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Barrie Curling Club advocates for its future with a new development planned nearby

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The Barrie Curling Club continues to negotiate with the new developer of the old Barrie fairgrounds.

The club is the only tenant left on the property, which is the site of a proposed residential development that would bring over 4000 new units, leaving club members with several concerns.

"How the future will look with the club, with our curling, with our membership, with the parking, with the safety, the security, the lighting. There's a whole bunch of issues we've ours certainly like to discuss with them in earnest," said Tony Marquis of the Barrie Curling Club.

"We are working, and we plan to continue to work with the curling club to accommodate their use and ensure the zoning does not affect their overall operation, so we want to keep the dialogue open," explained the president of Innovative Planning Solutions, Darren Vella, to city council during deputations earlier this week.

The club, which hosts everything from national events to practices for youth and Olympians, says they have invested over a quarter of a million dollars into the facility in recent years and are not trying to better themselves through this process.

"What we're looking for is to survive, and in order to survive, we have to have the upfront facilities that enable us to ensure the long-term viability of the club," said Norman Speake of the Barrie Curling Club.

The main issue is that the development would require the club to change its footprint, which would mean moving its parking lot.

"We do not have the funds to incur significant upfront expenses solely as a consequence of this development. Nor do we have the funds or anticipate the funds to incur ongoing expenses," added Speake.

The curling club believes they are a community hub, exemplified by their charitable work, saying that they don't want their membership to take a hit due to this development. Members wish the city to be more involved in the process because of what the land will entail in the future.

"Ingress and egress, landscaping, setbacks, access for emergency vehicles and so on and so forth," explained Speake.

On Monday, December 11, the Barrie Curling Club and the current developer, which bought the land in 2022, will have their second official meeting regarding an issue that has lasted almost two decades. 

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