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Conceptual Rendering Barrie YMCA

A New Kind of Y in Downtown Barrie

The YMCA is committed to building a new kind of Y in downtown Barrie. With our partners, we will create a centre of community where everyone belongs and thrives.

We are very pleased to share that earlier this month, this vision took a giant step forward. Barrie City Council has directed city staff to begin negotiations with the Y on a land use agreement and to include a new YMCA in site plans on the former Barrie Central Collegiate site.

Our vison for a “new kind of Y” is based on several years of community consultation. We believe a “community hub” in this location will be a catalyst for neighbourhood growth and will support further development in Barrie’s rejuvenated downtown core. Community partners will provide a wide variety of programs and services alongside traditional YMCA programs. This is the Y we need to best support a healthy and vibrant Barrie.

The new Y will be funded through the redevelopment and sale of our Grove Street property and a capital fundraising campaign. Development of our Grove Street property will be phased, allowing us to keep our existing facility open until a new Barrie Y is built.

Stay tuned! We look forward to keeping our community up to date as we move forward with this exciting project.

For more information about the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka programs and services, please visit

Rob Armstrong is President and CEO of the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka; focused on investing in communities, ensuring all people have access to the Y and implementing programs that are helping thousands of youth and families to learn and thrive. Prior to joining the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka in 2011, Rob held senior leadership positions at the YMCA of Edmonton, YMCA of Owen Sound, YMCA of Cambridge and most recently YMCA Ontario. Rob holds an Honours degree in Physical and Health Education from Queen’s University and has since augmented his education with advanced courses from the Harvard Business School of Entrepreneurship, Ivy School of Business and Queen’s University Executive Education Program.

Since coming to Simcoe/Muskoka, Rob has taken an active leadership role in the Child, Youth and Family Services Coalition of Simcoe County and Barrie’s Pathways to end homelessness. He served on a number of boards including local Community Foundations, Affordable Housing, Parks and Recreation Ontario and the Minister of Health Promotions Health Advisory Committee.

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