Barrie city council has given the green light to a study that could see a big change to the downtown bus terminal.

Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman wants to convert the terminal into a market building once changes to the transit system take effect. Those changes will see fewer buses using the terminal as a hub.

Council agreed last night to study the market idea.

“The amendment was to kind of broaden the scope of how the market building was looked at,” Lehman says. “But I think essentially the idea remains that a portion of the site could be developed if we don’t need it for buses anymore to help pay for the cost of the project.”

The feasibility study will proceed in the coming months.

Meanwhile, council agreed to hold a public meeting about the city’s height restrictions on condo buildings.

Right now, there are restrictions in place, but most condos have already been granted exemptions, and there are some new developments also seeking exemptions to the rules.

A date hasn’t been set for the public meeting, but it will give residents a chance to tell councillors how high the skyline should go.

Updated from the version below.

There will be a closer look tonight at how the City of Barrie is growing – in more ways than one.

City councillors are going to start talking about some ideas that could change the skyline, and the downtown streetscape.

It’s starting with condos, like one being built at the waterfront. That one is 16 stories, which is over the limit of 10 stories on along Dunlop Street, set by city bylaws. It received an exception to build above the limit.

“The reality is,” says Coun. Barry Ward, “almost every single residential building that’s been built has exceeded the guidelines.”

Condos built along Collier Street are bound by a limit of 15 stories. More often than not, however, an exception is made, and the developer is allowed to build higher.

A couple of months ago, council asked city staff to take a look at the height restrictions downtown, and tonight council will consider holding public meetings to find out what residents think. Condo height restrictions won’t be the only downtown topic up for discussion tonight.

Barrie Bus Terminal

City councillors will also take a look at the bus terminal. Come August, there will be a new transit plan in place. And that means there will be fewer busses in the downtown area.

Mayor Jeff Lehman would like to see a market go in the building. Tonight, a motion to start a feasibility study could be introduced. A decision on the future of the transit terminal is still months away, but the motion could get the ball rolling.