Two City of Barrie projects were recognized by the Economic Development Council of Ontario (EDCO) at their 62nd conference and showcase, celebrating the best in economic development work happening across the province. The Meridian Place and Memorial Square development, a partnership project with the Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA), received an honourable mention in the “Local Collaboration and Partnership” award category; and the 2018 Train in Technology Career Expo, a partnership with Georgian College, the Simcoe County District School Board, County of Simcoe, City of Orillia and Barrie Employment Ontario Service Providers, received an honourable mention in the “Promotional Awards” category for special events.
“Both of these projects have made a significant impact to furthering Barrie’s economic development priorities and it’s extremely rewarding to see them recognized provincially,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “I’d like to thank our community partners for the time, effort and expertise they brought to each of these projects. Strong partnerships are essential to effective economic development and the City of Barrie is fortunate to work with a network of dedicated organizations.”
The Meridian Place & Memorial Square project was created when the Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA) and the City of Barrie formed a public-private partnership. The goal of the project was to develop a new multi-use public square located in the heart of downtown Barrie, connecting to the city’s waterfront. Construction began in 2017 and the space officially opened in 2018 for Canada Day celebrations and Barrie’s annual Promenade Days. The square is central to Barrie’s “Creative Corridor”—a growing district of arts, culture, and knowledge-based industries poised to become a regional hub for innovation.
The Train in Technology Career Expo is a large, hands-on event that brings awareness to tech-related education and career opportunities across different sectors, from digital production to advanced manufacturing. The event helps develop a strong future talent pool in Barrie and connects local companies with potential employees. More than 1,400 students attended the event in 2018.