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Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA) announces Kiwanis Club of Barrie makes major contribution to Meridian Place
Barrie, Ontario

The Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA) is pleased to announce that the Kiwanis Club of Barrie has generously contributed $175,000 towards the fundraising campaign for the new Meridian Place and expanded Memorial Square. The Kiwanis Club contribution will go specifically toward the naming of the 9 Mile Portage tier, which is considered the second largest area next to the enhanced Memorial Square tier that will include the existing Cenotaph in a new more prominent location.

The Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA) envisions Meridian Square as a space for heritage, reflection and gathering of community through various celebrations and events. Proud to be a partner and leader in this public-private partnership, the Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA) believes this new ‘heart of the city’ will be a catalyst for vibrancy and economic growth in the downtown core.
“This project has allowed us to partner not only with The City of Barrie, but with local community leaders and service groups. The fact that the Kiwanis Club of Barrie has made this significant contribution truly shows their dedication to community leadership. We are very appreciative.” notes Wayne Hay, Chair for the Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA).

The 9 Mile Portage tier is representative of the long-standing history and heritage of our Downtown and has played many significant roles in the community dating back to the 1800s. Also a long-standing facet of the community, the Kiwanis Clubs has been serving local communities and the children within them since 1915 making this a natural partnership on many levels.

“As the sponsor of the 9 Mile Portage Tier within the new Meridian Place_Memorial Square in Downtown Barrie, The Kiwanis Club of Barrie is honored to have the opportunity to enhance the city and provide a gathering place for families, young and old, and friends to take in the many festivals held in Barrie throughout the year.” remarks Robert Johnston, President for the Barrie Kiwanis Club.
The next steps for Meridian Place is the programming of events, entertainment and activities. The Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA) is excited to take these next steps, as it will provide an opportunity to showcase local talent and highlight local history through specific programming.

“The programming component will allow us to collaborate with our partners to develop creative events, entertainment and activities that will be available to the public. Not only will it be fun for the entire family, it will also provide a local historical element as well.” explains Craig Stevens, Managing Director of the Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA),
Meridian Place development is set to begin construction in the near future. Details and information on the Memorial Square re-design as part of the Waterfront Master Plan can be found online

ABOUT: MEMORIAL SQUARE: During the War of 1812, Memorial Square was a significant landmark as part of the Nine Mile Portage. In 1865, the rail tracks were extended to Barrie and The Station Gore was built at the junction of Dunlop St East, Owen St and Simcoe St. In 1884, a new Post Office was built on the Dunlop St frontage. In 1922, the Cenotaph was erected on the site’s west corner. The Square was known as Post Office Square but was renamed Fred Grant Square in 1957 in honour of a local historian. The Post Office building was demolished in 1958; the Station Gore was torn down in 1963 and in 1992 the site was officially renamed Memorial Square as we know it today.

ABOUT: DOWNTOWN BARRIE BUSINESS ASSOCIATION (BIA): The Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA) is an organization that represents over 400 Downtown businesses within the hospitality, service, retail, cultural and health sectors. Its mission is to establish Downtown Barrie as the economically leading mid-size commercial, retail and entertainment community within the city, region, province and country while working within a framework of high quality guiding values that include: provide a safe, clean & comfortable environment; contribute positively to our mutually supporting partners to achieve a sense of Downtown community; utilize marketing & communication to effectively communicate to our stakeholders, partners and customers; develop a product offering that allows us to promote Downtown Barrie as a leading and recognized brand; and, embrace culture, heritage and the waterfront as unique and differentiating business advantages.

ABOUT: THE KIWANIS CLUB OF BARRIE: As the first Service Club in Barrie chartered in 1922, the Kiwanis Club of Barrie have been serving the children, youth, and “those individuals who need not just a hand out but a hand up.” Their many programs include but are not limited to scholarships for all Barrie Collegiates and Colleges, Special Olympics Programs, Barrie Food Bank, Rhythm and Pitch – a free Children’s Music Program, Barrie Out Of The Cold, Busby Centre – a bi-weekly sandwich program, special needs support on a case by case basis and most recently the Gazebo Project in the Sam Cancilla Park in Downtown Barrie. The Kiwanis Mission Statement of “Kiwanis is a Global Organization of Volunteers Dedicated to Improving the World One Child and One Community at a Time” speaks of their dedication to others.

Contact: Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA)
Craig Stevens, Managing Director T: 705-734-1414
E: [email protected]
Contact: The Kiwanis Club of Barrie
Robert Johnston, President
T: 705-220-2280
E: [email protected]