Posted to Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

June 1, 2017 (Barrie, ON)

Construction of Meridian Place & Enhancements to Memorial Square Begin June 1st

(Barrie, ON) – The Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA) is pleased to announce that on June 1st construction will begin on Meridian Place, its most ambitious capital project to date. Within the scope of this uniquely financed capital project will be a comprehensive redevelopment of Memorial Square; providing for a refurbished and more prominently positioned cenotaph that will allow for larger memorial events.

This public-private partnership is the first of its kind between the City of Barrie and the BIA. It has seen the BIA financially contribute two thirds of the cost of the re-development, a combination of financing and fundraising through the Centre of the City capital campaign. The City of Barrie will contribute the remaining one third of the capital cost and retain ownership of the venue.

“We knew we would have to be creative in our approach to financing this project. No one stakeholder could afford to go it alone. With the BIA taking the lead and committing to two thirds of the total $3.8 million capital cost, we were able to get this project shovel ready years before it would have otherwise, commented BIA Chair, Wayne Hay. “After 4 years of planning, fundraising, design and engineering, we are finally breaking ground,” Hay added.

A large outdoor public space in the downtown core was identified by the BIA Board of Management as a priority Brand Action Item. Work on the new Meridian Place is expected to be complete in the spring of 2018. Programming will be key to activating the new space and it is anticipated that this will be the responsibility of the BIA.

Meridian Credit Union secured exclusive naming rights to the venue for a period of 25 years. “We’re delighted to partner with the BIA and The City of Barrie on such a unique sponsorship opportunity. Participating in these types of grass roots, community building projects reflects Meridian’s commitment to the communities we live and work in,” stated Jason Teal, Senior Director and Regional Manager of Meridian Credit Union.

About Downtown Barrie Business Association (Bia):

The Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA) is committed to marketing the Downtown, facilitating events, influencing policy and investing in the public realm to deliver an exceptional Downtown experience. www.downtownbarrie.ca

About Meridian Place:

Meridian Place is a large public gathering and outdoor event space in the center of the city that will become a conduit to the waterfront in Downtown Barrie. It will include the historically significant Nine Mile Portage tier and the state of the art performance stage on the lower tier and will share the space with the redeveloped Memorial Square on the upper tier meridianplace.ca