Out with the old: Entire downtown block in Barrie levelled for new $300M development

The City of Barrie is working to revitalize the downtown core, and on Friday, that came in the way of heavy machinery levelling an entire block along Dunlop Street.

Demolition crews started to tear down what is best known as the Theatre Block in the city's downtown.

The Dunlop Street West block is being redeveloped into a $300 million development that will include two condo towers, one 30 storeys high and the other 32 storeys, complete with street-level retail.

"It's one of the biggest proposals that we have in the downtown core right now," said Michelle Banfield, City of Barrie Development Services director.

The demolition is a significant job considering the size of the block and involves obliterating the former Uptown Theatre.

Banfield said Debut Condos would complete the work in two phases with work including a pedestrian connection through the site from Dunlop Street towards the lake.

The city anticipates demolition work to last three months, with the entire project expected to be done within four years.