Lawsuits over development of Allandale train station dismissed

A decade-long legal saga surrounding Barrie's Allandale train station appears to be over.

On Tuesday, an Ontario Superior Court Justice dismissed claims made against the City of Barrie and individuals presented in a pair of lawsuits.

In 2011, Correct Group Inc. (CGI) filed suit against the City, claiming that it had acted in bad faith in discussions to redevelop the historic station. CGI also alleged that the City withheld information about contamination and the possibility of an Indigenous burial site on the land.

A second suit naming individuals, including Mayor Jeff Lehman, was filed two years later.

"It's a relief," Lehman told CTV News on Wednesday.

"Anytime there's allegations that things weren't done properly and you know they were, you get frustrated. And the court process is such that it takes a long time to prove that."

CGI president Alan Furbacher tells CTV News the company is reviewing the decision and will respond Thursday.

The City is in the process of tabulating its legal bills to send to CGI for payment. Lehman expects the tally to land in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The mayor hopes the decision can shift the focus back to the restoration of the historic site.

"It's been vacant for far too long. And we look forward in the coming months and years to getting those buildings back in public use as we always hoped they would be."

Lehman says the plan is to convert the station to a community hall, similar to the Southshore Community Centre, complete with a kitchen that can function as a cafe.

There is still painstaking archaeological work to do at the site where fragments of human remains have been found.

The study is being done in collaboration with the Huron-Wendat Nation and the Williams Treaty First Nation.

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