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Barrie's Bradford Street ‘next frontier’

Blog by Matthew & Robert Johnston | July 18th, 2013

In the eight years Matt Jones has co-owned Bradford Street’s Midway Diner, he has lost a lot of neighbours.

Car dealers and other businesses have closed or moved elsewhere.

But now he’s seeing sold signs and development application signs pop up.

“It’s very exciting. It only makes sense with the beach right there,” he said. “It could be the Yorkville of Barrie.”

Bradford Street was once the city’s manufacturing strip. Barrie Tannery Co. operated on the east side at Vespra Street, while the General Electric plant was on the west side.

It then became car dealer row, with major dealerships offering new and pre-owned cars lining both sides of the street.

Although the area is no longer defined by manufacturing or retail, the street has a lot going for it. The wide, flat road offers a link to Hwy. 400 and provides a link between downtown and the Allandale GO station.

The next role for this major artery is unfolding.

“Bradford Street is the next frontier for redevelopment,” Mayor Jeff Lehman said.

“It’s a neighbourhood where new development will not block waterfront views. What do you want it to be?”

Bradford could be a street where Barrie showcases its new urban design guidelines and its more people-centred approach to creating neighbourhoods, as outlined in its historic neighbourhoods strategy. The street straddles a couple of those established areas and links Allandale with downtown Barrie.

“If you want a mixed-use neighbourhood where people will live, you have to have the ingredients for a neighbourhood,” said Lehman.

Full Article - http://www.simcoe.com/news-story/3885956-barrie-s-bradford-street-next-frontier-/