About 70 kilometres beyond Toronto's northern city limit, a new wave of tall towers are on deck in Barrie, set to reshape that city's skyline. The growing row of waterfront condominiums that face Kempenfelt Bay is set to get a major new addition with developer Gary Silverberg—the name behind the impressive Art Condos in Toronto's West Queen West Triangle—bringing the two-tower Debut Waterfront Residences to 55 Dunlop Street West in the heart of Downtown Barrie. The first true high-rises in all of Simcoe County—the result of Silverberg having led the charge on zoning to allow such heights in Barrie—the pair of 33-storey fraternal twin towers are designed by the team of Scott Shields Architects and Oleson Worland Architects.
The towers are massed in a stacked box style, with brick-faced lower volumes that respond to Barrie's traditional Downtown buildings, while upper volumes are gridded in progressively lighter materials that frame reflective glazing, helping them gradually dissolve into the sky. Silverberg's intentions for the complex are clear; “The building is modelled after the lifestyle in a place like Whistler, but instead of a mountain at your door, you have Lake Simcoe.”
The initial tower will boast 272 units, with residents set to have access to a collection of amenities appointed by interior designers Johnson Chou Inc. The offerings include a 7th-floor boardroom and business centre, an indoor entertaining and dining space, while outdoors residents will enjoy a terrace with alfresco dining, a conversation area arranged around a fire pit, and an infinity-edge lounge and plunge pool.
At ground level, the project is designed to engage with and enhance Barrie's walkable downtown through a curated collection of shops and a pedestrian arcade serving as a gateway to Barrie's waterfront, marina, farmer’s market, and local public transit. In addition to the nearby Allandale Waterfront GO Station, close access to Highway 400 will give residents easy access to the surrounding region.
Silverberg notes Barrie's resurgent charms, saying “The city is becoming very cool with one of the best waterfronts. Barrie has gone progressive about their plans for the core. It wants a booming downtown and saw the logic in what we were proposing. Everything has been a collaboration. It has cool retail and restaurants… and when retail starts to get cool and hip, it’s on its way. I always believed there would be a swing away from Toronto and millennials would be coming to Barrie. It’s happening a lot faster than we thought.”
Additional information about Debut Waterfront Residences can be found in our Database file for the project, linked below. Want to join the conversation? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.
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