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Old YMCA site on its way to getting towering new look in Barrie

'Over four buildings, we’re talking about investing half a billion dollars in your city,' SkyDev official says of multi-tower project
This rendering shows SkyDev's plans for 10-24 Grove St. W., in Barrie.

A huge, high rental housing development project could finally be getting off the ground in Barrie.

At a recent public meeting, city councillors heard that plans to build more than 900 rentals at 10-24 Grove St. W. — the former YMCA site — should be proceeding in the near future near Bayfield Street and Highway 400.

That means towers of 23, 25 and 27 storeys in height, a nine-storey mid-rise building, a shared five-storey parking podium and central amenities.

“The building permit has been submitted for the first three towers, which represent approximately 800 (of the total 928) rental units and it’s shovel-ready to proceed this year,” said Kory Chisholm of MHBC Planning, speaking for developer SkyDev, part of the Skyline Group of Companies.

“Over four buildings, we’re talking about investing half a billion dollars in your city,” said Greg Jones, SkyDev president. “Our development would add over 20 per cent to the city’s total rental housing supply, and take a significant step towards your housing pledge.”

Council endorsed a pledge in early 2023 with a target of 23,000 new homes built by 2031, in addition to what’s already planned. It’s part of Bill 23, the province’s More Homes Built Faster Act of 2022, which calls for 1.5 million new homes built in Ontario by 2031.

Development plans for this Grove Street West address have been in the works for years, with planning applications dating back to 2017 for the property.

SkyDev has approvals for an Official Plan amendment, a rezoning and a site plan at this property, located right beside the Bayfield Street on-ramp from Highway 400. 

“The site is in a strategic location in proximity to transit in the intensification corridor on Bayfield Street, as well as (has) easy access to Barrie’s downtown as well as the highway (400),” Chisholm said.

Jones said Skyline owns and manages 22,000 rental apartments in 58 communities across eight Canadian provinces, and just finished 700 rental apartments in New Tecumseth, Chatham, Welland and Gravenhurst, in addition to recently launching 187 rental apartments in Collingwood. 

The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka is to build its new Barrie facilities on city land at the northeast section of the parking lot at 555 Bayview Dr., which is Sadlon Arena.