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Orillia seeking qualified candidates to redevelop waterfront lands - RFQ launches two-phase sale process for lands at 70 Front St. N.

Posted on Tuesday April 09, 2019

For immediate release (April 9, 2019) – The City of Orillia has taken another big step towards the future redevelopment of the municipal waterfront lands at 70 Front St. N. The official Request for Qualifications (RFQ) document, outlining the phenomenal redevelopment opportunity, was released on April 9, 2019.

“The RFQ is a very exciting milestone in the overall waterfront redevelopment project. We look forward to hearing from developers who not only qualify for a project of this magnitude, but who share Orillia’s vision for the site. Council purchased this strategic property to facilitate the extension of Coldwater Street to Centennial Drive and to ensure the site’s future redevelopment matches, and even further enhances, the unique character of Orillia that we all know and love,” said Mayor Steve Clarke.

As a shared vision between the City and the developer is crucial to the success of this project, the 9.75-acre site will be sold through two phases. The first phase is the RFQ, which determines a shortlist of qualified proponents who share Council’s vision. The second phase is the Request for Proposals (RFP), which invites the shortlisted proponents to submit their detailed redevelopment proposal for the site.

To ensure the redevelopment is in keeping with Orillia’s character and fits well within the downtown waterfront area, the Waterfront Working Group established 12 development principles that are included in the RFQ and by which all proposals will be evaluated. The development principles are:

  1. Supports the City’s Downtown Tomorrow Plan and vision
  2. Optimize financial return
  3. Demonstrates a sustainable “green” approach
  4. Enhances the resident and visitor experience
  5. Responds to surrounding built form
  6. Integrated within Orillia’s downtown and waterfront area
  7. Considers downtown food and grocery needs
  8. Consists of simple and timeless design
  9. Consists of a high quality public realm
  10. Promotes safe, comfortable and inviting pedestrian environment
  11. Integrated approach to parking
  12. Integrated approach to servicing

“The development principles include community driven values such as walkability, public realm space, and integration into the existing area, as well as economic development objectives such as increased employment and increased residential population,” said Laura Thompson, Manager of Real Estate and Commercial Development. “These principles will ensure that the significant public input received through consultation on the Downtown Tomorrow Plan, the Port of Orillia Public Realm, and Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan is reflected in the future redevelopment of the site.”

The RFQ for the waterfront redevelopment project closes April 30, 2019, and the shortlist of qualified developers will be announced publicly in late May. It is anticipated the RFP will be released by the end of June and development proposals will be due in the fall of 2019. There will be an opportunity in the fall for members of the public to view the development proposal concepts and offer their feedback prior to the successful developer being selected.

For more information on the RFQ and to sign up for updates, visit the project webpage at

The City of Orillia is a city of 31,000 people in the heart of Ontario’s Lake Country on the shores of Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe. Visit our website at


Laura Thompson
Manager of Real Estate and Commercial Development

Jennifer Ruff
Manager of Communications
705-238-9209 (cell)

© City of Orillia, 50 Andrew Street South, Suite 300, Orillia, Ontario, L3V 7T5, Tel: (705) 325-1311, Fax: (705) 325-5178, Email:

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