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Downtown Tomorrow Plan

Downtowns are the heart of the community and are identified as an important feature to maintain and improve.

In 2012, the City of Orillia adopted the Downtown Tomorrow: Linking Orillia's Core to the Water study (Downtown Tomorrow Plan), which identifies strategic initiatives to be pursued over the next 20 years. 

Read the Downtown Tomorrow Plan

Today, more than 10 years after the adoption, many of the strategic initiatives have been achieved or are in progress. This includes the Waterfront Redevelopment ProjectCentennial Drive Reconstruction, and the Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan.

In 2022, Council directed staff to embark on an Update to the Downtown Tomorrow Plan. Urban Strategies has been retained by the City to complete this update as they were the authors of the original 2012 Downtown Tomorrow Plan. The Update will occur over three phases from July of 2022 to September of 2023.

The key highlights of each of the three phases include:

Phase 1

  • Kick-off Meeting with Core City Team
  • Walking Tour with Core City Team
  • Review progress on implementation of 2012 DTP
  • Review information and materials informing changes in the Downtown over the past decade
  • Begin to update the model for the Downtown
  • Interview key stakeholders and host Focus Groups (including drop-in meetings with individual Councillors)
  • Update SWOT Analysis

Phase 2

  • 3 Day Design Charette
    • Day 1: Open House with virtual walking tour of the Downtown
    • Day 2: Public roundtable discussions
    • Day 3: Reflection and confirm focus of DTP Update with Core City Team; drop-in for Councillors and Senior Staff to discuss outcome of Design Charette
  • Presentation to Council with outcome of Design Charette and  preliminary directions

Phase 3

  • Update long-term vision for DTP
  • Update goals, strategic initiatives and priority actions for DTP
  • Presentation to Council with DRAFT of DTP Update
  • Public Open House to confirm support from the public for the Draft DTP Update and revise accordingly
  • Presentation to Council with FINAL DTP Update
  • Finalize the model of the Downtown

Timeline Graphic

If you would like to receive project updates, please CLICK HERE to subscribe to our mailing list. 

 

Temporary Boat Trailer Parking Now Available in Centennial Boat Launch Lot 

New temporary boat trailer parking is now available in the boat launch parking lot off Centennial Drive in Orillia.  

Due to Phase 2 of the Centennial Drive Reconstruction Project, boat trailer parking will be impacted at the former CPR right-of-way. As a result, for the remainder of the 2022 boating season, boat trailers can be parked in the Centennial Boat Launch parking lot. Additional parking has also been made available on the shoulder of the west shoulder of Centennial Drive. 

A designated parking area for regular vehicles will remain available within the Couchiching Parking Lot (boat launch lot). Parking in the waterfront lots remains available at no cost at this time.

For more information regarding parking in Orillia, please visit orillia.ca/parkingFor details regarding the Centennial Drive area improvements, and to sign up to receive updates during the project, visit orillia.ca/centennial.

 

Background

 Why Downtown Tomorrow?

Downtowns are important places. They are the historic and symbolic heart of a community and a reflection of its image, pride and prosperity. They are the meeting place for the entire city, where people of all backgrounds come together to celebrate and share common experiences. For an increasing number of people, they are also a desirable place to live. An attractive and active downtown makes a positive statement about a city, whereas a struggling downtown sends a negative message to prospective residents, businesses and investors. A healthy city needs a healthy downtown. 

 

A successful downtown:

  • creates a positive image for the city
  • supports a range of employment opportunities
  • acts as an incubator for new businesses
  • supports a strong tax base
  • enhances the qualities of surrounding neighbourhoods
  • is a significant tourism destination
  • allows growth to occur in an efficient and sustainable way
  • is the meeting place for the city
  • instills community pride
 History of the Downtown Tomorrow Plan

Recognizing the need to improve or rebuild parts of Downtown, the City of Orillia initiated Downtown Tomorrow:  Linking Orillia’s Core to the Waterfront. Building on previous planning initiatives, Downtown Tomorrow looked comprehensively at the City’s core but also strategically. A team of consultants was retained to work with the City’s Project Team, comprised of senior City staff and leaders in the business community.  The consultant team was led by Urban Strategies Inc. (urban planning and design) and included McSweeney and Associates (economic development), Studio Lab (branding) and Pearson-McQuaig (civil engineering). 

The Downtown Tomorrow project commenced in January 2012 with a series of interviews by the consultant team with City staff and various Downtown “stakeholders,” including representatives of the business, arts and boating communities, Lakehead University and Georgian College, and Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, as well as key landowners. The purpose of the interviews was to understand background information and discuss the issues and opportunities facing Downtown. 

The Downtown Tomorrow Plan is the culmination of an intensive and consultative planning process that reached out to all Orillians. It sets out a broad, long-term vision for Downtown and guidelines for both private development and public investment. Equally important, it also identifies strategic initiatives to be pursued over the next 20 years, including "priority actions."

Major Projects

The Downtown Tomorrow Plan has facilitated several major, ongoing projects in the City of Orillia. 

 Waterfront Redevelopment Project

In 2012, the City adopted the Downtown Tomorrow Plan, which set out a long term vision to better connect the downtown core and waterfront area. In 2016, the City acquired 70 Front Street North, an underutilized parcel of land which contained a large commercial plaza, with the intent to extend Coldwater Street to Centennial Drive and facilitate redevelopment of the southern portion of the plaza.

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

In 2021, FRAM Building Group was selected as the preferred proponent for the Waterfront Redevelopment Project. The property sale to FRAM Building Group (FRAM) was completed on April 5, 2022. Moving forward, the concept will be further developed and refined through the development approval process.

For detailed information regarding this project, please visit the Waterfront Redevelopment project page

 

New Temporary Municipal Parking Lot at 70 Front St. N. Now Open

A new temporary municipal parking lot is open in the downtown waterfront area effective July 29, 2022. The City of Orillia worked with FRAM Building Group (FRAM) on a lease agreement to accommodate more than 60 temporary parking spaces at 70 Front. St. N.

The new temporary municipal parking lot, known as Lot 13, consists of 65 regular parking stalls, and three accessible parking spaces in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.  

The rate for temporary Lot 13 is in line with the City’s current municipal parking lots and has an eight-hour time limit. Given the temporary nature of the lot, pay-and-display machines will not be installed. Parking can be paid by using the Passport Parking mobile application, which allows you to pay, extend, and manage your parking session. The Passport Parking app is user friendly and available to download from all major app stores.

The property at 70 Front St. N. was sold to FRAM as part of the Waterfront Redevelopment Project earlier this year. As part of the sale, the City was able to lease parking lots for municipal use until such as time that they were required by FRAM. As part of the redevelopment environmental work taking place by FRAM at and around 70 Front St. N., temporary Municipal Parking Lots 8 and 12 were decommissioned on July 5, 2022.

For more information regarding parking in Orillia, please visit the Parking page.

For more information on projects taking place in the area, see details below.

 Centennial Drive Area Improvements

The City of Orillia initiated a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) and detailed design study in May 2016 for the proposed re-alignment of Centennial Drive to enhance traffic operations and to promote active transportation (walking, cycling, etc.) and vehicular traffic connectivity between the downtown core and the waterfront. This in turn furthers the objective of the Downtown Tomorrow Plan. 

A Public Information Centre (PIC No. 1) was held November 9, 2016 as part of Phase 2 of the Class EA process to present alternative solutions under consideration.  Following that meeting and the receipt of public and agency input, the City authorized an expansion of the study area and scope of work in February 2017.  

The initial scope of study included the re-alignment of Centennial Drive / Canice Street from Brant Street to Elgin Street and the extension of Coldwater Street from Front Street to Centennial Drive.  This was expanded to include:

  • the reconstruction of Mississaga Street East from Front Street to Centennial Drive;
  • the extension/reconstruction of Colborne Street East from Front Street to the Esplanade; 
  • the reconstruction of Elgin Street from Front Street to Scott Street;
  • the relocation of the trunk sanitary sewer from the waterfront area to Front Street;
  • the construction of a new local sanitary sewer system, including pump station, in the waterfront area.

For detailed information regarding this project, please visit the Centennial Drive Area Improvements project page

 

Temporary Boat Trailer Parking Now Available in Centennial Boat Launch Lot 

New temporary boat trailer parking is now available in the boat launch parking lot off Centennial Drive in Orillia.  

Due to Phase 2 of the Centennial Drive Reconstruction Project, boat trailer parking will be impacted at the former CPR right-of-way. As a result, for the remainder of the 2022 boating season, boat trailers can be parked in the Centennial Boat Launch parking lot. Additional parking has also been made available on the shoulder of the west shoulder of Centennial Drive. 

A designated parking area for regular vehicles will remain available within the Couchiching Parking Lot (boat launch lot). Parking in the waterfront lots remains available at no cost at this time.

For more information regarding parking in Orillia, please visit orillia.ca/parking.

 Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan

The Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (DTCIP) launched on January 1, 2017. This program seeks to encourage growth in Downtown Orillia, and includes grants to offset costs of development in the downtown core for projects such as façade improvements, signage, feasibility studies, building improvements and the creation of residential units.

Over time, the DTCIP is expected to increase tax assessment, employment opportunities and housing options in the City's core as part of a longer term plan to revitalize the downtown and link it more closely to Orillia's waterfront.

A Community Improvement Plan (CIP) is a tool authorized by the Planning Act and Municipal Act that allows municipalities to offer financial incentives such as grants and loans to property owners and business tenants in order to encourage downtown, neighbourhood and community revitalization.

In 2022, Orillia Council approved the implementation of a new suite of Tier 3 incentive programs geared towards much larger projects that would add jobs and housing to downtown Orillia. The Tier 3 programs include a Development Charge Grant Program, a Tax Increment Grant Program and a Brownfields Tax Assistance Grant Program.

For detailed information regarding this project, please visit the Downtown Tomorrow CIP project page

Implementation of the Downtown Tomorrow Plan

The Downtown Tomorrow Plan recommended 33 strategic initiatives to be achieved over the 20 years following 2012. See the strategic initiatives listed below, and the progress that has been made to date.

 Increase the Residential Population Downtown
 
 Facilitate waterfront development

The Downtown Tomorrow: Linking Orillia's Core to the Water study (Downtown Tomorrow Plan) recommended 33 strategic initiatives and 20 priority action items to better connect Orillia’s downtown core and waterfront areas. The Downtown Tomorrow Plan identified opportunities to extend several City streets to the waterfront, redesign and extend Centennial Drive, and extend the retail experience to the waterfront.

This vision informed the development of 12 Guiding Development Principles that builds on Orillia’s rich heritage and natural setting. Connecting the waterfront and main street extends the historic walkable pattern of streets and blocks to the waterfront. This resulted in the Waterfront Redevelopment Project, a major milestone on the City’s Downtown Tomorrow journey. 

Learn more about the Waterfront Redevelopment Project, including the current status, at orillia.ca/waterfront.

Encourage upper-storey residential conversions

The Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (DTCIP) launched on January 1, 2017. This program seeks to encourage growth in Downtown Orillia by providing grants designed to stimulate development, including projects such as façade improvements, signage, feasibility studies, building improvements and the creation of residential units.

The Residential Grant Program, included in the DTCIP, offers grants to offset the cost of rehabilitating existing residential units and/or constructing new residential units, including conversion of excess commercial and/or vacant space on upper   stories of commercial and mixed-use buildings to create one or more net residential units.

For more information, including program details and evaluation criteria, visit orillia.ca/downtowncip.

The City of Orillia, in partnership with the Downtown Orillia Management Board (DOMB), also undertook a Downtown Orillia Retail Mix Analysis. This study outlined which products and services currently exist, while identifying the types of businesses which should be sought through business attraction efforts. See more information about the Retail Mix Analysis.

Encourage and support neighbourhood improvement

Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (DTCIP)

The Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (DTCIP) launched on January 1, 2017. A Community Improvement Plan (CIP) is a tool authorized by the Planning Act and Municipal Act that allows municipalities to offer financial incentives such as grants and loans to property owners and business tenants in order to encourage downtown, neighbourhood and community revitalization.

The DTCIP program seeks to encourage growth in Downtown Orillia by providing grants designed to stimulate development, including projects such as façade improvements, signage, feasibility studies, building improvements and the creation of residential units. Over time, the DTCIP is expected to increase tax assessment, employment opportunities and housing options in the City's core as part of a longer term plan to revitalize the downtown and link it more closely to Orillia's waterfront.

For more information about the DTCIP program, visit orillia.ca/downtowncip.

 

Downtown Orillia Retail Mix Analysis

The City of Orillia, in partnership with the Downtown Orillia Management Board (DOMB), also undertook a Downtown Orillia Retail Mix Analysis. This study outlined which products and services currently exist, while identifying the types of businesses which should be sought through business attraction efforts. See more information about the Retail Mix Analysis.

 

Downtown Orillia Streetscape Improvement Plan (DOSIP)

The Downtown Orillia Streetscape Improvement Plan (DOSIP) Project officially began on July 11, 2018. 

Last reconstructed in 1978, the City’s downtown streetscapes have served the City well and has contributed to the unique charm and atmosphere of Orillia’s core. Innovative and well designed, the downtown streets have, however, started to show signs of age and will inevitably be in need of repair. In anticipation of this reality, the DOSIP was envisioned to create a streetscape plan that will inform future detailed engineering design and the reconstruction for the City's main downtown historic streets.

Building on the work undertaken during the last reconstruction project, the DOSIP has endeavored to create a well-designed, environmentally friendly, fully inclusive and accessible streetscape that will further define the City's downtown as a destination environment and contribute to an increasingly vibrant business community.

The DOSIP envisions a multi-functional and multi-modal typology for Mississaga Street and key cross streets that will be implemented through future streetscape and public space improvements. Enhanced connectivity between Mississaga Street and the waterfront will facilitate two-way multi-modal traffic along the corridor, will enhance the tourism attraction ability of the City’s core, and will stimulate new economic opportunities and employment.

Learn more at the DOSIP project page.

Prepare secondary plan for south core

The Downtown Tomorrow Plan recognized that the redevelopment of former industrial and commercial lands in the "South Core" (the area generally south of Elgin Street), may take longer to initiate and fully implement. An important first step that was identified was the preparation of a Secondary Plan, as an amendment to the Official Plan, informed by the vision for the area reflected in the Master Development Concept. 

At this time, a secondary plan for the South Core has not materialized; however, the City's 10-Year Forecast identifies a new Official Plan as a 2023 capital project.

 Reinforce Downtown as a Civic and Institutional Hub
 
Replace the OPP Detachment Building

A new 34,000 square foot OPP Detachment was constructed and officially opened in 2020 in the developing West Ridge area of Orillia. 

In the summer of 2021, the previous OPP Detachment located at 66 Peter Street was demolished. 

Staff are currently undertaking a functional design and cost estimate for 66 Peter St. as the location of the City's future Transit Terminal and Parking Structure. 

Build a leisure and wellness centre
The Orillia Recreation Centre, with 132,000 square feet and multiple levels, officially opened its doors in the fall of 2020 at 255 West St. S.  Learn more about the Orillia Recreation Centre at orillia.ca/fun.
Develop shared academic facilities

The Downtown Tomorrow Plan recommended working with Lakehead University, Georgian College, and the Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital to identify potential locations for a shared academic facility, and formally establishing a "higher education working group" to pursue the opportunity and generally improve linkages between Lakehead, Georgian and Downtown on an ongoing basis.

The City has continued to foster an ongoing, positive relationship with Lakehead University and Georgian College. In 2019, the City signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lakehead University.

Encourage improvements to Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital

The Downtown Tomorrow Plan recommended encouraging Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital (OSMH) to expand and to improve the physical relationship between the hospital and Downtown. The Plan also encouraged the hospital to develop a transportation and parking strategy that seeks to reduce parking demand, promotes the use of shared parking lots, and considers more remote parking options.

The City of Orillia facilitated an Economic Impact Study for OSMH to better understand the economic impacts associated with the potential expansion/relocation of OSMH. The City continues to work with OSMH to encourage improvements, including a Future Hospital project.

Relocate City Hall
 At this time, the relocation of City Hall is not in the City's 10-year Capital Forecast.  There are a number of improvement projects planned for City Hall over the next 10 years, including replacement of heat pumps, flooring projects, facade restoration, HVAC improvements and exterior entrance renovations.  
 Celebrate Downtown’s Cultural Heritage and Activity
 
Adopt the Heritage Conservation District Plan and protect significant heritage properties

At this time, the City has not developed/adopted the Heritage Conservation District Plan.  The City does have a Municipal Heritage Committee, which is mandated by the Ontario Heritage Act and governed by Chapter 103 of the City of Orillia Municipal Code.  The Municipal Heritage Committee is responsible for the stewardship of the designated properties in Orillia and advises Council on matters relating to man-made heritage and planning. 

The Municipal Heritage Committee has developed a Virtual Walking Tour of Heritage Orillia

 Relocate the Farmers’ Market
The Downtown Tomorrow Plan recommended relocating the Orillia Farmers' Market from a temporary location at City Centre to the Market Square, built in conjunction with the Orillia Public Library. The Orillia Farmers' Market moved to Market Square at 36 Mississage St. W. and operates every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Learn more at orillia.ca/ofm.
Establish the Leacock Centre for the Arts
The Downtown Tomorrow Plan recommended working with Lakehead University to advance development of the Leacock Centre for the Arts and coordinate programming with other cultural initiatives. At this time, the concept has not been developed.
Facilitate living, working and event space for artists

The Downtown Tomorrow Plan recommended the City continue to nurture the arts scene by encouraging the retrofitting of older buildings for studio, exhibit and performance space through financial incentives, and continuing to support established and new arts events and affordable housing projects.

The City has continued to nurture the arts scene in many ways, including supporting the formation of the Art in Public Places Committee, through the Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (DTCIP) grant program, and through the General Grants Program and Cultural and Festival Grants Program

 Improve the Shopping and Dining Experience Downtown
 
 Attract specialty retailers

The City has worked to attract specialty retailers through various initiatives, including the Retail Mix Analysis, the Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (DTCIP) grant program, and the establishment of the Peter Street Arts District. 

The City of Orillia, in partnership with the Downtown Orillia Management Board (DOMB), undertook a Downtown Orillia Retail Mix Analysis. This study outlined which products and services currently exist, while identifying the types of businesses which should be sought through business attraction efforts. See more information about the Retail Mix Analysis.

The City also provides support to the Downtown Orillia Management Board (DOMB), which supports making Downtown Orillia a primary hub for business in the region.

The My Main Street Local Business Accelerator Program, led by the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO), has been designed to help drive business and restore vibrancy to local communities across southern Ontario in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program supports the revitalization of 65 main street communities by providing each with a dedicated Main Street Ambassador, customized marketing research, data analysis and non-repayable funding contributions for small businesses. Over the 2022 year, the City of Orillia will be participating in this program to help grow existing businesses and bring new entrepreneurs to the Business Improvement Area (Downtown Orillia). Visit the My Main Street project page for more information.

Additionally, the City’s Business Development Office pursues the attraction of specialty retailers through their economic development portfolio (activities include promotion at Greater Toronto area-based trade shows, the hosting of international delegations and the touring of newcomers and entrepreneurs through the City). Learn more at businessinorillia.ca.

 Coordinate shopping hours
Downtown businesses are supported by the Downtown Orillia Management Board (DOMB) in a number of ways. With a mandate that includes making Downtown Orillia a primary hub for business in the region, the DOMB offers a wide range of services, support and innovative marketing programs to assist downtown business owners. Learn more at downtownorillia.ca
 Maintain and improve storefronts

The Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (DTCIP) launched on January 1, 2017. This program seeks to encourage growth in Downtown Orillia by providing grants designed to stimulate development, including projects such as façade improvements, signage, feasibility studies, building improvements and the creation of residential units.

The Facade Improvement Grant Program, included in the DTCIP, offers a grant to offset the cost of eligible front, side and rear façade improvement and restoration works to commercial, institutional, residential and mixed use buildings, including retail storefront display areas and signage.

For more information, including program details and evaluation criteria, visit orillia.ca/downtowncip.

Extend the retail experience to the waterfront
The Downtown Tomorrow: Linking Orillia's Core to the Water study (Downtown Tomorrow Plan) recommended 33 strategic initiatives and 20 priority action items to better connect Orillia’s downtown core and waterfront areas. The Downtown Tomorrow Plan identified opportunities to extend several City streets to the waterfront, redesign and extend Centennial Drive, and extend the retail experience to the waterfront.

This vision informed the development of 12 Guiding Development Principles that builds on Orillia’s rich heritage and natural setting. Connecting the waterfront and main street extends the historic walkable pattern of streets and blocks to the waterfront, including integrating with Orillia's downtown and waterfront areas. This resulted in the Waterfront Redevelopment Project, a major milestone on the City’s Downtown Tomorrow journey. 

Learn more about the Waterfront Redevelopment Project, including the current status, at orillia.ca/waterfront.

 Improve Connectivity and Streetscapes Downtown

Upgrade and enhance Mississaga Street

The intersection at Front/Mississaga was reconstructed as part of the Front Street Reconstruction Project in 2020.

There is a capital project identified in the City's 10-year forecast for the Downtown Streetscape Reconstruction (2023 - 2028). If approved, this project will significantly upgrade and enhance Mississaga Street.  

Beautify Coldwater Street and other key entry streets

The Downtown Orillia Streetscape Improvement Plan (DOSIP) Project officially began on July 11, 2018. 

Last reconstructed in 1978, the City’s downtown streetscapes have served the City well and has contributed to the unique charm and atmosphere of Orillia’s core. Innovative and well designed, the downtown streets have, however, started to show signs of age and will inevitably be in need of repair. In anticipation of this reality, the DOSIP was envisioned to create a streetscape plan that will inform future detailed engineering design and the reconstruction for the City's main downtown historic streets.

Building on the work undertaken during the last reconstruction project, the DOSIP has endeavored to create a well-designed, environmentally friendly, fully inclusive and accessible streetscape that will further define the City's downtown as a destination environment and contribute to an increasingly vibrant business community.

The DOSIP envisions a multi-functional and multi-modal typology for Mississaga Street and key cross streets that will be implemented through future streetscape and public space improvements. Enhanced connectivity between Mississaga Street and the waterfront will facilitate two-way multi-modal traffic along the corridor, will enhance the tourism attraction ability of the City’s core, and will stimulate new economic opportunities and employment.

Learn more at the DOSIP project page.

Redesign and extend Centennial Drive

The Centennial Drive Area Improvements Project, which is currently underway, is a multi-year project to reform the waterfront area and provide the necessary servicing for future development.

Phase 1 includes the construction of a new sanitary sewage pumping station as well as the alignment of Elgin Street and Cedar Island Road. 

Phase 2 includes the reconstruction/realignment of the Mississaga Street East/Centennial Drive/Canice Street corridor from Front Street North to Brant Street East.  

Build new streets to the waterfront
As part of the Waterfront Redevelopment Project, the redevelopment of 70 Front St. N. upholds this vision through the extension of Coldwater Street to Centennial Drive, extending the existing retail environment to the waterfront and increasing the capacity for people to live and work in the downtown core.
Identify the downtown bicycle network

Council adopted in principle the Active Transportation Plan in 2012.  The Plan identified the existing cycling network, and suggested both short and long-term improvements to the cycling network.

In 2019, Council adopted in principle the Multi-Modal Transportation Master Plan, which further identifies improvements to the City's bicycle network, including what the downtown bicycle network should look like.

City staff aim to include bicycle lanes where identified in the Multi-Modal Transportation Master Plan through future capital projects.

Create New Spaces Downtown for Playing, Gathering and Relaxing
Build a new square, pier and pavilion in Centennial Park

The City designed and built a new fishing pier that has been installed on the concrete pier at the base of Mississaga Street. 

In 2015, the City of Orillia retained Urban Strategies Inc. to further study the area in and around the Port of Orillia to develop a long term plan to guide future improvements to the public spaces in that area. The Orillia Port Area Public Realm Plan includes a number of recommendations about how the Port area could be revitalized to better support public uses and create a vibrant gathering space. A plan was developed for a civic square at the base of Mississaga and Centennial and a future southerly extension and realignment of the Centennial Drive/Mississaga Street East intersection to facilitate a more efficient intersection at this location. The Waterfront Redevelopment Project includes a gathering area at the base of Mississaga Street East as a first step in the longer term plan to create a larger public gathering space in this area.

Relocate waterfront parking and reduce boat ramp impacts
The City is currently in the design stage for this initiative and anticipates construction of an improved boat launch parking area in 2023. 
Create a multi-use park at 255 West Street

The City is currently in the design stage of a new skatepark and playground to be located at 255 West Street and will be seeking grant opportunities for the purposes of constructing in the future. 

Enhance public access and boat club facilities at Pumpkin Bay
This initiative is currently being reviewed by City staff. Design and construction activity has not been initiated at this time.
Establish the Queen Street greenway

This initiative is currently being reviewed by City staff. Design and construction activity has not been initiated at this time.

Develop small gathering spaces and neighbourhood parks

The City continues to implement both small and large scale improvement project in our parks system including playground replacements, wayfinding signage and trail improvements including resurfacing the waterfront trail.

Promote Orillia and Enhance the Visitor Experience
Update Orillia’s branding and identity
In 2018, after extensive public consultation and research, Orillia Council approved a new visual identity for the City of Orillia, including a new logo. The visual identity has been implemented throughout the City of Orillia in a phased approach.
Erect new signage
The City has conducted extensive wayfinding and signage upgrades including the installation of vehicular wayfinding signage and pedestrian wayfinding signage to help orient residents and visitors throughout the city and downtown.
Relocate the tourist information centre
Orillia's Tourist Information Centre is now located within the Orillia Opera House Box Office and is available virtually at visitorillia.ca.
Improve access to parking and the design of parking lots

Over the past number of years, staff have worked to improve parking lots. 

In 2018, Lot 7 on Andrew Street South was completely reconstructed including removal and replacement of asphalt, line painting, new concreate barrier curbs and installation of bicycle racks.

In 2020, structural upgrades were made in Lot 4 and garden renovations were completed in Lots 2, 5, 9 and 11, as well as the restructuring of Lot 5's planters. 

In 2022, the stairs between Municipal Lot 5 and 11 will be repaired to increase public safety.

The City is also undertaking a Downtown Waterfront Parking Study, which will further review how the City can improve access to parking. 

Target new hotels Downtown
 The City supports a range of accommodations within the community and provides incentives for various business opportunities in Downtown Orillia through the Downtown Tomorrow Community Improvement Plan (DTCIP) grant program.

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