What is your definition of Toronto? The City? The GTA? While we don't want to offend any people in Barrie, Toronto's growth may not mean that Barrie is quite "GTA" yet, but it is certainly within Toronto's sphere of influence, and much of Barrie's growth has been tied to Toronto's success over the years. Though the effects of Toronto's expansion have been of debatable quality in suburban areas, some communities in Ontario’s cottage country are looking to reinvigorate their downtowns while absorbing the growth.

One location in particular, Downtown Barrie, is gearing up for a major revitalization courtesy of Harmony Village Lake Simcoe, a proposed master-planned waterfront community by City Core Developments. The product of a design competition, RAW Design and Diamond Schmitt Architects each produced a sleek, contemporary plan for a mixed-use development occupying a 3.5 hectare site along the Barrie shoreline.  

The two different concepts are being re-envisioned by the winning firms to create a community consiting of 5 sustainably designed buildings in the range of 25-storeys, adding approximately 1,200 homes on the shore of Kempenfelt Bay to the west side of Downtown Barrie.

RAW Design, City Core Developments, Diamond Schmitt, Harmony Village Lake SimcoeRAW Design's winning entry

RAW Design, City Core Developments, Diamond Schmitt, Harmony Village Lake SimcoeDiamond Schmitt Architects' winning entry

It should come as no surprise that out of the 1,200+ people who have registered to buy a unit at Harmony Village, over 70% of the registrants are from outside Barrie, with most of them from within the GTA.

Harmony Village Lake Simcoe will offer ample retail fronting onto wide pedestrian promenades and plazas, providing the development’s residents and surrounding community with a rich urban environment set amongst a modern architectural cityscape. Located on the shores of the ecologically sensitive Lake Simcoe, the project will be built to LEED Gold standards, employing geothermal and solar energy to heat and cool the buildings, reducing the development’s environmental impact while lowering energy costs.

Construction on Harmony Village Lake Simcoe is slated to begin spring of 2014 at the earliest. In the meantime, please visit the associated dataBase page, linked below, for additional information including building facts and renderings. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the related Forum threads, or voice your opinion in the comments section provided below.