this part of Barrie, said he has less ambitious hopes.

“Personally, I would like to see the area used as additional recreational space to connect with the parkland to the east and allow continuous flow,” he said.

But the Ward 2 councillor said the decision on final use will be council’s, with input from city parks department staff.

“It is possible that a special committee could be set up to provide suggestions and input,” Nixon said.

Funding of $300,000 is committed for the Southshore addition’s plan and design, and city staff will report back to councillors for future construction funding approval, once costing is refined through the design process. No funding source has been identified. And at this point there is no timetable for the addition’s construction.

There’s little or no controversy about the Sea Cadets relocation, unlike plans for the synthetic multi-purpose, $4.6-milion sports field and parade grounds to go east of Military Heritage Park, and to be funded from city reserves.

City property since 2016, the Navy League/Sea Cadets have a lease lasting more than 20 years there.

The current site includes a 60-by-40-foot, two-level boathouse and is located between Maple Avenue and Bayfield Street. It is used for repairs, storage, meetings and events as well as general gathering places for parades and movie nights.

Relocating to the Southshore Centre would also give the Sea Cadets and Navy League parade grounds at the nearby sports field.

The 53 Royal Canadian Sea Cadets Corps is for youth age 12 to 18, while the 24 Navy League Chambly is for those age nine to 12.

Their current facilities are zoned open space (OS) in Barrie’s zoning bylaw, which applies to parks, sports fields and urban squares.

The current city zoning bylaw allows a number of uses in OS, including an art gallery, a boathouse, a marina, park, a playground and lookout points.

The city is in the process of creating a new, comprehensive zoning bylaw.

Since this land is city-owned, however, it could be rezoned for other uses.