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'Layers and layers of red tape' cut to get construction of Tollendale Village 2 going

The planned $200-million complex in Innisfil includes seven buildings and is expected to have 388 retirement apartments, 160 long-term care beds and a 52-unit assisted-living facility

A long-awaited project for a seniors' residency will be fast-tracked after a ministerial zoning order was issued, eliminating the obstacles that have blocked the much-needed facility in Innisfil.

Tollendale Village 2, which is located just outside the Barrie city limits on Big Bay Point Road, has been given a boost by Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, who was in Barrie on Wednesday for the announcement at Tollendale Village retirement home on Hurst Drive. 

“We all know that projects which are critically needed sometimes get stuck in layers and layers of red tape and that’s what brought me here to Barrie today,” said Clark.

“The land for the second campus for the Tollendale Village retirement community was purchased in 2012 and seven years is far too long for any project to be stuck in limbo," he added. 

In 2012, Simcoe County Christian Senior Home Inc., a non-profit registered charity which operates Tollendale Village on Hurst Drive in Barrie, acquired a 32-acre site at 1902 Big Bay Point Rd. 

Once completed, Tollendale Village 2 would be one of the largest seniors' facilities in Simcoe County, with housing for 600 seniors and close to 200 full-time jobs created.

The planned $200-million complex includes seven buildings is expected to include 388 retirement apartments, 160 long-term care beds and a 52-unit assisted-living facility.

The earliest date for a shovel in the ground is 2020, but should any issues arise, it is more likely expected to be 2021.

The new facility would allow residents to live in their apartment under a life lease, an innovative approach to housing that allows seniors to age in place, without having to own their home.

Barrie-Innisfil MPP Andrea Khanjin told BarrieToday this is exactly what she spoke of in the past when saying red tape would be cut to eliminate unnecessary delays.

“This is a perfect example of red tape, stuff that our government is committed to eliminating,” she said.

“Over a thousand people are waiting for an affordable place to live," Khanjin added. "If red tape is what is in the way of getting seniors the housing they need and they deserve, so we can show them their proper respect, we need to use all the tools we have in our government tool box to make that happen. That’s what happened with this project.”

Tollendale board member Andrew Dykstra told BarrieToday it is a much-needed project with hundreds on a waiting list for the current facility.

“Our waiting list for this current place is over 1,500 people trying to get in,” Dykstra said. “You have to wait until somebody essentially isn’t here anymore, but that is certainly a long waiting list and we need to be able to serve more seniors.”

For more background on Tollendale Village's plan for its second campus, click here

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Shawn Gibson

About the Author: Shawn Gibson

Shawn Gibson is a staff writer based in Barrie
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