Skip to main content

Temporary homeless shelter in Barrie on track to open: County of Simcoe


Simcoe County is inching closer to setting up a temporary shelter at the old OPP property on Rose Street in Barrie to keep people out of the cold this winter.

“We are still planning for that to be in mid-November, for that to be on-site, and we still have a little bit of work to do with the City of Barrie in terms of approvals, but we are optimistic we’re going to be in good shape,” said George Cornell, Simcoe County warden.

The land, which the county owns, will eventually be used for supportive housing.

But before that happens, the county will bring in temporary modular construction units that can house 50 beds for those who need it most.

Including people like Matt, who lives on the streets in downtown Barrie.

“If there’s 12 hours without any warmth heading our way during winter, what I just usually do is I have a tent. If I don’t have anything like that, I find a nice shelter from the wind. I try to sleep next to a plug, and I get a hairdryer, and I put it in my sleeping bag,” he said.

“I personally am going to rely on it for the complete winter until the snow is gone, and I’ll be there every night.”

The county says it hopes to have the temporary shelter running in December.

“This is a temporary measure to accommodate our needs...and those that are being challenged with the housing crisis we face,” said Cornell.

According to the 2022 Simcoe County Homelessness Enumeration conducted on January 25, 722 people were experiencing homelessness, including 219 in Barrie. Top Stories

Stay Connected